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THIIS Trade Magazine • Issue 224 • May 2017

Issue 224 • May 2017

Providing news and views in the trade since 1999

TRADE MAGAZINE

For everything new

Providing news and views in the trade since 1999

Retailers talk internet and consumer safety RETAILER FOCUS NEW PRODUCTS

BEING NEW TO AN INDUSTRY

GREEN TROUSERS ADOPTS WHEELLATOR

INDUSTRY NEWS TESTIMONIALS


Why sell a stairlift when you can sell a real lift? ●

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…from the editor In a marketplace that is constantly shifting and evolving, two mobility retailers discuss the importance of customer safety, market accessibility and company accountability. Chris Cox and John Payne examine the key challenges and concerns facing both their businesses and the industry in 2017. The pair gave an insightful look into some of the major issues facing the retail industry as a whole, such as evolution of the internet and customers’ buying behaviour, and what effect this is having on the unique nature of our industry. With so many businesses in the industry going above and beyond to provide customers with great customer service, many companies could be sitting on a treasure trove of valuable customer testimonials. Former editor David Russell gives some useful tips about how to get these valuable recommendations and how best to use them. We also caught up with industry newcomer Green Trousers from our December front cover to find out why the company decided to adopt the unique Wheellator and what are the plans for the future.

Don’t be shy, why not get in touch...

Editor Calvin Barnett 01933 278086 newsroom@thiis.co.uk

Advertising Enquiries Lauren, Jayne or Sue 01536 317000 advertising@thiis.co.uk

Calvin Barnett Editor

On the front... What are the biggest challenges facing mobility retailers in 2017? Page 34

You can find THIIS on Twitter at: wwwthiiscouk

INSURANCE & FINANCE A helping hand when you need it most.

Call us today 01582 840067 www.thiis.co.uk 3


“We have had to suspend activity at all sites and make staff redundant due to the high level of costs”

Prize for early bird Page 8

Search for a UK dealer Page 12

“As a young entrepreneur who had never had a ‘typical job’, I had no relevant previous experience to draw from”

“Keep your eye on the ball, see which way it is going to bounce and go with it”

“It received over 5000 hits in a just couple of days”

Contributors this month...

Emily Webb Oarsome Grips

David Russell BHTA Engage

4 www.thiis.co.uk

InTHIISissue...

“Kind words without permission to use them are not worth anything to you”

Keen and new to the industry Page 14

Mobility supplier in administration Page 16

Superpole seeks UK success Page 18

Focus – Customer testimonials Page 28

Industry challenges for retailers Page 34

Green Trousers takes on Wheellator Page 36


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Companion celebrates success with new reward scheme Having provided solutions for 20,000 customers, Companion Stairlifts and Bathing is now set to launch a new reward scheme with special prizes for Accredited Partners. Established in 2003, the company provides stairlifts and assisted bathing solutions nationwide and recently achieved a milestone after adapting the home of their 20,000th customer late last year. Companion is now launching a new reward scheme for local mobility retailers, with Accredited Partners who join free before the end of June being in with a chance of winning a top prize of holiday vouchers worth £1,000. The new scheme will offer partners enhanced services to help support business growth and tempting rewards to acknowledge their loyalty. Mobility retailers who sign up to become a Companion Accredited Partner will gain access to a dedicated online portal with ‘live’ information about the status of their commission and leads, fast track response times, enhanced marketing support and a rewards scheme guaranteeing prizes for a minimum of ten leads per month. In addition, Accredited Partners will earn entries into a monthly draw to win a top prize, with the first one being holiday vouchers worth £1,000 to be awarded at the end of June. Clare Brophy, Companion’s Managing Director, explained: “We want to make it an easy decision for retailers to refer enquiries from their customers about home adaptations including stairlifts and accessible bathing solutions to Companion. “We have invested in a new online portal which will give our Accredited Partners easy access to information about their leads whenever and wherever they need it. We know this is really important for retailers who are keen to stay on top of what’s happening with their customers’ enquiries. We hope the scheme will give partners confidence in our commitment to building our relationship with them for the long term.” Companion carried out a survey of mobility retailers to discover what they wanted from their relationship with suppliers of home adaptation services. The top three results pointed to the 6 www.thiis.co.uk

need for more feedback about the status of leads, more marketing support in the form of POS material, and a high-quality customer experience for end users. Clare added: “We’ve listened to what retailers are asking for, and have designed our Accredited Partner Scheme so that it gives them just what they need; not just healthy commission rates and rewards, but also a much closer relationship with our team and access to lots of information about our products as well as new and eye-catching marketing materials.” The company, a Which? Trusted Trader and member of review website Feefo, has a track record for customer service and says this latest initiative demonstrates its commitment to putting all of its customers at the heart of its business. Peter Childs, Companion’s New Business Manager, said: “We’re looking forward to developing the scheme and working closely with more retailers to help them grow their businesses professionally and profitably too.” To sign up for free, visit www.yourcompanion.co.uk and the Companion Accredited Partner Team will be in touch to arrange an introductory meeting or call 0800 620 0826.


Early birds catch £125 prize Trade Days rewards two early bird registrants to the 2017 show with £125 worth of amazon vouchers each. Taking place annually at the NEC in Birmingham, Trade Days remains the only show solely dedicated to the trade, where exhibitors and attendees are freely able to discuss business. Closerstill, Trade Days’ organisers, surprised East Kent Mobility’s Colin Wiggins and Performance Health’s Katy Wilson with the news of the prizes. The team has now started another prize draw for the next 500 delegates to register for the show, with multiple people in with a chance to win £125 worth of amazon vouchers. Derek MacHale, Show Manager for Trade Days, commented: “The team here at Trade Days were incredibly pleased to give Colin and Katy their early bird reward. “We have a renewed dedication to make this year’s Trade Days bigger, busier and better than ever. This can only be done by working with our delegates as early as possible. Delegates 8 www.thiis.co.uk

who register now will have first access to the upcoming Trade Days’ voucher booklet containing deals from the most relevant suppliers that can only be used at Trade Days!” The organisers say that this year’s show will also contain various new features, including the ‘Product “We have a renewed dedication Demonstration Zone’, to make this year’s Trade Days ‘How-to Arena’, a dedicated ‘Family Day’ bigger, busier and better than and more. ever” Now entering its fourth year, Trade Days will take place on the 8th and 9th of October 2017 at the NEC. To secure a free pass and be in with a chance to win £125 worth of amazon vouchers, visit www.tradedays.co.uk


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round up Hospitals pilot BioRite UV Disinfection Unit

Dolphin Lifts North-East dive in with Stiltz

Installation by Dolphin Lifts North-East

Dolphin Lifts North-East has become the latest company to graduate from the Stiltz Home Lift Training Academy. The Newcastle-Upon-Tyne based mobility and stairlift specialist decided to add the Stiltz home lift to their portfolio to extend the range of mobility products available to their customers. The training academy allows selected partner companies to install Stiltz domestic lifts upon completion of a three-day course and three on-site customer installations – overseen by Stiltz technicians. Following completion, graduates become an Accredited Stiltz Lifts Installer Partner. Dolphin Lifts North-East completed its third and final installation in Northumberland in April. Bob Lines, Managing Director of Dolphin Lifts North-East, said: “Because Dolphin Lifts North-East is now a fully accredited partner, it means our business is even more self-sufficient.” The training courses are currently free of charge and limited to a maximum of eight attendees to ensure a high level of quality training is provided. For more information about the Stiltz Home Lift Training Academy, contact 0330 222 0334 or visit www.stiltz.co.uk

10 www.thiis.co.uk

Bio-Rite has announced that ten UK hospitals are now piloting the company’s new UV Disinfection Unit called Bio-UV. The disinfection unit, manufactured in the UK, achieves a 4 log pathogen reduction in minutes and is designed for hospitals to decontaminate wards and areas contaminated with bacteria and viruses. Alan Wright, Managing Director of BioRite, said: “The advantage of UV is its ability to kill bacteria and viruses without the need for chemicals. In just twenty minutes an area can be returned to use, also helping nursing staff maximise the valuable resource of ward space.” The device is operated remotely via WiFi, with a tablet provided which allows the user to choose from a number of pre-set exposure times or to enter a custom time depending on the exposure level required. For further information, visit www.biorite.com


