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Door handle manufacturer sees surge in 'Dual-Tone' hardware

This year's interior door furniture shows Dual-Tone finish tops the popularity ratings.

One of the UK’s leading door hardware distributors has seen a surge in demand for Dual-Tone door handles, with popularity soaring as Dual-Tone becomes one of the biggest interior design trends of 2018.

Birmingham-based Hiatt Hardware has a rich experience of 35 years supplying high-end interior door handles and accessories to the DIY & trade retailers.

Hiatt Hardware's Nipun Agrawal said: “The Dual-Tone has become our most sought door handle finish followed by Chrome this year.

Designers, Tradesmen and DIYers alike are using two tone pieces as focal points to tie rooms together. Upsurge in the volumes demonstrates these handles being used as features in modern interior design.

Monitoring the trends in interior design, the company has experienced a consistent growing demand for Dual-Tone finish door handles and accessories, demonstrating the increasing popularity in modern interior home designs.

Nipun added: "Although door furniture, particularly interior door handles are relatively small parts of the wider interior design canvas, they can impress a sense of style and class upon a room.

“Dual-Tone door handles are not only aesthetically attractive and at the forefront of chic design, but they also have an added advantage to easily match the finish with other door accessories and room interior.”

www.hiatt-hardware.com

Direct customer contact and product promotion: Mirka are becoming social media masters

Customer service was once about answering telephones and responding to written requests, but our fast-paced, social media-driven society has put this function firmly in the spotlight.

Consumers now post on a variety of social media platforms about anything from a positive experience with a product to an issue, or with an item being out of stock.

With the rapid evolution of these channels and the immediacy of the content, we have started to see the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram become customer service portals as well as places where people can publish selfies or thoughts on the job at hand.

This change is a good thing for the customer service side of the business, as it allows organisations to see what consumers are saying about their products as well as providing them with channels through which they can build relationships, educate, advise and highlight key messages to a large and engaged audience.

At Mirka, we use Twitter not only to promote our products but also to direct customers to other areas such as customer services.

Sometimes 280 characters (formerly 140!) are not enough to provide all the information required, so we aim to drive traffic back to our website, where users can find out more detailed information and potentially look at other solutions.

We also point users to our added value services such as our approved service centres and we use social media to ask for feedback to help us continually improve what we are offering.

While some companies may view that there is a downside to these channels, as they offer an immediate way to get in contact with the brand, often in a negative way, they have a strong upside if handled correctly.

A good customer service team would respond to comments or questions within 30 minutes to one hour of receiving them. Even if the posting is negative, the person should feel warmer towards the company because he or she is being listened to.

With Twitter, businesses should think carefully about the tone of the response. At Mirka, we aim to answer in a more conversational voice, as it humanises the brand and makes people feel as if they are talking to a real person instead of an automated system churning out generic answers.

We prefer to direct message, or take the query offline so we can make contact and provide full details as required.

For Instagram, the platform is used more as a customer service tool to educate users through product imagery shown in its natural environment, as well as provide them with relevant information. For example, where to find products or how to register a warranty.

The advice and information posted on social media is starting to play a bigger role as part of the customer service strategies of businesses, because having a good online presence shows your customers you care about them and are willing to listen to their queries or issues and are very accessible.

This, in turn, will lead to a greater rapport being built with them, leading to goodwill towards the brand, the end result of which is usually increased sales and greater profitability.

www.mirka.com/uk

FEIN UK & Andy Robinson Race Cars combine to notch, grind and weld

FEIN manufacturer modular belt grinders which are optimally adapted to metalworking and metal machining applications, and are popular tools for Andy Robinson Race Cars.

Andy Robinson Race Cars is a Hampshire-based business which fabricates and builds off-road/rally, touring and racing hot-rod cars.

The kit-car specialist company, run by Andy Robinson himself, uses a wide array of machinery to create the exclusive motor vehicles.

More specifically, Andy and his team uses fabrication machines to focus on tubing and welding work to produce role cages, chassis and other work.

