BHETA to hold Meet the Buyer Day with Wilko

THE British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) is to host another of its Meet The Buyer retail networking days with Wilko, the home and hardware retailer which now has over 400, mostly high street, stores in the UK.

The event which will include the whole Wilko buying team will take place on 13 November in the Shelley Suite, Best Western West Retford Hall, North Road, Retford, Nottinghamshire.

Wilko’s listings include all the following categories – home living, kitchen and dining, decorating and DIY, storage, garden and outdoor, cleaning and household and stationery and craft, as well as pet, seasonal, toys and health and beauty. It positions itself as providing simple solutions to help families get their day to day lives sorted as quickly, easily and affordably as possible. At the Meet The Buyer event, Wilko buyers are looking for companies who can offer a wide variety of products. Current supplier rationalisation means that prospective suppliers must be able to offer multiple lines and garden suppliers need to have drop ship capabilities.

Commenting on the forthcoming event, BHETA’s chief operating officer, Will Jones, said: “We are delighted to be providing members with another great opportunity to schedule face to face meetings with the key buyers for their categories. It’s also exciting to be working with a retail partner which literally spans all of the sectors of interest to the BHETA membership.”

Wilko Retail Limited, formerly Wilkinson Cash Stores and Wilkinson Hardware Stores was founded in Leicester by James Kemsey Wilkinson in 1930 and remains in the hands of the founding family today. Companies participating in the event will be allocated a 20-minute appointment time. A maximum of two people from each supplier company will be allowed and suppliers are urged to use the time available to concentrate on the features and benefits of the products they are offering, supported by cost price proposals.
 
Will continued: “This event is sure to attract a big response and there will be a limit to the number of people that can be accommodated on the day.  Interested suppliers are therefore urged to make themselves known to Helen Farnell in BHETA Member Services team as soon as possible, so that we can confirm arrangements.”

www.bheta.co.uk

Bosch Professional FlexiClick 12V – now with brushless motor

BOSCH Professional has boosted the power of its popular FlexiClick 12V cordless drill driver system by adding a brushless motor. The resulting Bosch GSR 12V-35 FC Professional Drill Driver is faster, stronger, more efficient and longer lasting, as well as maintenance-free.

With its upgraded specification, short length, low weight and range of adapters, this tool promises even greater effectiveness in a diversity of high-precision tasks – especially in tight spaces and hard-to-reach situations.

Top speed has been increased by 35% to 1,750 rpm, while maximum torque has been raised to a powerful 35 Nm for hard screwdriving applications and 20 Nm for soft. Increasing maximum drilling diameter in wood to 32 mm (up 70%) and maximum screw diameter to 8 mm has also expanded the tool’s job range. At the same time, Bosch Professional have reduced its length by 17 mm compared to the previous model.

Unique adaptability

The four adapters – bit holder (with bit locking), drill chuck, angle attachment and off-set angle attachment – make this the most versatile and compact system in the market. Together they enable a total of eight possible configurations.

Bosch Professional is the only manufacturer whose angle adapter can be combined and used with any of the other three. Also unique is the ability to adjust the angle and off-set adapters directly on the tool. Sixteen working positions can be set without having to detach the adapter from the drill driver. For professionals like carpenters, kitchen fitters, furniture makers, trade fair booth fitters and installers, this saves time and gives extra flexibility when working in confined areas.

Available now

The Bosch GSR 12V-35 FC Professional Drill Driver can be purchased from specialist retail outlets. Also available is a fixed-chuck drill driver, without adapters: the GSR 12V-35 Professional. Measuring 154 mm in length, and equipped with the same new brushless motor, this is the shortest and most powerful fixed-chuck drill driver in the 12V range. Offering the same levels of speed and torque as the FlexiClick model, its performance stands out from others – particularly in terms of screwdriving accuracy and drilling in metal or wood.

www.bosch-professional.co.uk

GAP Group hits record profit as turnover exceeds £200m

GAP GROUP, the UK-based plant, tool and equipment rental company, has announced record annual profits and turnover in the year the Group celebrates a half-century in business.