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French manufacturer searches for UK distributors French manufacturer Alter Eco Santé is searching for distributors to introduce several of their product ranges to the UK. Located in Toulouse, the established family business was founded in 1998 by Bernard Liausu who originally formed the business to help carers transfer patients without injuring their backs. Since then, the company has expanded to 19 employees and now specialises in repetitive stress injury prevention, dependency prevention, drop prevention and posture training. Alter Eco Santé currently works with hospitals, care homes and retailers across France, designing products for both private and public sector, and is currently active in Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg and more. Pierre Liausu, Export Manager of Alter Eco Santé, told us: “In the UK we are looking to make partnerships with distributors. We want to work with companies who share our vision and can help guide our products into medical institutions and private homes. “We understand the importance of support and are able to supply any educational and training assistance to both our partners and users, whilst also willing to work with our partners on any public procurements. Our

For More Info... Phone Email Web

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12 www.thiis.co.uk

website is also currently being changed and we are adding an English version as well.” The company is planning to introduce several product ranges to the UK aimed at hospitals, care homes and private residences, including transfer bars, sidebars, mattresses, mobilising accessories, transfer aids and drop prevention training. Pierre added: “All the products we are introducing into the UK are designed by our Research and Development Department who work extensively with professional carers and the industry. They are manufactured by French subcontractors that we select and control carefully to ensure the quality of our products.” All of the company’s products are independently tested in France to ensure high quality. To get in touch with the company, contact export@alterecosante.net or call 00.33.6.68.00.87.77 The company website is www.alterecosante.net

GLOVES


Focus

A supplier’s perspective Emily Webb, Managing Director of Oarsome Grips, shares her early memories about joining the industry as a budding entrepreneur with a new product and no experience.

Being keen, green and new to the industry The norm when you join a new industry is usually a new job representing a company, generally within a more experienced team. Your team is able to show you the ropes, you learn about your customers and suppliers, the landscape and the future trends and issues. But how do you join an industry from the outside and totally alone? I burst into our industry with my Oarsome Grips by attending a physio conference many years ago. At the time my friend Di came with me on the day. Neither one of us was part of the industry I was joining. As a young entrepreneur who had never had a ‘typical job’, I had no relevant previous experience to draw from. So, rather green around the ears and a little shy, I mirrored Di who was, and remains, one of the most wonderful and friendly people I know. While Di was taking care of the stand, chatting to the physios about the Oarsome Grips and my time on Dragons’ Den, I immersed myself in the exhibition, getting to know my new industry. It was the perfect place to start, as everyone was ready to chat, share information and promote themselves –all I had to do was approach, ask questions and listen. As a young woman, I tended to approach women who had friendly and open faces. I’d ask about themselves, their company and their products; listening carefully to understand. Naturally, the conversation would then turn to me and I’d tell them my story and invite them to my stand. My story is an unusual one which tends to get people’s attention and this was invaluable in capturing people’s curiosity. I’d often then be introduced to someone else they knew – and my conversations grew from there. I spent my time listening and asking questions to understand the landscape and listening out for the names of the companies I should approach, and then doing just that.

At the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, not long out of university, I sometimes found myself in conversations that made me feel uneasy. In hindsight, a lot of this uneasiness came from my lack of experience, especially with the more formal and corporate conversations which would often involve more in-depth, probing questions. These kinds of conversations are now far more common, but at the beginning, they can seem difficult and daunting. My advice would be to listen to your instincts but also remain conscious that limited experience could be skewing your perception of the situation. Be confident and learn from the experience. I used snippets of conversations with the many people to help form my overall picture of the industry that I now comfortably operate in. I enjoy and feel privileged being part of a community where we are in the business of improving people’s lives every day. For anyone new joining our industry, as an employee or an entrepreneur, my absolute key tip would be to ask plenty of questions and listen closely to the answers. We all know knowledge is power, and if you’re new round here, that’s something you won’t have much of. Be respectful of the industry insiders giving you their time by listening carefully. They’re sharing their power if you listen close enough… Emily Webb, an award-winning entrepreneur, consultant and designer, is the Managing Director of Oarsome Grips. To find out more about the company, visit www.oarsomegrips.com and to find out more about Emily, visit www.emily-webb.com

“As an employee or an entrepreneur, my absolute key tip would be to ask plenty of questions and listen closely to the answers”

14 www.thiis.co.uk


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Mobility supplier goes into administration Hartmond Limited, trading as Yorkshire Mobility, The Mobility Partnership, Trade Mobility and Value Mobility, has entered administration. The company traded from seven sites with its head office in Hull and had 17 permanent employees and three directors. Yorkshire Mobility was a supplier of a wide variety of mobility products which it supplied to both local and national customers, via its stores and website. Suffering from challenging trading conditions in recent years and with increasing cash pressure, the directors did not believe they could continue to trade without worsening the position for creditors. All 17 employees were made redundant and their claims are being dealt with by the Redundancy Payments Service. Keith Marshall and Gareth Harris of RSM

restructuring advisory LLP were appointed joint administrators of Hartmond Limited and are currently reviewing options with regards to maximising asset realisations. Keith Marshall, RSM restructuring advisory partner and joint administrator, said: ‘Whilst the company had many loyal customers and a strong local presence, competitive and difficult trading conditions have unfortunately determined that the company can no longer continue to trade. “At this early stage, we have had to suspend activity at all sites and make staff redundant due to the high level of costs but we would encourage any interested parties to contact us as soon as possible.”

Koolcaddy koolcaddy.co.uk

A mobility scooter gives you the freedom to move about but when it comes to doing the weekly shop, it can be a pain trying to get those heavy shopping bags home. The Koolcaddy makes this problem a thing of the past. A spacious trailer that will connect to the vast majority of mobility scooters and provide the capacity to carry up to six shopping bags. It also has a lockable lid for security. Although light in weight, its ability to follow the scooter perfectly means the Koolcaddy is equally at home on grass and gravel as it is on the road or pavement. Its chunky styling blends perfectly with the design of most mobility scooters and your scooter will never look out of place with the Koolcaddy attached We are proud to say that the Koolcaddy is all British and has proved itself to be a quality product over the years. The trailer is pretty much made to order and we don’t carry vast stocks, which means each one is hand made in the best tradition of British manufacturing and also means that we have constant quality control, so much so that we guarantee our trailers for 2 years. It is available in 5 different colours, black, grey, red, blue and green. We are looking for more dealers to sell the trailer, if this is something that you would be interested in please give us a call.

16 www.thiis.co.uk

Please contact Kim or Jayne on 0844 357 81633 or email info@koolcaddy.co.uk “Gaydon”, St. Edwards Drive, Stow-on-the-Wold, Glos. GL54 1AW


01977 681400 www.vanosmedical.com


Super pole and bar seeks UK success Following a promising introduction to the UK market at Naidex, Chapter Mobility aims to popularise the unique SuperPole with SuperBar across the UK Midlands-based Chapter Mobility, who provide home adaptations and products to help people retain independence, first discovered the device whilst searching for different products not readily available in the UK at 2016’s Rehacare. Designed and produced by Canadian manufacturer HealthCraft, the SuperPole offers a vast improvement on traditional grab rails and support frame devices currently used in the home according to the company. The SuperPole can be positioned anywhere in a room, locking into place between floor and ceiling without the need for screws or fasteners whilst the SuperBar attachment can rotate through 360 degrees - locking off every 45 degrees - and can be positioned easily with one hand. Ivor Allchurch, Managing Director of Chapter Mobility, said: “Our commitment in the product, following experience with our own customers, has grown to the extent that we have become the exclusive Distributor for HealthCraft in the UK.” Not requiring a permanent fixing, the SuperPole allows users to reposition it where required to best suit a user’s needs and can be particularly useful in rental properties where landlords do not want to install permanent fixings. Also suitable for safe use on wet room floors, the safety pole and bar is capable of providing a solution where traditional transfer aids may not be a viable option. The product has already proved popular in North America, being used by over 250,000 individuals in the Canadian Disability Market, typically in bathroom and bedroom environments 18 www.thiis.co.uk

as a means to prevent falls. Chapter Mobility hopes to see the success replicated in the UK. The company is now targeting independent retailers whilst also looking for regional distributors and resellers that advise and sell specialist products into “Interest was fantastic, with local store providers. Discussing the over 50 serious enquirers” response at Naidex, Ivor told us: “Interest was fantastic, with over 50 serious enquirers. Follow up meetings have been arranged with national charities, local social services teams, OT groups, housing associations and numerous independent retailers, both large and small.” For more information, email info@ chaptermobility.co.uk or call 01562 312048


BUSINESS FOR SALE Successful business launched in 2002 with outlets in Inverness and Aberdeen, supplying mobility equipment and vehicle adaptations to the retail market in the north of Scotland through the Mobility Scheme and direct to the user, is for sale as a going concern. The company operates from leased premises and has a fleet of 5 vans and a healthy stock holding. Turnover for the year ahead is on target to reach close to ÂŁ1M with a historical gross profit circa 50%, from 10 full time employees and 1 director, who will be retiring on completion of handover. Offers are invited from individuals who wish to relocate to the beautiful part of the country or from similar companies wanting to expand with a ready made outlet. Interested parties can contact Stuart Hendry, Managing Director, Galaxy Marketing Scotland Ltd, 46a Seafield Road, Inverness, IV1 1SG. Tel: 01463 250850 or 07932 172895

MAXIMUM PERFORMANCE FOR MOBILITY Market-leading batteries, chargers and tyres developed especially for the mobility industry.