Having already used one of FEIN’s multitools (MultiMaster), Andy investigated and found FEIN provide large ranges of metal working machines too.

Andy said: “We use a wide range of metal tools to deliver our projects, but I am really pleased to have the FEIN belt grinder in the collection as the product’s tooling and GRIT settings enable the team to deliver the notching results we need with our pipe work.

“Aside from various fibre-glass and carbon-fibre body work, usually sourced from Canada, and a local partnership with a CNC shop, we can pretty much build a racing car from scratch.

We’ve worked on some incredible projects, such as building a McClaren display car and a replica chassis for a Shelby Daytona.”

When building car chassis and building roll cages – both of which require tube bending and welding work to produce – Andy needs to notch the tubing using a belt-grinding machine.

Representatives of FEIN UK were invited to Andy’s car shop to watch a demonstration of a FEIN GX 75 belt grinder, and see the accompanying units.

FEIN UK’s representatives observed the tubing being measured and notched using the system, which is often done in one sitting.

The belt grinding demonstration was for a project Andy’s staff members were working on, which involved placing the suspension on a Barracuda.

FEIN representatives were also given a tour of the workshop, where they saw a further six vehicles at varying stages and various angle grinders.

Andy added: “Our local dealer EC Hopkins provided us a superb service, securing all of the specialist tooling required.

“Compared to anything else on the market the machine offered great quality in terms of build but was very mid-level in terms of cost - making the purchase one of superb value in our eyes.”

Andy by trade is a design engineer, starting his career serving as an apprentice with Detras Training Aids and GA Platon. He now has a strong team of eight in his workshop, including his son Luke.

www.fein.com

FEIN UK launches value pack range offering premium quality Starlock

FEIN UK openly discuss the success and feedback received on their Starlock range, giving advice on how tradesman could benefit in the future.

NEW FEIN multi-tool user Chris McGee talks about his experience using the machine and cutters, following his purchase at a FFX trade show earlier this year.

FEIN Starlock accessories are proven to last many times over comparable competitor blades – offering enormous value when comparing price to the lifetime of the blade.

The team reacted to requests for assortments of accessories - releasing last year a ‘Best of E-Cut’ set containing six of the best cutters in the range, for a promotional price.

I knew I had to add one Chris McGee, Managing Director at Lasercut.London Ltd, attended the FFX show earlier this year to purchase a Multi-Talent kit to help with his bespoke carpentry work.

He said: “Regretfully FEIN wasn’t my first choice, however alternatives offered plug-in tools and the price was hard to justify for the potential usage it would see in my hands.

"After borrowing a FEIN product from a friend, I knew I had to add one to the ranks - so I decided to visit the FFX show in Kent with my three-month-old boy.

"I had a great chat with the FEIN team, and after testing I knew that the 12v Multi-Talent Kit was the right one for me.

"The Starlock system wowed me, as it was so easy to change cutters so quickly, and I could see how snuggly the tool held the piece, so I knew it would cut smoothly, and I purchased a ‘Best of E-Cut pack’ with it too!

"Upon getting back to the studio we trialled the various blades on materials we use commonly such as Valcromat, Banova, Plywood and the hardest material which is bolts.

"In every circumstance, it exceeded the speed and cut quality that my preconceptions had. It has now dawned on me how this tool could have saved me many hours of problem-solving, especially when cutting square holes into the centre of sheets.

"I used this tool and the best of E-Cut blade pack during my studio move in April, where I delivered a bespoke fit out of two studio spaces.

Increase Starlock collection

"I used the tool during the creation of the kitchen, workshop and showroom.

"I intend on creating a bespoke blade storage system as I continue to increase my Starlock collection, and our work encompasses high-end awards, product design, furniture design and various bespoke projects.”

The Best of E-Cut pack is FEIN UK’s first ‘official’ value pack for their UK customers, offering an assortment of the best cutters to be used commonly on typical applications faced by tradespeople ‘on the job’.