GAP achieved a pre-tax profit of £18.7m in the year to 31 March 2019, an increase from £16.7m in the preceding 12 months, as annual turnover rose by 8.8% to £203m. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation soared to an all-time high, rising from £73.1m to £80.4m. For the first time in the company’s history, net assets have climbed above £100m as shareholder funds grew to £109m in the latest accounts.

Founded by Gordon Anderson in 1969, the family-owned and operated business has been run by his sons Douglas and Iain Anderson since 1988. With nine divisions, 142 depots nationwide and a total workforce of 1,858, GAP is the UK’s largest independent hire company.

The secret to its success: adaptation. In recent years GAP has diversified significantly beyond its traditional plant and tool hire offering with the launch of several specialist divisions: Lifting & TIC, Non-Mechanical, Trenching & Shoring, Survey & Safety, Welfare and Events Services. The new divisions which often require bespoke solutions, now account for around one-third of turnover and an even-greater proportion of pre-tax profits.

In addition to broadening its product offering and adapting to their customers exacting requirements, such as the introduction of their same-day delivery promise on Club 100 tools, GAP harnesses new technologies and innovative ways of working. For example, with a focus on providing environmentally friendly and efficient hire solutions to their customers, GAP has recently completed the roll-out of a cloud-based mobile resource management system called JobWatch from Leeds-based BigChange. The mobile apps include live vehicle tracking, job scheduling, photo capture on-site and electronic signature capture with proof of delivery and proof of collection records being automatically uploaded onto GAP’s Smart Office system. Over 500 GAP vehicles have been fitted with the system and more than 600 staff have been trained on best practice.

The family business also announced a new operational structure with an eye on succession-planning and to continue to meet their commercial and development aspirations. Four new Managing Director positions sit below the GAP Holdings Board which remains unchanged. Douglas Anderson’s son, Mark, has been appointed Managing Director of the business in Scotland and the North of England, and will be responsible for the profitability of the Plant, Tools, Non-Mechanical Plant, Trenching & Shoring and Welfare divisions. GAP is actively recruiting for two Managing Director roles tasked with taking advantage of the natural synergies existing between these branches of the business, overseeing the Midlands & South West and the South East of England regions respectively.

The restructuring recognises the need to provide greater clarity and focus on their Lifting and Survey divisions which are inherently more technical from an operational and sales perspective. Karen Greenshields, who is the daughter of Douglas and Iain Anderson’s sister Maureen Smith, has been appointed to this position. Both Mark and Karen will report to 25-year GAP veteran Kevin McEwan, who will be taking on a Group Operations Director role.

GAP’s excellent financial performance has been achieved amid political 'headwind' in Britain. In his statement on the accounts, Chairman Danny O'Neil added that GAP fully expects the trading environment to remain "challenging and competitive" but highlights the company's financial strength and increasingly diverse product range. With 50 years of continuous growth behind them and a flair for adapting to the economy, customer needs and the marketplace, GAP is well-positioned to continue its success story.

www.gap-group.co.uk

Nixon Hire champions carbon-saving Solar Pod

NATIONAL hire company, Nixon Hire have announced that in just four weeks, over 129 tonnes of carbon emissions have been saved on a single customer's site as a result of using their popular Solar Pod product.

The Solar Pods were selected to power a large site up due to their provision of a sustainable power source without the needs for a mains supply or a separate generator. 

The site configuration saw 30 Nixon Hire sleeper cabins, otherwise known as Snoozepods, powered by nine solar pods.  

By opting for a Solar Pod in favour of a traditional generator the site reported huge carbon savings of 129,599kg in local CO2 emissions, the equivalent to planting 5,890 trees.  

A silent running time of 93% was also reported, a substantial noise pollution saving! 

Graham Nixon, Nixon Hire's managing director, said: “With the largest solar product fleet for hire in the UK, Nixon Hire have heavily invested into the ever-growing renewables sector and the company has positioned itself as the industry leader in solar innovation.  

"Solar Pods generate energy by effortlessly harnessing sunlight via solar PV panels. This energy is either instantly converted into power or surplus is stored in an internal battery bank. The unit is further supported by a back-up generator which only kicks in when the solar resource has been depleted. 

"In short, free and zero carbon energy is used and created as long as sunlight is available to the unit, making it suitable for use in the UK all year round. 