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Does advertising work in THIIS magazine? This is what Julian Cobbledick of Assistive Partner thinks… “We supply a range of software for healthcare. Since our company’s formation in 2007, Assistive Partner has grown consistently and profitably each year. Somehow, all of that growth has been driven by word of mouth and referral (with the odd successful tender thrown in). Like any expanding organisation though, to continue the momentum, there has inevitably come a time when we have had to invest in some limited promotional activity. Our first attempt has been very successful and has yielded an excellent return on investment. And it’s thanks to THIIS magazine. Our first series of three advertisements has resulted in a number of high quality leads and several sales. HealthcareProA5Ad1.pdf

1

22/09/2016

10:29

So we have decided to extend the THIIS advertising campaign, try a few new offers in DealON! and generally embark on increasing our marketing efforts on several fronts. I can honestly say that our experience clearly shows that advertising to mobility retailers in THIIS gets results. Thank you.” Julian Cobbledick, Director, Assistive Partner


TRAVEL FURTHER wiTH

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SAME BOX MORE POWER! Full Range of Haze GEL Batteries also available Easystart Ltd. Tel: 01536 203030 Website: www.easystartbatteries.co.uk Email: sales@easystartbatteries.co.uk


round up

Show success for Topro Naidex proved to be a success for Topro, according to Sales Manager, Paul Briggs. “Over the three days, we met with people from all the key areas of our business - mobility retailers, healthcare professionals and members of the public. We received a fantastic reaction to our new products being launched at the show, the Troja Neuro and the Odysse rollator,” commented Paul. As a result, the company says it has had to order some additional numbers to cope with the demand. Paul added: “Being able to launch two new products and demonstrate our range of mobility solutions to such a diverse audience is invaluable to us and plays a significant role within our marketing activity.” To find out more, visit www.topro.co.uk From left Roy Day, Katie Tomlinson, Craig Negri and Paul Briggs

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top trade deals

DealON! Looking for a deal? Then this is the place to come. Deal On features the best trade deals you will find this month. Just pick up the phone to take advantage... All offers are valid until May 31st 2017 unless otherwise stated.

Stiltz Home Lifts are looking to develop their new, exciting Installer Partner Programme Signing up for both sales and installation will make the Stiltz business far more profitable that a straightforward sale. Full training will be provided. For more information, call/email Trade Sales Manager, Gino Farruggio on 07940 437 835 / gino.farruggio@stiltz.co.uk

Receive a free Haze AGM/Gel Smart Charger with rejuvination function with your first order of four or more Haze batteries! Call Easystart on 01536 203030 or email sales@ easystartbatteries.co.uk for further information!

24 www.thiis.co.uk

Pallet of 6 scooters £2,094 ex VAT... works out £349 each unit! Red & blue available. Free delivery. Quote ‘thisstyle6’ Call us on 0330 311 6498 or email trade@betterlife.co.uk Two Free Home Delivery Smartphone Apps (worth £750)* UNIQUS® iRetailer. Stock & barcode management software specially designed for the VAT complexities of mobility retailers. Affordable subscription. No big initial outlay. Fully integrate your quotation, sales, purchasing and stock process on one platform. Cloud based and paperless, iRetailer CRM will help you gain efficiency, save time and increase sales opportunities. See our advertisement in this issue or visit www.assistivepartner.co.uk/iretailer.aspx *Requires Windows Smartphone. Order before end of May 2017 to qualify.

£ £ £ May promotion from Repose Repose Furniture is offering a 10% showroom discount on its Olympia or Kensington models. The special offer is limited to one chair and one sofa per retailer and is available until the end of May 2017. Retailers wishing to take advantage of the offer should contact their Repose representative Ben Westcott or Helena Greaves directly to place an order


Independence Made Simple The Infinity Curved Stairlift is fast becoming the most talked about Stairlift on the market. Not only do we offer exceptionally high quality products our after-sales service and support are unrivalled. If you are unsure why not schedule a visit to our Huddersfield factory and see for yourself.

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round up Collaboration aims to slash wheelchair waiting times A new collaboration between Bartrams Healthcare and Sunrise Medical is aiming to dramatically reduce lead-times for disabled people waiting beyond the maximum waiting period for NHS wheelchairs. Large numbers of disabled people requiring wheelchairs have been left frustrated as they continue to wait longer than the intended 18 week waiting period. The new collaboration will set out to reduce the lead-times to just three weeks to get manual and powered wheelchairs to clients, combining the specialist assessment and manufacturing capabilities of both organisations. Luke Partridge, Operations Manager at Bartrams Healthcare, said: “This new scheme working in conjunction with Sunrise Medical is primed to make a big impact for wheelchair users and be a positive step forward within the provision of wheelchair services.�

26 www.thiis.co.uk

To find out more, contact the wheelchair services team at Bartrams Healthcare on 01353 653 757 or visit www.bartrams.net


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Focus

Customer testimonials By David N Russell

Don’t take our word for it – power your business with customer testimonials One of the most effective things you can do for your business is to create powerful customer testimonials and, when you have them, get the most from them. There are some simple steps that you can follow to generate those allimportant gems and to make sure they have the greatest impact… People buy from people – no doubt you’ve heard that many times before. That’s why having someone in your sales team who customers really like can make a huge difference to the bottom line. But there are other people who a potential customer you will be influenced by too and they are the people who have already bought from you. No matter how big or how small your business, you will increase your sales by simply letting your customers do the talking for you, through the use of testimonials. As a marketing technique it’s old - very old indeed. But the thing is, it has always worked and it will work for you too. So, how do you go about getting testimonials from your customers and, when you have, what do you do with them so that they help you sell more? The good news is that it is quick, it’s simple and it isn’t going to cost you very much, if anything, to do. The key to getting a testimonial from a customer is – to ask for one. That might sound almost too simple, but it

really is as easy as that. However, it’s amazing how many companies just don’t bother. The next time you are in front of a customer or on the phone to them and it’s clear that they are a happy bunny, ask the question. “I just wondered if you would be happy to help us in the future by letting us tell other people what you think of our company.” One way to generate more testimonials is, of course, to talk to more customers! An easy way to do this is to plan to talk to your new customers a month after they have bought a product from you. There are a number of advantages to this. The first is that you are providing really good customer care and if there is anything worrying them about the product they have bought from you, it will be picked up early. The second is that you will have the opportunity to introduce other products to them that they might be interested in. One of the best sales people I ever worked with always called his customers a short time after he had sold them a product. Apart from making sure that they were happy, he used it to generate recommendations of friends of the customer who had seen the product and expressed an interest. It was very clever and very effective. For small businesses, calling every customer may not be an option but you could commit to calling a specific

“The key to getting a testimonial from a customer is – to ask for one”