FEIN UK is proud also to have announced the launch of four more additional value packs, each of which support with a particular area of work such as flooring, window work or bathroom installations.

www.fein.com

Welcome to a new world order for ToolBUSINESS + HIRE

AFTER many successful years at the helm of ToolBUSINESS + HIRE Magazine, Editor Anne Hall has passed on the baton to new owners.

Anne, who will be remaining as a consultant to the magazine, will continue to work with new custodians PAL Media Limited - who already publish the leading publication in the recycling, waste and skip hire sectors in the UK and Ireland.

New editor Andrew Gold, who also edits the new owner's Skip Hire & Waste Magazine, believes the change will prove to be great news for ToolBUSINESS + HIRE customers and readers.

Andrew, who is based at the company's Hazel Grove, Stockport headquarters, said: "We'd like to pay tribute to Anne for the way she's built the title and we're looking forward to working alongside her in her new role as a consultant.

"She'll still be attending shows and playing a big part in the magazine as we look to build on her success, and give advertisers and readers some brand new and exciting options."

Resident tool expert Peter Brett will also be continuing as the face of the publication.

Editor Andrew continued: "Peter's obviously the guy everybody knows in the industry so we'll be ensuring his coverage of the sector is as informative as ever.

"We're delighted both Peter and Anne will continue to be heavily involved, and feel with our own proven magazine publishing experience we can take the magazine into the 21st century with great con dence."

Skip Hire & Waste Magazine host the annual WASTE exhibition, due to be held on Thursday July 5 at the Warwickshire Event Centre in Leamington Spa.

Although the title has changed hands, it will still focus on exactly the same things which have made it a must read in the hire and tool sectors.

Andrew said: "We'll be tweaking a few things but will still be concentrating on the tool reviews that have become part and parcel of what we do.

"Advertisers will be seeing a lot more of us as we aim to get round all our clients to visit them at their premises, and to see what we can do to drive business for them.

"We're particularly looking forward to reporting on the sector, and featuring a mix of reviews, fun and more serious news."

CHECKATRADE POTS SHAUN MURPHY SPONSORSHIP FOR THE 2018 WORLD SNOOKER CHAMPIONSHIP

Checkatrade, the trusted online directory of over 29,000 recommended, vetted and monitored tradespeople, has signed a deal with triple-crown winning snooker star, Shaun Murphy for the World Snooker Championship which takes place this April.

The online resource for trusted tradespeople will support Shaun for the entire competition and the star, who won the event in 2005, will wear Checkatrade’s logo on his waistcoat during all of his matches.

As part of the partnership, Checkatrade members will also have the chance to win VIP tickets to see Shaun in action at the event, which gets underway on 21 April at the world-famous Crucible theatre in Sheffield.

Gavin Dutton, Managing Director for Checkatrade said: “As one of the best snooker players in the world, we are delighted to sponsor Shaun Murphy at one of the biggest events in the sport. The World Snooker Championship is watched by millions of people each year and therefore represents great exposure for us connecting with our members, prospective new members and our customers. We can’t wait to see him in action and wish him all the best for the upcoming tournament.”

Shaun has become well-known as one of the best players in the world of snooker, winning the biggest tournaments in the game. One of just a select few players who has won the prestigious Triple Crown, which consists of the UK Championship, The Masters and World Championship, Shaun is delighted to be teaming up with Checkatrade.

He added: “I am extremely pleased to have Checkatrade on board as my sponsor for this tournament. As a nationally recognised company that focuses on delivering the very best in their field, that resonates with my focus as a professional snooker player and what I am trying to achieve. They really are the perfect partners to work with and I look forward to representing their brand. I’m excited for the World Snooker Championships next month, and with the support of Checkatrade I’m hoping I’ll to have a successful tournament.”

For more information, please visit www.checkatrade.com.

Construction consultant bids for marathon glory

International construction consultant Michael Gallucci is running the London Marathon in aid of a national disability charity.

A chartered surveyor and qualified mediator from Watford, Michael is managing director of consultancy MPG, and aims to raise £1,750 for the Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People.