"We are delighted that the hard work that we have put into developing and promoting the Solar Pod has been recognised by a Green Apple Award. We look forward to collecting this in November.” 

Nixon Hire plan to further increase their Solar Pod fleet size and have also launched additional solar products such as Solar Lights and the Solar Welfare Van.

www.nixonhire.co.uk

The future of construction under the microscope at UK Construction Week 2019

AN eclectic, forward thinking crowd of 34,327 construction professionals attended UK Construction Week on 8-10 October. There was a particular swell in visitors keen to learn about future technologies and how they could be applied to their businesses.

The future of construction and how it is driving change was a major focus at this year’s event and it was clearly a driver to bring the crowds to the show at the NEC in Birmingham.

Kevin Reeves, director of IoT & digital twin at Costain, said: “Being my first time at UK Construction Week, I was blown away by the scale and diversity of the event, it was very impressive.”

Mark Ireland, chief engineer of technology strategy at the Manufacturing Technology Centre commented: “It was a busy few days and there were a great mix of attendees, from new industry entrants to managing directors and chief executives. It was really engaging to meet with the next generation and to meet people who aren’t already entrenched in traditional attitudes around construction.”

Feedback from a new business perspective was also extremely positive. Brendan Hourican, national sales and marketing manager at CircofloPro said: “It was an incredible show. I came away with at least 60-70 excellent business leads. One project alone will pay for the cost of attending the show. It’s been so successful, if I’d known I’d have gone for a larger stand and brought more of our team along.”

Ade Feeney, divisional account manager at Tradepoint B&Q also commented on the levels of interest from younger attendees, said: “We’ve had some great conversations. It was a good show, very busy, and we spoke to a lot of young professionals who are the future of the industry. They were really engaged.”

Among the 300 speakers and 150 hours of content, major highlights last week included the first industry appearance for the Construction Minister, Nadhim Zahawi MP, and keynote speeches and debates featuring Lord Digby Jones, architect George Clarke, modern methods of construction (MMC) advocate Mark Farmer and diversity champion Angela Dapper, principal at Grimshaw Architects.

Mental health in the industry was also a major focal point at the show, making UK Construction Week the largest event in the sector to address these issues. UK Construction Week worked alongside Public Health England to launch Every Mind Matters to the construction industry.

Sam Park, head of marketing at Aliaxis, said: “I was very impressed with the Every Mind Matters connection as I’m a mental health first aider at work. The focus on mental health at UK Construction Week was great. This is an audience which typically doesn’t like to talk, and they should. There was a lot happening on the stands and the support which is available. Hats off to UK Construction Week, from a mental health first aider perspective this really helps get the message out.”

UK Construction Week took innovation to a new level this year with its partnership with the Construction Innovation Hub (the Hub) and the new innovation zone. On a practical front there were a record number of product launches, showcases and demos providing something for all construction professionals regardless of trade. This was also the inaugural year for the co-launch of the very successful Concrete Expo.

Now in its second year, the UK Construction Week Role Model of the year award went to Anjali Pindoria, project surveyor at Avi Contracts. She is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion within construction.

Sustainability was a major push for the event with all exhibitors being encouraged to sign up to a ‘net zero’ agreement to boost awareness of the UK’s carbon-cutting goals and encouraged to follow tips to boost their own sustainability. The printed show guide was switched for an environmentally friendly app, and to help reduce single-use plastic, free water fountains were installed around the show and free reusable bottles given out.

Summarising a very successful show, Nathan Garnett, event director said: “This year's UK Construction Week for me was brimming with positivity. In a time of political and economic uncertainty, the UK's largest showcase for the sector showed signs of transformation, as it adopts innovation at a faster pace than ever. The feeling all around was that we have a lot of work to do, come what may, so let’s get on with doing it in the safest, fastest and most efficient way possible by harnessing the potential of new technologies.

“UK Construction Week 2019 also tackled mental health in the sector head on with the support of the Every Mind Matters campaign, as we continue the role of improving mental health in construction for good. I was delighted how open the construction industry has now become on this subject and great conversations have started.

“Finally, to see the talent and diversity on stage for our UK Construction Awards, Fix Radio Awards and Role Model 2019 presentation shows how far we have come in the fifth edition of the event. Although there is a mountain still to climb, as an industry we should all be proud of that transformation.” 