28 www.thiis.co.uk


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number of customers each month – maybe those that have bought the higher value items. So, getting positive comments from a customer is the first step. The second is to get something from the customer that will work for you. That can be slightly trickier. The vast majority of your customers aren’t used to writing what is essentially sales copy and so this is where you have to help them out. Most of the testimonials that I have used in various companies over the years have been written by me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not fraudulent - the customers have all been very happy to see their names under the words that we have used, which have been based on their original comments. It’s just that they have been ‘tweaked’ to be more powerful or more relevant. Each of the customers has approved the words that have been used and have been happy to associate themselves with them. Of course, if you have had a glowing recommendation through an email or even maybe an old fashioned letter, then you can use that material, but even then you may want to change a few words so that it reads better and then send it back to the customer to get approval to use it. Remember, if someone does send you an email or a letter that contains something that could be used as a testimonial, then you still have to go back to the customer to check that they are happy for you to use it to promote your company. Kind words without permission to use them are not worth anything to you. So, back to the customer and how to go forward. If they think that you are the bee’s knees and want to tell the world about you, take down the details of why they are such a fan and then ask them if it’s OK for you to write something that reflects their thoughts. Once you have something that you would like to use, make sure that they are happy for you to use it. You could go as far as getting the customer to sign a piece of paper to say that they agree to their comments being used, but that really isn’t necessary the vast majority of the time. If you have a great testimonial, then say thank you. A small token of appreciation such as a box of chocolates, a bottle of wine or bunch of flowers won’t do any harm. Words are one thing, but what is going to make your new testimonial even more powerful is a nice photo to go with it. Reading something positive from a customer

is one thing, but seeing the customer at the same time makes it real. Not every customer will want their face plastered all over your website or leaflets, but you’ll be surprised how many of them will agree. If you are going to use a photograph, then make sure it’s a good one. A photo taken on a mobile phone might not do the trick, especially for print and so using a decent camera is a good idea. It’s also good practice to let the customer know which photograph is going to be used too. Now that you have a great testimonial, what do you do with it? Well, there are endless places that you can use them. For example: • On your advertising • On your website • On a notice board in a showroom • On your email marketing campaigns • On all your printed material • On your letterheads and compliment slips The list is endless, but there is one place that testimonials rarely get used and for me, it’s one of the most powerful places. Where is it? On quotations for jobs and pricelists. Why? Well, anything that has prices on is where you need to be ‘justifying’ yourself as a supplier. At that point, customers need the re-assurance that they are dealing with a reputable and customer focussed company and there’s nothing better to do that than a good old fashioned customer testimonial. And, if you are going to use them – don’t hide them away. For example, on your website, they need to be on the home page if possible. Finally, just a quick tip about producing a customer testimonial that reads well. Make sure that the words used are words that someone would actually say. Sometimes when people write, they use words and phrases that they would never, ever say face to face. So, when you have your testimonial read it out loud and if it doesn’t sound ‘natural’ take another look at it. Spending a few minutes talking to your happy customers with a view to getting a few words from them could be the most productive time that you spend in the future.

“One of the best sales people I ever worked with always called his customers a short time after he had sold a product”

30 www.thiis.co.uk


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round up

Retailer becomes a Which? Trusted Trader Hickleys Mobility & Healthcare has been awarded Which? Trusted Trader status following a rigorous assessment that recognises reputable traders. Mark Mason from Hickleys Mobility & Healthcare said: “We are delighted to attain this recognition and very proud to be associated with such a reputable association as Which. This further endorses our reputation as being one of Somerset’s leading suppliers, repairers and servicers of mobility equipment.”. To become a Which? Trusted Trader, Hickleys Mobility & Healthcare successfully passed the endorsement process, including a visit by a professional assessor as well as a company credit check and customer references. To find out more, visit www.hickleyshealthcare. com

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What are the biggest challenges facing mobility retailers in 2017? Chris Cox, MD of Cinque Ports Mobility

Internet sellers. Access to the market. Assessment and servicing. Chris Cox, Managing Director of Cinque Ports Mobility and John Payne, Managing Director of Kent Mobility, share some of their thoughts on what they see as being the biggest issues facing businesses and the industry over the next 12 months. The role of the internet A major concern both Chris and John quickly touched upon were the increasing numbers of internet sellers not offering customer assessments or after sale services, an issue that deeply troubles young director Chris Cox. “If a customer looks long and hard enough at companies in our industry, it is my hope they will discover the bedrock upon which all their business decisions are made – a foundation which insists on bettering the lives of those who enter their stores or visit their websites,” Chris told us. “My fear – a fear I unfortunately have confirmed almost every week – is that many entrepreneurs are approaching this industry to satisfy the customer demand to save money, often at the expense of the longevity of the product or its suitability for their clinical needs. I feel it is my responsibility as a young, innovative and entrepreneurial director to find ways of offering our customers the best opportunity possible to make an informed decision on their purchase,

giving them the resources and space they require to make the most holistic decision possible.” John Payne agreed, adding: “We sell medical devices, so there is a responsibility to maintain a level of assessment professionalism.”

John Payne, MD of Kent Mobility

Access to the market Reflecting on how the ease of new companies to access the market has changed over the years, John explained how it could be a factor for the rise of sellers not concerned with service. “Back when there were a lot fewer retailers in the industry, major manufacturers were far stricter with companies wishing to become their agents. The manufacturer would have a number of boxes that would need ticking; engineers on the road, a certain number of spares on the shelf and a requirement to stock their products,” said John. “Now it feels that there are some manufacturers out there that if someone said, ‘I have a cheque here, can I buy a container load of product?’ the manufacturer would rip it out

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their hand as quick as they could. What happens to the products after that is of little concern. There seems to be a lot less interest in the level of service being provided and ultimately, no real interest in the end customer. “Really to sell these products, you need to have a clinical background or years of experience in the trade and with disabilities, yet you can go to the Argos catalogue now and buy a class 3 scooter. Manufacturers have a lot of responsibility to actually worry about where and how their products are being sold and who to. To me, that seems to have gone out the window at the moment.” Increasing pressure John attributes this change to increasing competition putting manufacturers under pressure. “There a lot of players in the market at the moment and some manufacturers may simply be struggling, pressuring them into getting sales and shifting boxes. I’ve had manufacturers come into my shop and say to me ‘how many are you going to sell John?’ This is wrong. I won’t be dictated to how many units of a product I have to sell because I don’t know the needs of the next customer coming through my door. If the product meets their needs, I would show it to them as an option for them to purchase. If it doesn’t, I won’t. It really is as simple as that.” As a relatively newcomer to the industry, Chris also pointed out the feeling that some organisations try to apply pressure over retailers. “There are some big organisations out there and it seems some try to use their power to exert control. For us, the joy of this industry is the element of effectively changing people’s lives. So, when an organisation or a body tries to exert pressure on us in a way that prioritises money over service, it can become deeply frustrating and upsetting,” said Chris. The future As the difficulty to compete in an already competitive marketplace continues to increase, John shared his prediction on the issue of endusers being sold unsuitable products. “Honestly, in my opinion, it will get worse before it gets better,” revealed John. “Anyone

can sell these products at the moment. Years ago, when the double-glazing bubble burst, we had a movement of people turning to selling scooters and selling themselves as an expert. This is a similar issue, except digitally.” Chris echoed this concern: “It bothers me that customers may end up developing more problems and having a worse quality of life by being recommended the wrong products for the wrong reasons. In effect, doing the complete opposite of what a retailer in the industry should be trying to achieve.” Adapt and diversify Having more than three decades’ experience in the industry, John’s key advice to success is simple; diversification and being responsive. “If you are a “Really to sell these products, small to medium sized company, it is you need to have a clinical important to keep background or years of your eye on the ball, see which way it is experience in the trade and going to bounce and with disabilities, yet you can go go with it. Importantly, do not put all your to the Argos catalogue now and eggs in one basket. buy a class 3 scooter” I’ve known friends who have just sold scooters; they are out of business now because there are so many scooter people in the market that scooters have dropped in price and become less profitable. We now do everything, from slings to hoists to installations to swimming pool lifts. This has been essential over the years and will continue to be in the future,” he finished.