Last year, he raised a similar amount for the same charity, which supports people with disabilities to gain independence and achieve their goals.

Despite pressure of work, Michael hopes his training will be enough to see him get close to last year’s time of four hours and 47 minutes. He proved his fitness in February, completing the Dubai Half Ironman triathlon.

On April 22, Michael will be among 40,000 participants in the 38th running of the 26.2-mile event, which this year for the first time, will see the Queen presiding as the official starter.

ERA APPOINTS SIMON BROWN TO HEAD OF SMARTWARE

ERA, the UK’s home security specialist has appointed Simon Brown as Head of Smartware Sales.

With a wealth of experience in the electronics market, gained at companies including Philips CE, Sharp UK Ltd and, most recently, Sennheiser, he is now responsible for ERA’s highly innovative Smartware sales strategy. 

Simon said, ”This is a very exciting appointment for me. ERA has a fantastic heritage upon which to build and is firmly focussed on the Smart Home category, offering massive opportunities to deliver business in existing and alternative channels.

"ERA is a very customer focussed organisation and strongly invests in innovation to ensure it provides consumers with the highest quality security products available on the market.”

Darren Waters, Managing Director at ERA said, ”Simon’s appointment signals the confidence we have both in our product and service offerings and we are sure that he will make a significant contribution to help elevate the ERA brand, in particular in the Smart Home arena, even further.”

For further information on any of the company’s wide range of security products, visit www.eraeverywhere.com or contact the sales team on 01922 490 000 or by emailing [email protected]

Morris Site Machinery - Shortlisted for Excellence

Morris Site Machinery is pleased to have been shortlisted in two categories for the Hire Awards of Excellence 2018.

The leading on site equipment manufacturer entered two awards: Supplier of the Year and Best Use of New Media.

Over the past 12 months the company has invested significantly in its staff, recognising its workforce as key stakeholders and embracing the principle of ‘continuous improvement’ to ensure there is an evolving business culture. Appreciation of hard work and high standards is shared amongst staff and

applauded on a regular basis through internal communications. 

The company also prides itself on its track record of innovation, launching six new products in just six months and developing specialist products for partners in both the UK and overseas.

Morris Site Machinery further evolved its digital strategy and online presence in 2017 utilising an multi-channel approach to inform and engage with its audience through the use of social media, blogs, video content and e-communications.

Phil Winnington, International Business Director of Morris Site Machinery, said: “Continuing to raise standards and develop our strategy helps us to build upon relationships with our customers and key stakeholders, something which is central to the success of Morris Site Machinery.”

The Hire Awards of Excellence acknowledge the successes of hirers and suppliers, along with the individuals who set the standard. The Awards could be classed as the most sought after accolade within the plant, tool, equipment and event hire industries.

The winners of each category will be announced at the Hire Awards of Excellence taking place on Saturday 28th April at Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. 

 

ERA APPOINTS TANIA TAMS AS HEAD OF MARKETING

West-midlands-based ERA, the UK’s home security expert, has appointed Tania Tams as head of marketing to oversee the communications and marketing activity across the company’s distribution channels.

Having previously held the position of marketing manager, the promotion will see Tania work closely with group marketing & innovation director, Will Butler to help develop the ERA brand, as the company paves the way for modern home security solutions.

Commenting on her new role, Tania enthused, “During my time with ERA, I have gleaned a lot of insight into the company, its products and the fantastic team we have here. I am delighted to be taking on the role of head of marketing and am confident that my knowledge and passion for ERA will ensure I can hit the ground running, as I take this next step in my career.”

Will added, “Since joining us, Tania has impressed with her enthusiasm for both our traditional security hardware business and our growing smartware proposition. She is a real asset to our company and I look forward to continuing our work together to ensure that ERA maintains its status as a leading voice in home security.”

For further information about the ERA and the company’s extensive range of home security products, visit www.eraeverywhere.com or contact the sales team on 01922 490 000 or by emailing [email protected]

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