Looking to the future, UK Construction Week will be hosting a series of specialist summits in the New Year, including:

  • Marketing in Construction Summit, 12 February 2020
  • Belonging in Construction Summit, 13 February 2020
  • Wellbeing in Construction Summit, 30 June 2020
  • Quality in Construction Summit, 1 July 2020

To find out more visit summits.ukconstructionweek.com.

The dates for next year’s UK Construction Week are 6-8 October 2020.

www.ukconstructionweek.com

Hirebase's “Two-wheel challenge” raises over £17k for cancer research

ALMOST 50 people from Hirebase and Buildbase branches covered more than 1,000 miles for the companies’ chosen charity Cancer Research UK (CRUK).

The Hirebase “Two-wheel challenge” allowed teams of staff to choose any two-wheeled vehicle to complete 17 stages between Hirebase’s mostly northerly branch in Shetland to its most southerly in Exmouth.

By the time the final stage was completed, the intrepid fundraisers had raised £17,595 for CRUK’s work with prostate cancer.

Among the most notable performances of the challenge was Falkirk’s Buildbase manager, Steven Clark, cycling a 94 mile-stage alone.

Rick Bauer, sales and commercial director at Hirebase, said: “On the final stage of the challenge, we even paid a visit to the Cancer Research shop in Exmouth and there was quite a welcome party.

“Whether the weather was beautiful or raining, windy and cold, the teams were determined to complete the challenge and add to the money already raised for our charity.”

www.hirebase.uk

The Executive Hire Show 2020 kicks off to a great start

THE tool, equipment and compact plant hire industry continues to go from strength to strength following reports from the organisers of the Executive Hire Show 2020 (5 - 6 February Ricoh Arena, Coventry).

During the annual exhibitor ‘kick-off’ meeting at the show’s established home at the Ricoh Arena, which took place on 10 October, the team reported that an impressive 142 exhibitors had already signed up for the 2020 Show and the event is already 87% sold.

The meeting was well attended, with exhibitors both old and new taking time out of their busy schedules to attend the event. Team members from exhibiting companies including Thwaites, Altrad Belle, Hire Association Europe (HAE), HSC (Hire Supply Company), Shindaiwa, Insphire Ltd, Bomag and many more made the journey to the Ricoh.

It was also the first time that many of the exhibitors in attendance had the opportunity to meet with the brand-new members of the Executive Hire Show team.

Chris Moore, the new Publishing and Events Director for the show, opened the proceedings highlighting the success of the previous Shows and how the 14th annual event is aiming even higher in terms of exhibitors and visitor attendance. He said: “Make sure you are ready to do business and maximise the full benefit of the show! Exhibitors and visitors travel from all over the UK to take part and visit and we are on course to set new records once again by working together as team.”

Chris Moore handed over to Hannah Webb who is the head of operations at the parent Hemming Group and also the new head of operations for the EHS. She is responsible for ‘putting the show together’ and ensuring the entire event runs seamlessly providing the best possible experience for the show’s exhibitors and visiting hirers. 

Hannah Webb introduced the appointed contractors for show which included Showlite, who were instrumental in the show’s new look which was debuted at the 2019 event. Also represented were Circdata, who are responsible for visitor registration and data capture. Hannah Webb also explained to the exhibitors the new look ‘back office’ of the website, social media assets and the all new exhibitor manual.

The EHS National Visitor Campaign is the ‘centrepiece’ of the Executive Hire Show’s efforts to attract hirers to the event. This year will be no exception and once again the show will be working in partnership with The Hire Supply Company to utilise the expert services of Steve McKenzie and his team, who visited over 800 hire depots throughout the UK and Ireland for the 2019 event.

The 2020 campaign has already started and Chris Moore will be joining the mega ‘Road Trip’ alongside Steve McKenzie’s team. Steve reported: “Our team plan to mobilise hirers to attend the 14th annual show – we are passionate about this event and want to deliver good quality visitors. We go that extra mile and between us we have 152-years’ experience in this industry and have made some very good contacts over the years.”

He added: “We are planning on 850 visits as part of the 2020 campaign – these visits also form the initial judging process for the ‘Passionate Hirer Awards, which are presented at the show during the party on the first evening.”