Do you have some thoughts of your own about the industry you’d like to share? Email calvin@thiis.co.uk to have your thoughts featured in future issues. To find out more about Kent Mobility, visit www.kentmobility. co.uk and find out more about Cinque Ports Mobility, visit www.cinqueportsmobility.com

The countdown is over. Now watch the video. Count more sales than ever before. QR scan to watch 24/03/2017 14:48

www.thiis.co.uk 35


Wheellator sees Green Trousers as a good fit In our March issue, we wrote that Finnish manufacturer Tukimet was searching for a UK distributor for their innovative product, the Wheellator. The call was answered by industry newcomer Green Trousers and Managing Director David Lynch, who will now exclusively sell the device in the UK. Designed to encourage mobility and give confidence to those who want to walk but tire quickly, the Wheellator is a rollator/wheelchair hybrid capable of transforming from one to the other. The device can be used as a normal rollator, supporting a user to walk, however, can also become a wheelchair if the user becomes fatigued. The new online retailer first discovered the Wheellator after reading the March article and promptly got in touch with the manufacturer, seeing the opportunity to fill an area the company is keen to grow. David told us: “With Green Trousers being a fairly new venture, we’ve are on the lookout for products that are more tailored to the private market and end users. We’ve got patient hoist equipment and bathing equipment in abundance, but we really want to introduce more mobility products that will really give our end-users and their family members’ the chance to live. We identified the Wheellator as being a product that could deliver that.” The Wheellator can already be found on the Green Trousers website, which they are promoting, however, David is also keen to try a different approach to selling the unique product. “My understanding is that there is nothing like it available on the market, so on this occasion, we also want to explore business to business,” explained David. “We really want to try and find out if mobility retailers see this as an interesting 36 www.thiis.co.uk

product and as a product their customers will take on.” Having taken on the Klip2Lift product in February and now the Wheellator, Green Trousers has proven to be willing to exclusively sell original and different products and the company is still searching for new suppliers. “We are currently looking for more products in the aids for daily living category and would be really interested to hear from suppliers in that area. We are always looking out something a little unique, like the Wheellator, as well as products that are able “We are currently looking for to offer good margins,” more products in the aids for said David. Since launching daily living category and would in late 2016, be really interested to hear Green Trousers has seen strong from suppliers in that area” sales growth, with turnover increasing 300% within the last five months. David discussed how important marketing had been to that success. “I think a lot of it is down the digital activities and online marketing we do. For example, last month we got Matt Hampson, the ex-England rugby player who is also disabled, to write a blog for us as a site ambassador about equipment and travelling. It received over 5000 hits in a just couple of days, really driving good traffic onto the site.” To find out more about Green Trousers, visit www.greentrousers.com


Need to be quick on curves? From survey to installed bespoke curved stairlift in under two weeks! Why make your customers wait weeks for their curved stairlift when we can make it in only one? With an average manufacturing time of just four working days from drawing approval, Handicare can offer your customers market leading delivery times on bespoke curved and configured straight stairlifts. Thanks to our easy to use 3D photo survey system, and 24 hour drawing turnaround times, your customer could have their bespoke curved despatched for installation in under two weeks. We also continue to routinely deliver standard straights ordered before midday, next working day. To find out how Handicare can help make everyday life easier for your customers, have a chat with your Business Development Manager who will be happy to tell you more about our speed of service.

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The relatively new Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) market has thousands of customers with unique needs and approximately 20 vehicle converters operating around the UK One of the leading organisations in the industry, Lewis Reed, discusses the early days and some of the future considerations for the industry. Lewis Reed first started converting vehicles in 1993 as part of Lewis Reed Motor Dealer Group, undertaking conversions in a small unit behind the dealership, before being incorporated in 1999. In the same year, the company moved to larger premises in Birkenhead before relocating to its current factory in 2003. The organisation now employs 50 people and has completed approximately 10,000 conversions to date. At the start, the company offered conversions based on Renault and Nissan vans, but as time progressed, they evolved to offer a wider range of mainly luxury MPV based conversions. The company notes that the market changed, with people looking to purchase a WAV wanting greater choice and levels of comfort more in line with a family saloon rather than a converted van. In particular, Motability became a major consideration for customers, considerably improving their finance offering over the years. 38 www.thiis.co.uk

Lewis Reed says that probably the biggest development for the industry has been PAS 2012 - a standard for WAVs developed by the industry and British Standards International (BSI). PAS 2012 ensures that all vehicles are now built to a set standard in terms of design, safety and service. The standard set has gone a long way to enhance the reputation of the WAV industry as an established sector within the mobility market. Looking to the future, the management team at Lewis Reed believe that one of the biggest challenges the industry will face will continue to be from legislation. WAV legislation is currently set in Brussels where its trade association has worked hard to build relationships and maintain a dialogue with Brussels, with the aim of ensuring that inappropriate legislation does not adversely affect its customer’s mobility and the WAV industry in the UK. With the result of the recent Brexit vote however, there is now a level of uncertainty as to who will be in charge of legislation in the future. To find out more, visit www.lewisreedgroup. co.uk

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Australian Trade Association gets onboard with GHT Global Healthcare Trader (GHT) has announced an agreement with Assistive Technology Suppliers Australasia (ATSA) which will see the Australian Trade Association promote the new worldwide distributor-finder website in the Australasian region. ATSA was originally formed as the Independent Rehabilitation Suppliers Association of NSW (IRSA) in 2000 by a small group of NSW based assistive technology (AT) suppliers with a vision to improve standards and service levels throughout the industry. The Association changed its name in 2010 to Assistive Technology Suppliers Australasia, with the new name more accurately reflecting the broader range of business activities of a growing member base across Australia and New Zealand. ATSA Executive Officer, David Sinclair, says that the timing of the agreement with GHT, which has been developed by BHTA’s commercial arm, BHTA Engage, could not be better. David said: “The timing of this initiative coincides with the changing market of AT in Australia with the onset of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS) and the Aged Care Reforms. NDIS alone will support over 460,000 Australian participants by 2020 with a full support budget of $22 billion AUS per annum. “The Australian Government has legislated to ‘promote the provision of high quality and

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innovative supports that enable people with disability to maximise independent lifestyles and inclusion in the community.’” David says that this is a major shift from a historic environment of Government contracts based on ‘bulk’ style procurement models with the lowest price in mind, to a ‘consumerdirected’ model that empowers the participant to purchase the AT that enables them to live their lives the way they choose. He added: “By joining the GHT initiative, ATSA expects to assist members to develop their business by providing a gateway to the global offerings of AT and a greater choice of AT solutions to the Australasian community. ATSA anticipates that working with GHT will result in success for suppliers, the organisations and ultimately it will provide a greater choice of AT for the people who count, the end user.” Information on both ATSA and the two exhibitions it runs can be found in the Global Support and Global Exhibitions section of the GHT website at www.globalhealthcaretrader.com

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round up KYMCO Healthcare focus on “Comfort Mobility Products” KYMCO Healthcare has described seeing success with the introduction of its new comfort mobility products at Naidex. The new K-Lite Comfort & Mini Comfort was a key feature of KYMCO’s stand and received a positive response, with dealer demonstration stock orders flooding in according to the company. The first “K-Lite Comfort” sale went to Ability Plus, who celebrated the occasion with Keir French and Mark Hermolle. KYMCO Healthcare’s Naidex story also saw interest from national press, featuring in the Mail on Sunday’s Healthcare Innovations Supplement on 2nd April. To find out more, visit www.kymcohealthcare. com “Ability Plus” team with Keir French and Mark Hermolle

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Sandal designed to accommodate orthotics launched Cosyfeet has released the Sunrise Sandal, specifically designed to accommodate bespoke orthotics. Developed to meet the specific needs of ladies with swollen feet, the sandal is padded at the heel for cushioned comfort and support. It also features a lightweight sole which is flexible and cushioned for the wearer’s comfort. With an EEEEE+ fitting as standard, the sandal is able to open right out to facilitate easy access and can be adjusted for an accurate fit. The company says the style has been shown to meet all the criteria set out by the Healthy Footwear Guide, a collaboration between UK footwear brands and foot health professionals. The sandal is priced at £69 retail (or £57.50 for those who qualify for VAT relief due to a chronic medical condition) and is produced in sizes 4 to 9, including half sizes. Strap extensions are also available for especially swollen feet. For more information, visit www.cosyfeet.com

New divan bed with hoist access from Sidhil Sidhil has introduced the new Bradshaw Divan bed, developed to provide a flexible domestic style option to the community sector. The divan bed weighs 40kg, making it lightweight and easy to fit into tight spaces often encountered in the domestic environment and features adequate underbed clearance to accommodate a portable hoist system where required. The mattress platform can be set at two different heights to match the individual requirements of the user and comes available with detailing in seven wood finishes. Bradshaw Divans are delivered flat packed for easy storage and are simple to assemble. To find out more, visit www.sidhil.com

44 www.thiis.co.uk


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new to the team Do you have a new team member? Why not let the industry know? Just send us a short news item and photo.

