on 10 November, 2015

Now the clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in, it’s no surprise that security is a key focus for merchants and the industry, as conscious consumers look to invest in the latest measures for the winter season.

on 03 November, 2015

Most retailers brace themselves for a busy period in the build-up to Christmas. They’ll hire temporary staff, increase stock orders and maybe even extend their opening hours.

on 02 November, 2015

Households and businesses need secure UK gas supplies, but relying on international markets is risky and expensive – especially compared to using better energy efficiency to plug the systemic gas leak in our homes.

on 22 October, 2015

At Dunlop we are proud to offer a comprehensive support team assisting builders’ merchants across the UK, but it is crucial that merchants understand what services and support their suppliers can offer them which, if utilised correctly, can secure significant increases in sales.

on 20 October, 2015

The sealants and adhesives industry is a mature one and generally follows the economy in its highs and lows. As a result, the industry has faced more challenging trading conditions in recent years, but the positive news is that the outlook appears bright and sustained growth is expected over the coming year.

on 16 October, 2015

New companies that embrace technology are able to deploy new products and services very fast. If Amazon was to focus its efforts on selling construction materials it would be able to get ‘in front’ of your current customers very quickly. However, having said that you still have a big unfair advantage.

on 30 September, 2015

Decorating fashions run in cycles and mouldings are definitely ‘back in’ - making their mark on the interior design world.

on 28 September, 2015

When customers enter your store it is important to grab their attention, which can go a long way to inducing sales.

on 24 September, 2015

Jo-Anna Francis explains that any business can easily get caught up in the day-to-day activities of doing the 'job’ and run out of time to focus on the bigger picture – the continual marketing of the company, the ultimate way to ensure that the business continues to thrive.

on 24 September, 2015

Steve Sasson is the man that pitched an idea to a group of Kodak executives about a camera that required no film back in 1975. So why did a company with 83 years in the 'photo taking' space at that point (along with a 90% market share in photographic film) have to file for chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 2012? And more importantly why should you care?

on 10 September, 2015

The internet is filled with awareness campaigns but few businesses are using these opportunities successfully. Supporting awareness schemes is a smart and effective way to generate awareness of a particular issue and subsequently increase sales during key periods. With the rise of online media, sharing and creating such campaigns has become increasingly easier.

on 04 September, 2015

According to statistics from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), falls from height were the most common cause of fatalities, accounting for 29% of fatal injuries to workers in 2013 to 2014.

on 26 August, 2015

Blockwork for both floors and walls can, literally, be the foundation and structural heart of any building project. The untrained eye may see a block as purely a structural component but its ability to provide unique combinations of thermal and acoustic performance means they are much more.

on 25 August, 2015

Shelf wobblers, pull-up stands, flyers and posters – there is a huge variety of point of sale (POS) material out there in the merchant sector from manufacturers and suppliers of all shapes and sizes, all with a different purpose.

on 06 August, 2015

According to last year’s NHBC Annual New Home Statistics Review, over 145,000 new homes were registered in 2014, which was a 9% increase on 2013. With confidence in the newbuild market set to continue throughout 2015, it’s worth exploring how merchants can tap into this growth area to maximise profits.

on 06 August, 2015

With the building sector firmly into growth, the outlook is bright, but success in flooring relies on staying in tune with changing markets.

on 30 July, 2015

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is no longer considered as the up and coming force in construction and building design; it is now the present and the future.

on 17 July, 2015

I've spent the past 17 years dealing with supply chains in a variety of roles and coming into International Timber and the builders’ merchant arena has been a real eye-opener.

on 15 July, 2015

The wider energy efficiency industry can only be confused by the recent actions of the government, particularly given that its removal of the 2016 zero carbon homes target might have zero effect on the ‘productivity’ it hopes to see resulting from its latest plan.

on 09 July, 2015

It is quite usual to find different forms of construction taking place nearly every day of your life. Certain construction may include transport networks, commercial and residential buildings, structural repairs and development among many others. It is important to look at how the evolution of construction techniques would lay the platform for better development in the future.

on 02 July, 2015

Selecting the right grout for a tiling project is as important as selecting the tile itself. With tile grouts, it’s not only ‘good looks’ that matter – it is substance.

on 30 June, 2015

According to research from IT firm Gartner, we are just seven years away from a mature smart home market, where the average affluent family will have more than 500 connected devices in their home.

on 11 June, 2015

The Occupational Road Safety Alliance claims that business drivers are 25-30% more likely to have a collision than private drivers. This significant increase in risk means that if you’re an employer or business owner with a fleet, you need to be aware of where responsibilities fall in relation to business driver incidents on the road in order to protect your job, your business and your employees.

on 11 June, 2015

In my previous two blogs, I looked at how mobile CRM technology is helping field sales teams to become more efficient and productive, improve sales, and nurture relationships with clients.