Steve McKenzie concluded by encouraging all to get involved to make this show a success.

Visitors/exhibitors can follow the team’s journey visiting hirers nationwide HERE.

Next to address the audience was the Executive Hire Show’s (also Executive Hire News Editor) Alan Guthrie, who highlighted additional features of the event. He announced that back by popular demand is the Innovation Trail.

The ‘Innovation Trail – Live!’ is also making a return - where 10 selected Innovation Trail products, which judges consider to be particularly outstanding, will be exhibited on a specially branded stage area in Hall 2. 

Alan Guthrie explained the concept, saying: “Each chosen ‘Innovation Trail – Live!’ supplier will be given a dedicated 10-minute slot to present and explain their product and talk the audience through its innovative qualities. These individual sessions will take place during the two days of the show. Paul Hutton, a radio, podcast and YouTube channel presenter, has once again agreed to host ‘Innovation Trail – Live!’ Paul will interview each company’s representative live on the stage.”

EHS Sales Manager Lee Westney was next up to highlight sponsorship opportunities surrounding the show and brand-new Sales Executive, Tierney Elliott also addressed the audience with a witty talk on other opportunities to help maximise exhibitor’s presence at the 2020 show.

Last and by no means least, exhibitors and guests were reminded about the EHS 2019 series of industry Road Shows. The next is being held on Tuesday 12 November from 4.30 - 7.30pm at the Mercure (formerly Thistle) Haydock Hotel, followed by another event on Wednesday 4 December from 4.30 - 7.30pm at the Holiday Inn, Bristol.

At these popular regional events, hirers and suppliers can benefit from bargains available only on the day that could boost their business. As well as hearing presentations on key issues and trends, participants will network, catch up with existing contacts while making new ones, and generally get involved.

And these events are an exciting prelude to the Executive Hire Show. With Brexit scheduled to happen on 31 October, the timing could hardly be better, enabling hirers to explore new revenue opportunities, do deals and build a positive future.

Visit www.executivehireshow.co.uk for more details on the show, the Road Shows and a full exhibitor list.

MSM's new product line-up for Showman's Show

MORRIS Site Machinery is shining a light on its largest range of eco lighting towers at this year’s Showman’s Show, in line with the growing demand for ‘green’ machinery solutions. This year it will also be revealing some exciting new products, perfect for the events sector.

Making their Showman’s Show debut will be the SMC TL60 Solar Trolley, the SMC TL90 Evolve, the SMC SL60 Link and the Hilta Hyperwash. 

The SMC TL60 Solar Trolley is a 100% solar powered, easy deployable unit with zero noise and zero emissions. Designed to be manoeuvred by a single person, the TL60 Solar can fit 30 units onto a Euro Trailer – ideal for reducing the carbon footprint of transport and logistics.

Also new to the events sector, the SMC TL90 Evolve is set to be this year’s stand out model for the 25-year-old SMC brand. The ergonomic machine is easy to service, has a fuel efficient run time of 185 hours and can be fitted with three different lamp head options, including the six LED lamp head, which makes it the brightest lighting tower ever produced by SMC with 217,500 lumens.

Making its very first appearance, the SL60 Link lighting tower with its light weight, compact footprint, can run from either mains, another lighting tower or a generator – in fact a three phase generator can power 24 units.

The Hilta Hyperwash diesel pressure washer, with the latest Stage V engine, completes the new line-up. Its robust roll-cage and four large wheels make it easily manoeuvrable over tough terrain.  It can even be stacked, which allows 52 units in a 40ft container.

The machines feature on a distinctly ‘green’ themed stand, complete with a grass sofa and even a sunshine blimp ensuring show goers across the Newbury Showground can find the best destination for lighting and power.

Richard Denholm, UK Sales Director, said: “Our design team are constantly innovating to ensure the MSM range is the best to market, refining and streamlining, creating compact, eco-friendly machines with the customer forefront of mind.

“Reducing environmental impact is on everyone’s agenda and we are proud to be able to stand with our customers to assist in their eco ambition.”

Morris Site Machinery is part of fifth-generation, family owned and run business group Morris & Company, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2019.