Mountain Trike expands manufacturing team The Mountain Trike Company has recruited Seb Luxford to the role of Assembly Technician, working at the company’s manufacturing site just outside Nantwich in Cheshire. Seb, 28, has a background in Sports Engineering and product development, having developed an indoor climbing aid. He will be working part time at the Mountain Trike Company whilst continuing as a freelance licensed Drone Pilot for surveying purposes. Seb commented: “As someone with an interest in sports engineering and product development, the opportunity to work with such an innovative team was not to be missed.” Visit www.mountaintrike.com for more information

Bespoke Stairlifts appoints new MD Bespoke Stairlifts has announced that David Forsyth, formerly of Platinum Stairlifts, has agreed to join the business as Managing Director, assuming full P&L responsibility. With extensive stairlift industry experience, David will look to apply his talents to help Bespoke Stairlifts achieve their ambitions, particularly focussing on the company’s sales, organisation, finance, production and new product development. David worked for Thyssen Krupp from 2008 to 2012, before leaving to become Platinum Group MD after the company learned of his achievements at Thyssen. To find out more, visit www. bespokestairlifts.co.uk

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round up

Top Gear style competition at Mobility Roadshow Following the successful launch of five new products at Naidex, TGA Mobility will be providing a free test track at the 2017 Mobility Roadshow for visitors to put their skills to the test in hopes of winning a luxury hamper. The mobility specialist unveiled the Minimo Plus 4, Maximo Plus, Ibex, Zest and Zest Plus to dealers attending 2017’s Naidex. TGA will now be exhibiting on two stands at this year’s Mobility Roadshow, showcasing its complete product range and test track facility (hall 1, stand B6). The track will give attendees the opportunity to drive scooters over ramps, around obstacles and complete manoeuvring challenges. Every visitor who attends the track will also have the chance to be entered into the company’s free prize draw, with drivers being marked on their manoeuvring proficiency and scores being displayed on a ‘Top Gear’ style leader board. The highest scorers will then be entered into a prize draw to win a Fortnum and Mason hamper, which will be announced on the last day of the Roadshow. Daniel Stone, TGA Managing Director says: “Our two stands at this year’s Mobility Roadshow will deliver an unmissable experience and the hamper prize we are offering is fantastic. Coupled with the debut of our five new scooters, we believe our Stoneleigh showcase will be the best yet.” The Mobility Roadshow will be taking place at NAEC Stoneleigh from the 1 - 3 June. To find out more, visit www.tgamobility.co.uk

Clearwell renews Sussex Champions sponsorship Clearwell Mobility has renewed their sponsorship of the Brighton & Hove Walking Football Club for another year. Clearwell started sponsoring ’The Dolphins’ at the end of 2015, providing the team with funds to purchase a full football strip for all players and vital accessories such as footballs and nets. Following a successful first year which saw the club win four monthly competitions with local coverage on Brighton’s LatestTV, attention is being turned to the future. The Dolphins are now planning to introduce a regular third team, potentially compete in national tournaments as well as purchasing a full away kit, training accessories and improvements to the website. Duncan Gillett, Managing Director of Clearwell Mobility commented: “It’s great to see the Dolphins going from strength to strength. We are proud to continue supporting the team and wish them all the success possible for the

48 www.thiis.co.uk

year ahead and look forward to seeing a cabinet full of silverware.” To find out more, visit www.clearwellmobility.co.uk


round up

Autochair introduces Partner Scheme at the OT Practice Conference Autochair is exhibiting at the OT Practice Conference and introducing its Partner Scheme, a commission-based referral scheme Now in its fourth year, the conference will see 300+ independent occupational therapists updated on news in the industry from a number of key speakers and exhibitors. Tom Smith, Partner Manager at Autochair, explained: “Customer enquiries that are passed on to us and result in a sale will receive a percentage of the order value in return. Our Partner Scheme offers not only three exclusive products but also an assured easy and fast payment of commission, meaning both seller and customer are left satisfied.” Partners are provided with a dedicated account manager and unique 0800 number 50 www.thiis.co.uk

with free marketing and point of sale materials, ensuring all enquiries are tracked accurately. Partners also receive access to the Partner Portal, a dedicated online hub that allows for the management and tracking of referral activity. The success of the Partner Scheme has seen the company partner with manufacturers in the UK such as TGA, alongside mobility retailers like CareCo. This year’s conference is taking place at Old Thorns Estate in Liphook, Hampshire from the 17 – 18 May. To find out more, visit www.autochair.co.uk


Doing business around the world just got easier Global Healthcare Trader (GHT) is designed for companies looking to find distributors around the world. A simple search facility enables companies looking to import new products the ability to find businesses looking to sell into their own country in just a couple of clicks. If your company is looking to build business around the world, then it could well be the easiest, quickest and simplest way to do it. GHT is currently in a ‘soft launch’ period when companies can take advantage of a FREE listing.

Take a look at GHT today... www.globalhealthcaretrader.com To discuss the opportunity, call 01536 710050 today R SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY OFFE

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diary dates

Events Diary June 1-3 Mobility Roadshow – Stoneleigh www.mobilityroadshow.co.uk June 8 2017 Kidz to Adultz South – Reading www.kidzexhibitions.co.uk June 13-14 2017 NAEP Annual Conference – Kenilworth www.naep.org.uk June 19-20 2017 COT Annual Conference – Birmingham www.cotannualconference. org.uk

www.movingandhandlingpeople.co.uk

June 28-29 2017 Health+Care – Excel London www.healthpluscare.co.uk July 16 2017 Disability Awareness Day – Walton Gardens, Warrington www.disabilityawarenessday. org.uk

52 www.thiis.co.uk

July 17-19 2017 Posture & Mobility Group Conference – Cardiff www.pmguk.co.uk September 14 2017 Kidz to Adultz – Edinburgh www.kidzexhibitions.co.uk

October 4-7 2017 Rehacare – Dusseldorf www.rehacare.com October 10-11 2017 The Care & Dementia Show – NEC www.caredementiashow.com

September 20 2017 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) Hilton Hotel, Drake Way, Reading www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402

October 8-9 2017 Trade Days – NEC www.tradedays.co.uk

September 27-28 Moving & Handling People – Newcastle www.movingandhandling people.co.uk

November 13-16 2017 Medica – Dusseldorf www.medica.de

October 4-5 2017 Independent Living Scotland – SECC www.independentliving scotland.org

October 23-26 2017 Medtrade – Atlanta www.medtrade.com

November 16 2017 Kidz to Adultz North – Manchester www.kidzexhibitions.co.uk

December 13 2017 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) Sheraton Grand Hotel, Edinburgh. www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402 January 29 – 1 Feb 2018 Arab Health, Dubai www.arabhealthonline.com Jan 31st – Feb 1st 2018 Moving & Handling People Croydon www.movingandhandling people.co.uk February 27-28 2017 Medtrade Spring Las Vegas www.medtrade.com

November 22-23 2017 The OT Show – NEC www.otshow.co.uk

At the frontier of best practice

North

Wednesday 27th & Thursday 28th September 2017 Newcastle Racecourse High Gosforth Park Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE3 5HP

Moving & Handling People is a CPD accredited event focussing on effective solutions for practitioners. The two-day training event features: y seminars on cutting-edge issues led by the UK’s leading practitioners y practical interactive workshops using the latest equipment y an open forum discussing live questions on acute and community cases Limited places so book now at www.movingandhandlingpeople.co.uk Early Bird discount available Disabled Living Foundation

Tel 020 7432 8011 Email mhp@dlf.org.uk Web www.dlf.org.uk Reg Charity No 290069


round up

Impressive pre-sales for new Pride range At the end of April, Pride Mobility launched the iGo and the Apex Lite mobility scooters, after seeing positives pre-sales. Paul Clayton, Senior Pride Sales Manager, commented: “Since pre-launch, the sales and enquiries we achieved from the iGo and Apex Lite proved to us that the market responds rapidly to new products we bring out.” Tim Murphy, Senior Director of International Sales, said: “The iGo and Apex Lite are just the start to what we are going to be bringing out. We have some new patented mobility products

54 www.thiis.co.uk

which will rock the industry. I’m really excited about what we have coming through and we will certainly be visiting our dealers around the UK and demonstrating why Pride is the global market leader in innovative design and mobility.” For more information, visit www.pride-mobility. co.uk


The answer is YES!