on 08 June, 2015

The European Court of Justice has ruled that the UK's longstanding reduced 5% rate of VAT on energy-saving products was in breach of EU laws. John Sinfield, Knauf Insulation's managing director – Northern Europe, responds.

on 02 June, 2015

Uncoupling matting, or anti-fracture membranes as they are sometimes known, are being seen more and more in builders' merchants across the country – but what are they used for, and why are they so popular?

on 22 May, 2015

In the first of this series of blogs, I discussed some of the issues that builders’ merchants have faced in terms of the field sales force mobility. A lack of mobile CRM tools have left sales people with poor resources to help them drive sales, and sales managers with a lack of insight into the activity of their field sales representatives.

on 15 May, 2015

When Scotland voted to stay with the UK last September, the result not only bolstered a sense of national unity but also gave an additional boost to the national currency, with the pound soaring to its highest levels since 2008.

on 11 May, 2015

Many decorating jobs fail because of poor background preparation, which can be put down to either sub-standard workmanship or inferior products.

on 06 May, 2015

For many field sales representatives in the construction sector, CRM has traditionally been perceived as a burden.

on 30 April, 2015

According to a recent survey, homeowners plan to spend £24.3bn on their properties this year. With house prices continuing to rise during 2015, home improvement projects are high on the agenda for many consumers, with aesthetic alterations (47%) and redecorating rooms (46%) coming in as the two top priorities for homeowners this year*.

on 23 April, 2015

The spring bank holiday is the perfect time for consumers to think about home improvement projects, but with statistics showing a whopping £727m spent on bodged DIY jobs each year - it’s really time they called in the professionals.

on 13 April, 2015

When the weather warms up and the days get longer, we all want to shake off the winter blues by stepping outside – and what better way to appreciate the great outdoors than with a beautifully tiled patio?

on 08 April, 2015

The Home Quality Mark is a national standard that offers a quality marking for new houses. It takes into account impartial information from independent experts about the expected running costs, health and well-being effects, and the environmental impact of new homes.

on 02 April, 2015

Installers and builders are always looking at ways to save their pennies and will often shop around for the best deal. So how do merchants increase customer engagement to keep their customers coming back?

on 02 April, 2015

According to recent statistics, a third of homeowners improve their garden every year by landscaping, adding fencing, or decking*, thus providing merchants with the perfect opportunity to increase sales.

on 02 April, 2015

At this time of year, many consumers are investing in new and expensive gardening furniture and equipment, which they will usually store in their sheds or garages when not in use.

on 23 March, 2015

Choosing the right vehicle for your business can be as simple as which van has the most comfortable seat, the most suitable payload, or the right load length. But, when trying to work out the best deal financially for your business, it can become a little more complex.

on 17 March, 2015

In the world of dynamic technologies, we have seen the emergence of smart devices and the benefits they can bring. In the lighting industry, the advent of smart lighting technology has similarly brought about convenience and energy saving in many homes.

on 09 March, 2015

According to a recent survey, 79%* of UK homeowners plan to spend at least the same or more on home improvements over the next year, compared with last year. This provides the perfect opportunity for merchants to increase their share of the home improvement market.

on 25 February, 2015

Home security products offer huge potential for add-on sales, making branches more profitable, and increasing customer satisfaction.

on 23 February, 2015

We all know that time is money and that, more often than not, your time could be better spent elsewhere. Often business owners believe it’s just as easy to complete tasks themselves because they know the process and trust their own actions. So how much time is spent running a fleet and what's the actual cost to businesses?

on 17 February, 2015

Richard Burbidge is urging merchants to promote safe stairs and balustrades in accordance with Part K of the Building Regulations.

on 09 February, 2015

Getting the message out there about new product lines or promotions can seem like a hard task for merchants, but harnessing the power of social media can make a huge difference between success and failure.

on 29 January, 2015

Every project is different, so when installers enter a builders’ merchant, they have a host of considerations in mind for each individual job they are working on. Fortunately, there are products out there that can offer what installers and their customers need, but sometimes finding the one that ticks all the boxes can be a challenge.

on 29 January, 2015

According to new research, confidence in undertaking home improvement tasks is lowest among young people.

on 26 January, 2015

Choosing an appropriate vehicle acquisition method can seem daunting for accountants and business owners. It’s important to get an expert in the vehicle industry to give you a balanced and informed opinion when looking at different options, so that you can assess which will benefit your business model the most.

on 22 January, 2015

Every retail, wholesale and manufacturing supply chain has its own quirks, and if you manage inventory and supply for a builders’ merchant, you’ll be all too familiar with those you deal with.

on 12 January, 2015

Last month I explored the quick wins that builders’ merchants achieve when they use the latest supply chain management technology. This week I look at the additional gains that can be made in the medium term, through good strategic use of demand forecasting and inventory management.

on 08 January, 2015

With so many different product categories on offer, it can be difficult for merchants to know what to focus on. Here are my top reasons why the home improvement sector should be a key priority for branches looking to maximise sales throughout 2015.

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