Morris Site Machinery can be found on Stand 156 Avenue B at the Showman’s Show.

www.morrismachinery.co.uk

Concern grows at construction issues in the Queen's Speech

NEW legislation regarding the implementation of building safety standards needs to be underpinned by a mandatory licensing scheme for all UK construction companies, said the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to the Queen’s speech yesterday (Monday 14 October) as part of the State Opening of Parliament ceremony.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “The Queen’s announcement that the Government will bring forward new rigorous laws forcing compliance with building safety standards is an important and essential step in improving safety and confidence in our built environment. After the Grenfell fire tragedy it’s essential that we raise the bar in construction.

"However, the Government must go further still and publicly consult on a mandatory licensing scheme for all UK construction companies. This would serve to remove from the industry any firm that ignores health and safety procedure and risks safety in and around the built environment. Licensing would also remove rogue traders that bring the image of builders into disrepute, whether they are operating in the private domestic sector or in the supply chain on a large commercial site. We now await further details on this bill and whether it will have the teeth it needs to improve the construction sector.”

Meanwhile, others in the property industry noted with dismay a lock of focus on the sector in the Queen's Speech. Tom Gatzen, the co-founder of leading roomshare platform, ideal flatmate, commented: “It's disappointing to see that the state of the UK property market failed to make the cut for today’s speech. We’ve seen the high cost of property prices and a distinct lack of house-building result in many of us remaining resigned to the UK rental sector, while more and more us are forced to rely on shared accommodation to put a roof over our heads.

"Not only is this putting a huge strain on the rental space, but a lack of affordable and social rental options is also causing an increase in the number of people ending up on the streets. This is a major issue in today’s society and one that should come before education, infrastructure and many of the other areas of focus announced today.”

Marc von Grundherr, director of lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, commented: “It really is quite astonishing that despite the consistent doom and gloom that has surrounded the UK property market for some time now, yet another blind eye has been turned to the issues plaguing our property market. The Government’s monumental failure to build enough homes has resulted in a national housing crisis and this isn’t something we can shy away from and hope it goes away.

"While previous initiatives have stoked the fires of buyer demand and caused an even greater thirst for property, the actual delivery of housing stock to meet this demand has been woeful and perhaps this latest neglect of the issue is the Government admitting defeat?"

www.fmb.org.uk

British Safety Council calls on employers to safeguard their workforce’s mental health

ON the eve of World Mental Health Day, held on 10 October, the British Safety Council is calling on the government and businesses to invest in prevention to tackle mental ill-health at work.

Lawrence Waterman, chairman of the British Safety Council, said: “There is growing awareness of the scale of the mental health crisis. The facts are stark: one in three of us will be diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point in our lives. Three out of five people have experienced mental health issues due to work (Business in the Community).

“For years this issue went unrecognised and undetected, and I welcome the fact that government is now taking action - and that more and more companies are developing mental health strategies to support the needs of their workforce.”

Mr Waterman went on to say: “We must continue to make progress, not least in how people see mental health and their role in dealing with it. Given the average person now spends a third of their adult life at work, we all have a part to play in safeguarding physical and mental health at work.

“Just as with physical health and safety, prevention is the best cure and the wisest investment. Changes that reduce stress, encourage early intervention and remove the mental health stigma deliver significant long-term benefits.”

The British Safety Council, which has been delivering mental health awareness training since 2017, has developed new courses to increase understanding of factors which play a key role in employee health and wellbeing, including sleep, nutrition and exercise. These modules, available from November 2019, include training options for those with limited time.

Demand for the courses has come from the British Safety Council’s members and students who have already undertaken mental health training and want to foster a culture in their own organisations that positively promotes employee wellbeing and mental health.

Working in partnership with the mental health charity Mates in Mind, the British Safety Council delivers several mental health training courses. These help people start and manage difficult conversations about mental health.

They include:

Start the Conversation – a 45-minute session that aims to get employees thinking about mental health and talking about it.

Manage the Conversation – a three-hour workshop for line managers to give them the skills and confidence to have conversations about mental health.

Mental Health First Aid – a two-day course that teaches people how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue.

There are also online resources: including Start the Conversation, which aims to get employees thinking about mental health and talking about it, Resilience, developed with elite sports professionals for building physical and emotional resilience, and Stress Awareness training for employees and managers.

www.britsafe.org

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