Now, what was the question?

Primacare manufacture in the UK an extensive range of bespoke Rise & Recline chairs including Bariatric chairs, Care chairs and Porter chairs.

Do you need your chair quickly? It could be made and delivered to you within days! Without comprimise on quality or options, choose from; 2 styles, 3 sizes, 4 fabrics and 3 different actions to make the chair you need now! Ask your Primacare Dealer for full details.

Seating Experts in Assistive Technology

Primacare ltd Unit 26, Heads of the Valleys Industrial Estate Rhymney, Tredegar. NP22 5RL

British made for comfort, quality and reliability.

telephone (01685) 845900 info@primacare.co.uk www.primacare.co.uk


round up

May special offer from Repose Furniture Repose continues its commitment to retailers with another unique dealer offer for May. Aiming to help UK retailers freshen up their showrooms for the summer, Repose Furniture is offering a 10% showroom discount on its Olympia or Kensington models. The special offer is limited to one chair and one sofa per retailer and is available until the end of May 2017. Retailers wishing to take advantage of the offer should contact their Repose representative Ben Westcott or Helena Greaves directly to place an order. Lisa Wardley, Managing Director of Repose, commented: “We are committed to offering our

retailers support in various ways and believe this promotion for May will help them to give their showroom a new look as we head into the summer season.� This offer is the latest in a 12-month campaign by Repose Furniture which has been designed to further support its UK retailer network and help them increase their business within their designated area. To find out more, visit www.reposefurniture. co.uk

Unique Active Seat: only available from Handicare This easy to fit, user controlled feature can be used with Elegance and Alliance seats to give the user a little extra help and support when needed. Call your Business Development Manager to find out more. Trade Partner Support Team 0844 225 3121 enquiries@handicare.co.uk | www.handicare.co.uk 56 www.thiis.co.uk


round up

Ottobock joins forces with Consolor Ottobock has partnered with Consolor and is now a distributor of the Uno modular seating system in the UK. Consolor, based in Bournemouth, Dorset, provides posture, seating and mobility assessment services to NHS wheelchair services and private clients. Kieran Cheer, Managing Director at Consolor said: “ Consolor is pleased to have Ottobock join its distributor network in the UK and we are all looking forward to working together�. The collaboration will allow customers easy access to Ottobock products, combined with the Uno modular seating system for greater posture and comfort. For more information about Ottobock, visit www.ottobock.co.uk For more information about Consolor, visit www.consolor.co.uk

Seen in all the best places! The BHTA logo has always been something important to look out for if you want to be sure that the company you are dealing with is setting and maintaining the right standards. Every BHTA member agrees to abide by a Code of Practice, part of the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme, which is run by The Trading Standards Institute. The BHTA code is the only one in this industry. Only BHTA member companies can display the two logos together and it means that you can be confident of enjoying high levels of care, courtesy and professionalism. To find out which companies can offer you that guaranteed level of confidence, go to the website and use the member search facility.

www.bhta.net 58 www.thiis.co.uk


round up

College of Occupational Therapists becomes Royal Her Majesty the Queen has granted permission for the Royal title to be used by the College of Occupational Therapists. The college, which traces its origins back to 1936, is now officially called the Royal College of Occupational Therapists. The College is the professional body for occupational therapy and represents over 31,700 occupational therapists across the UK. Permission to use the title ‘Royal’ or any personal title of the reigning Monarch is granted by the Queen, acting on the advice of her Ministers. Chief Executive, Julia Scott said: “I am proud that Her Majesty has seen fit to grant us permission to allow us to become a Royal College. It is a testament to the highest level of professional standards which our members demonstrate day in, day out. This should ensure that the profession is more involved in shaping health and social care policy.”

21 YEARS OF HAND-BUILT QUALITY • • • •

UK manufacturer, established in 1996 Curve & Straight lifts to suit all staircases Innovative, adjustable ERGO chair Award-winning reconditioned scheme

www.platinumstairlifts.com 60 www.thiis.co.uk

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Space seat for narrow staircases Fastest lead times in the industry for a hand-built, custom-fit, curved rail Outstanding service and aftercare

Freephone 08000 355 591


HANDCRAFTED FURNITURE C O M P L E T E LY T A I L O R M A D E T O F I T Y O U R E X A C T R E Q U I R E M E N T S

Manufacturers of bespoke rise and recline chairs and handcrafted adjustable beds for the mobility and healthcare market

For furniture offering comfort, independence and a higher standard of care, contact;

Tel: 0115 913 3572

email: info@riseandrecline.co.uk www.riseandrecline.co.uk

NEW


training diary

Doing any training? If you are providing training for the trade, then simply send us the details of the course, the date, any costs, the venue and the contact for booking places and we’ll include it in the Diary. Email info@thiis.co.uk with any details you have. MAY 2017 Careflex - The Importance of Specialist Seating in Pressure Care and Postural Management – May 3rd 2017 – Stoke Invacare Ltd – Alber – May 3rd 2017 – Pencoed - FOC Careflex - The Importance of Specialist Seating in Pressure Care and Postural Management – May 4th 2017 – Birmingham Benmor Medical - Management of the Plus Size (Bariatric) Patient CPD Certified Course – Tuesday 9th – Wednesday 10th May 2017 - Liss, Hampshire.

Invacare Ltd - Servicing/Maintenance of Patient Lifters – May 24th 2017 –Pencoed - FOC Invacare Ltd - Robin Overhead Hoist – May 25th 2017 – Pencoed - FOC Benmor Medical - Management of the Plus Size (Bariatric) Patient CPD Certified Course – Tuesday 30th – Wednesday 31st May 2017 - Liss, Hampshire. Invacare Ltd Impetus – May 31st – June 1st 2017 - Pencoed - £149.00 + VAT (2 day course)

JUNE 2017

Invacare Ltd - Invacare Manual Wheelchairs – May 10th 2017 – Pencoed - FOC

Invacare Ltd - LiNX Power Chair Controls – June 6th 2017 - Pencoed - FOC

JCM Seating Solutions Ltd - Technical Training Workshop – May 11th 2017 JCM Academy, Peterborough.

Benmor Medical - Management of the Plus Size (Bariatric) Patient CPD Certified Course – Tuesday 6th – Wednesday 7th June - County Durham

Invacare Ltd - Power Chair Controls – May 17th 2017 – Pencoed - FOC Invacare Ltd - Fault Finding on Power Chairs – May 18th 2017 - Pencoed – FOC Benmor Medical - Management of the Plus Size (Bariatric) Patient CPD Certified Course – Tuesday 23rd – Wednesday 24th May 2017 - Market Harborough

Invacare Ltd - LiNX Power Chair Controls – June 7th 2017 - Pencoed - FOC Electric Mobility - Servicing / Maintenance & Fault finding for Rascal Mobility Products – June 7th 2017 - Ilminster. FOC including Lunch. Benmor Medical - Management of the Plus Size (Bariatric) Patient CPD Certified Course – Tuesday 13th – Wednesday 14th June 2017 - Market Harborough Benmor Medical - Management of the Plus Size (Bariatric) Patient CPD Certified Course – Tuesday 20th – Wednesday 21st June 2017 - Liss, Hampshire. Pride Mobility – Two day intensive training course for authorised distributors – Wednesday 21st & Thursday 22nd June - Bicester - A deposit of £50 is required for each delegate, which will be returned once the training has been attended. JCM Seating Solutions Ltd - Specialist Seating Workshop – June 22nd 2017 JCM Academy, Peterborough.

