on 05 April, 2016

When it comes to keeping your warehouse running smoothly and efficiently there are two key things to consider - worker safety and the maintenance of your forklift trucks. On average, 1,500 forklift related accidents occur every year in the UK alone, usually due to poor training or malfunctions brought about by poor maintenance.

on 01 April, 2016

In my previous blog post I looked at why builders’ merchants need to start taking returns more seriously and turn them into a new business opportunity. In the concluding part of the series I’m going to look at how this can be achieved.

on 30 March, 2016

It will come as no surprise that well thought out merchandising methods can be utilised alongside other marketing techniques to influence sales, but how can builders’ merchants maximise potential?

on 23 March, 2016

The better your website is, the easier it will be for people to find you. Of course, for most builders’ merchants, you’ll likely to only be targeting audiences within a specific geographical area.

on 15 March, 2016

Add-on sales can account for a considerable amount of additional revenue and home security solutions offer huge potential for making branches more profitable. The products that work best are usually quick to buy, easy to sell and most importantly, have high profit margins.

on 08 March, 2016

In the first of a two-part series, Mark Thornton, marketing director at Maginus, looks at why builders’ merchants need to start taking returns more seriously.

on 07 March, 2016

Attending a trade show can be an excellent way to showcase and market your product. But, the shows can also be expensive so it is vitally important that you select the correct one that the business will benefit and ultimately get the best return from.

on 01 March, 2016

In 2014, we invested £1m in a new production mill at our headquarters in North Kent. The decision to commit so large a sum wasn’t easy, particularly on the back of a difficult recession.

on 01 March, 2016

The home improvement market is set to grow during 2016, reflecting the current nationwide trend of ‘Don’t move, improve’, as a result of rising house prices.

on 23 February, 2016

January is always a busy time for timber merchants, and at Arbor Forest Products we have been run off our feet helping customers get ready for a successful year in 2016.

on 19 February, 2016

Last month, I discussed the importance of building a marketing strategy in order to raise awareness of your business and drive footfall to your branch. Great, you’re ready to go… but choosing where to begin is itself a tricky decision.

on 18 February, 2016

We expect roads to suffer normal wear and tear, but a combination of more frequent violent storms and intense rainfall caused by climate change, as well as ineffective temporary patching rather than proper fixing makes things worse.

on 16 February, 2016

From coffee shops to office blocks, school grounds to care homes, timber decking continues to become increasingly popular as an outdoor surface.

on 11 February, 2016

Entering the home automation market is becoming almost unavoidable. Global giants, such as Samsung, Sony and Apple, have all been developing new smart devices and consumer awareness is increasing rapidly.

on 11 February, 2016

For every builder’s merchant, product knowledge is key to understanding customers’ needs and requirements for their next project.

on 26 January, 2016

“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” Though I can’t claim credit for these words (that goes to Richard Branson), he might as well have taken his words from the Alsford Timber rulebook.

on 26 January, 2016

In last year's Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne declared: “We choose to build the homes that people can buy,” and so at the start of 2016, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the government would directly commission thousands of new affordable homes on publicly owned land.

on 22 January, 2016

An Englishman’s home is still his castle…except an Englishman now prefers to pay a professional to do their home improvements for them.

on 19 January, 2016

The New Year means taking a fresh view of your business. Whether you exceeded expectations in 2015 or had a disappointing year, there is always room for improvement in terms of footfall, trade and turnover.

on 12 January, 2016

Home security products offer huge potential for merchants, but with so many different options available, the surest way of making the most of security sales in 2016 is by stocking a varied and strategic product mix.

on 05 January, 2016

After the devastating floods seen across the north of England, the government needs to make changes in the way we build our homes and properties, according to Andy Williamson.

on 18 December, 2015

It’s nearly a new year, which will bring with it, new opportunities for merchants to boost sales. But how can you lock in those last minute December deals?

on 17 December, 2015

With lots of different product categories on offer, it can be difficult for merchants to know what to focus on in 2016. Offering a bespoke range of timber products helps to provide trade professionals with a one-stop-shop to help save time and money, so they can get everything they need from one shop – your shop.

on 17 December, 2015

More needs to be done to improve flood defences in light of the recent flooding, according to Michael White, business development director of Alumasc Water Management Solutions

on 14 December, 2015

The arrival of the cold weather can often mean unhealthy skin can develop and for those whose hands are their most important tool, this isn’t an option. Cracked, chapped and dry skin can result in serious and painful problems developing that could limit simple tasks that you carry out on a day-to-day basis if it’s left untreated. 

on 08 December, 2015

It was recently reported that as customers switch from visiting the high street to staying at home and shopping online, the warehouses that businesses use to store stock and products are now increasingly in demand, driving the amount of logistics space available to its lowest level since records began.

on 02 December, 2015

Many businesses have explored the option of adding live chat support to their websites, but have been put off by a number of factors be it technical, financial or purely a lack of man-power.

on 26 November, 2015

The government has pledged to invest £100bn in the UK’s infrastructure over the next five years. However, following the recent Spending Review announcement, how sustainable is this investment given Chancellor George Osborne’s need to consolidate £20bn of debt in his ‘fixing the economy’ strategy?

on 20 November, 2015

Not too long ago when you wanted to buy a computer you would pop down to your local PC World. As you walked into the store you would be hit with too much choice and not enough knowledge to make a good decision. Enter the sales advisor who has been floating around since the moment you entered, knowing that you would try and make sense of the CPU, RAM and GB data in front of you and quickly seek some help.

on 16 November, 2015

The home trend sweeping Britain of improving rather than moving provides a key opportunity for merchants, as statistics show homeowners are happy to spend over £5,500 on refurbishment projects to make their home look nicer*.

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.

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