62 www.thiis.co.uk

CONTACTS FOR BOOKINGS Benmor Medical – Contact Sophie Allen – 0333 800 9000 – sophie. allen@benmormedical.co.uk. Invacare – Call Joan James on 01656 776283 or email jjames@invacare. com Global Training by Silvalea - +44 (0) 1626 331655 info@silvaleaglobaltraining.com or visit www. trainingbysilvalea.com Pride Mobility – Call Dave on 01869 324600 or email service@pridemobility.co.uk Electric Mobility – Call 01460 258158 or email marketing@electricmobility. co.uk JCM – Contact Rachel Davis on training@jcmfactory.co.uk Careflex – Call Julieanne Fewings on 01626 831 843 or email julieanne. fewings@careflex.co.uk Invacare Ltd - Pressure Ulcer Awareness & Mattress Care – June 27th 2017 – Pencoed - FOC Invacare Ltd - Bed Servicing & Maintenance – June 28th 2017 – Pencoed - FOC

JULY 2017 Benmor Medical - Management of the Plus Size (Bariatric) Patient CPD Certified Course – Tuesday 4th – Wednesday 5th July 2017 - Market Harborough Careflex - The Importance of Specialist Seating in Pressure Care and Postural Management – 5th July 2017 - Durham Benmor Medical - Management of the Plus Size (Bariatric) Patient CPD Certified Course – Tuesday 18th – Wednesday 19th July 2017 - Liss, Hampshire. Benmor Medical - Management of the Plus Size (Bariatric) Patient CPD Certified Course – Tuesday 25th – Wednesday 26th July 2017 - Liss, Hampshire. JCM Seating Solutions Ltd - Technical Training Workshop - 27 July 2017 - JCM Academy, Peterborough


ST3 Scooter

New and improved rear suspension provides excellent ride quality & handling. The ST3 Scooter is the perfect choice for a compact yet powerful scooter, which is still extremely simple to dismantle. Our latest scooter features a stylish new design, includes LED headlights and modern jet black wheels and tyres.

EW N UCT PROD

Telephone: 0845 0600 333 Email: sales@drivedevilbiss.co.uk fb.com/DriveDeVilbissMobility

@DDMobility

www.drivedevilbiss.co.uk


jobs on offer Do you have the drive to join a global leader in the manufacture and distribution of innovative home and long-term care medical products? Invacare Corporation, is an NYC listed organisation that specialises in the manufacture and distribution of a range of medical devices that that promote recovery and active lifestyles. Through its emphasis on providing clinically and technically relevant products such as powered and manual wheelchairs, pressure area care and respiratory therapy. Invacare aims to keep its promise to customers by ‘Making life’s experiences possible’ Invacare employs approximately 5,000 associates worldwide and markets its products in over 80 countries around the world. In Europe, Invacare is present in 14 countries with the European Headquarters located in Switzerland. Due to our continued success and sustained growth we have exceptional opportunities for Dynamic, Success Driven, Business Development Managers to join our National UK Sales team, with vacancies for: Business Development Manager – Safe Patient Handling, UK Eastern Region To be successful in this role the candidate must possess a thorough understanding of the NHS and dealer markets. Previous experience of working with Healthcare Professionals in the assessment of Safe Patient Handling products such as Beds, Lifters and Hygiene would also be a distinct advantage.

Check the ‘Jobs On Offer’ section of the website for more opportunities Take a look at the recently added positions Regional Product Specialist Contracts/Bid Writer Manager Operations Manager Area Sales Manager Product Specialists

With possible other opportunities arising throughout the UK shortly; These roles offer attractive salaries and benefit packages. For full job description/ specification please contact the recruitment team via recruitmentUK@invacare.com NB: This recruitment will be handled directly hence no agency contact is required

www.thiis.co.uk

Business Development Manager – Bournemouth

Mobility Service Technician – Bournemouth

Based at Lifestyle and Mobility’s latest store located in Bournemouth, this role has become available. We are looking for a dynamic, customer focused business Development Manager. Main duties will involve day to day running of the store located in a very busy shopping centre. Knowledge of scooters and wheelchairs, hoists, electric beds, rise and recliner chairs and other mobility products is essential. A full clean driving license is essential as external visits are required.

Based at Lifestyle and Mobility latest store located in Bournemouth this role has become available. We are looking for a dynamic customer focused Technician. Main duties will involve visiting customers, fixing scooters and wheelchairs, hoists, electric beds and other mobility products. You will also be required to recondition products and change batteries, fix mechanical and electrical faults. The job will be based in the Sovereign centre. A full, clean driving license is essential as external visits are required.

Salary dependent on experience - £32k basic : £40k ote. Salary dependent on experience £17k- £20k.

Please email simons@lifestyleandmobility.co.uk or call 01202 900859 www.lifestyleandmobility.co.uk

64 www.thiis.co.uk


The Finance Scheme You Have Been Waiting For Tired of spending too much time with complicated paperwork and wasted phone calls only to miss out on a sale? Make The Smart Choice No Deposit Interest Free Available 17.9% APR (Interest Bearing) Easy Online Application Process Straight Forward Decisions Your Own Finance Tracker

01476 513789

sales@markbatesltd.com Mark Bates Ltd t/a Premier Care are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, F.R.N.:308390

An exciting opportunity to join our team

Sales & Training Executive - South Competitive Salary + Bonus + Car

Mark Bates Ltd is looking for an enthusiastic and outgoing Sales & Training Executive to join our growing external sales team. You will be responsible for managing and developing the sales, training and auditing of our Southern based AR network, ensuring our insurance schemes are actively promoted and compliantly sold. The ideal candidate would be driven, hardworking and have excellent relationship building skills. Previous insurance sales experience would be advantageous but is not essential. To apply email a covering letter and C.V. to vacancies@markbatesltd.com

Mark Bates Ltd t/a Premier Care are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, F.R.N.:308390


Area Sales Adviser – Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire Salary £30k per year. OTE £38k to £40k Our client is a high-quality global manufacturer and supplier of specialist seating and posture products. They are seeking an area sales adviser to sell and manage their range of seating and posture products into Local Authorities, Care homes, NHS and Schools. Working with PT’s, OT’s and Wheelchair Services. Our client is looking for someone with experience of selling disability products into any of the above. There is a base salary of £30k per year with OTE of £38k to £40k in year one. With commission paid on every sale! Company Van, phone, laptop, healthcare, pension, 25 days holiday. This is an excellent opportunity to join a stable growing company which is well established amongst therapists. To discuss the role confidentially, in more detail please email a copy of your CV to Antony@trustedrecruiter.co.uk including reference: 418

Area Sales Manager – North West Salary £30k to £40k per year plus generous commission structure Due to expansion, our UK based client is a leading design and manufacturer of daily living aids and pressure care products. They are seeking an Area Sales Manager to cover the North West of the country to promote and sell their range of pressure care and wheelchair seating products to the NHS and care home groups. This is dealing with around 80% of existing clients and 20% new business and will entail on average around three client visits per day. They are looking for individuals with either wheelchair, seating or pressure care experience, ideally having sold into the NHS before although this is not essential. This is a growing part of the business and will be viewed as an excellent opportunity to progress and may eventually come with man management and training responsibilities. Base salary of between £30k and £40k plus generous negotiable commission structure for the right person. Company car, phone, laptop, pension, 25 days’ holiday including bank holiday rising after years’ service. To confidentially discuss further please send a copy of your CV to Antony@trustedrecruiter.co.uk including reference: 420

66 www.thiis.co.uk


CR

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CR

D

TES T E SH

D

A

TES T E SH

S T Y L E I N N O VAT I O N C H O I C E LEON POWERCHAIR The Leon is designed to exploit the advantages of a rear wheel drive chair for outdoor use. It is geared for speed without compromising on stability or control. The exceptionally narrow wheelbase allows for agile manoeuvrability. It is available in a range of colours that make the chair a real eye catcher. The Leon is a superior powerchair for even the most active users.

a Full suspension a 8 mph maximum speed a 450W 4 pole motors a Optional 75Ah batteries a 62cm overall width a Crash tested For further details please call 0845 630 3436

Karma Mobility Ltd Unit 6 Target Park, Redditch, Worcestershire B98 8YN T: 0845 630 3436 E: info@karmamobility.co.uk www.karmamobility.co.uk


The UK’s leading range of mobility products since 1985

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Team of the Year

1556TGAadTHiISadApr17FPv2.indd 1

24/03/2017 14:16

THIIS is produced by BHTA Engage: 2-4 Meadow Close, Ise Valley Industrial Estate, Wellingborough, NN8 4BH Tel: 01933 278 086 E-mail: newsroom@thiis.co.uk Providing news and views in

the trade since 1999 BHTA Engage Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any way without the written permission of the publisher. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher and although every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate, the publishers take no responsibility for errors or omissions.

Thiis May 2017  

The May issue is online, with the latest news, products and jobs in the trade. In this issue, find out some of the big issues concerning ret...

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