Be Enthusiastic About Reducing Plastic
Both the government and consumers are piling the pressure on companies to reduce their plastic consumption. With small businesses looking to increase their online sales, packaging is a significant area where they can be doing more to reduce the use of plastic.
A common frustration for consumers is the amount of packaging used to transport their purchases. Have you received a small product, packaged in a large box containing excessive amounts of plastic, non-recyclable filler? Not only does it strike you as wasteful, you need to consider whether to recycle it or just stick it in the bin. It’s rubbish, literally.
It seems not even online retail giants, Amazon, aren’t immune to scrutiny, with customers famously taking to social media to complain about their careless parcelling. While Amazon is undoubtedly large enough to weather the storm, and even turn this criticism to their benefit, smaller independents can’t afford to risk this kind of negative publicity.
Sainsbury’s supermarket has been down in the polls over the years for their lack of action in plastic packaging reduction. Recently, however, they’ve launched a campaign pledging a 50% reduction of their plastic packaging by 2025. This is a smart move by Sainsbury’s, dispelling their previous criticism and no doubt leaving their historically more eco-friendly rivals scratching their heads about how to launch a more enthralling and original initiative. Being proactive, rather than reactive, puts you in a much stronger position.
There’s a new generation of customers emerging who expect more than just value for money – and being eco friendly is at the top of the list. Make sure you consider this, as it could affect your business. Working towards quality assurance and ISO accreditation with reducing plastics could retain customers, attract new ones and tenders.
• Research greener packaging alternatives.
• Start small, but switch non-recyclable items first.
• Train your staff in reducing packaging and reuse where possible.
• Keep a range of box sizes in stock to accommodate the varying sizes of product.
• Add a clear reuse, recycle message on your packaging to encourage customers.
• Don’t overfill with filler – and make sure it’s biodegradable paper or card.
• Remember the less obvious packaging items like tape and labels.
• Consider offering your regular customers a packaging return/reuse service.
• Shout about it – Wear your eco-friendly policy as a badge of honour.
There are many packaging products on the market that you can change to have a significant positive environmental impact such as: boxes, tape, filler, pallet wrap, jiffy bags/tubes, strapping, wrapping, labels and tags. Speak to your packaging supplier about looking at cost effective, eco friendly alternatives. Make them aware that being environmentally friendly is important to you and your business, and that if you’re not satisfied you’ll need to look elsewhere.
If you’d like to share your experience of switching to plastic-free packaging or your business’ new approach to becoming environmentally friendly, please contact Sarah Revell on email@example.com
Competitor Analysis Issue 1
Welcome to our inaugural competitor analysis, where you can find competitor updates and industry developments relevant to your business.
As this is issue 1 we welcome thoughts and feedback from members and hope to release these documents on a quarterly basis.
Corona Virus, riding out the panic / economic crisis planning.
Brad Sugars, CEO of Action Coach – has shared a webinar on business planning and a possible economic crisis regarding Corona Virus.
The stock markets are falling, oil prices are plummeting, people are getting quarantined… unless you are selling toilet paper or sanitizer, your business will need to make some changes. But this isn’t just about the survival of your business, it’s about being ready for the economic shift that’s started. While it’s completely understandable to be worried, your best bet is to channel that anxious energy and get prepared NOW
Brad provides practical tips on;
– Crisis cycles
– Communication with customers
– Virtual meetings
– Loss of footfall
– Online and deliveries
– Staffing changes
– Credit and accounting
– Change management
Diversifying into PPE - are you maximising sales to the customers you already have?
We all know it’s difficult to get new business, but are you maximising sales to the customers you already have?
Diversifying into PPE could be the answer, and is an easy addition to product ranging, with profit margins of 25-45% being achievable.
Increasing safety legislation means the PPE market sector is only growing, and Troy UK’s Business Development Team are on hand to support you in adopting or enhancing PPE offerings and liaising with suppliers in the field on your behalf.
Recently Simon James and Wendy Perkins supported Member DJ Evans to reconfigure their trade counter and source information to submit pricing proposals to customers….
“Now DJ Evans is a Troy UK member we have access to purchasing leading brands in the PPE and workwear arena. Troy UK have offered fantastic product support, specifically Simon James and Wendy Perkins, who as PPE BDM and Category Managers deliver a fast and knowledgeable service. Simon has been very effective in sourcing all relevant infomation needed to submit pricing proposals to our customers. This has enabled us to have access to a service that can quickly inform you of prices, MOQ’s and a local representative! This is a must for any busy Field Sales Representative.”
Business Development & Marketing Manager
Not only does Troy UK have extensive industry knowledge in the Business Development Team, we also have a fantastic relationship with the British Safety Industry Federation allowing us to offer reduced prices for courses to members. Read more about the value BSIF membership and courses can bring your business here.
“We believe that by using the benefits of BSIF members and the RSSS Shield to market our business, and by being ahead of the curve, we have attracted new and better business….as current members we fully recommend membership to all our fellow Troy members. Remember ‘Anyone can sell Safety, but you wouldn’t buy Safety from just anyone’ ”
Chairman, JBS Group
If you would like support in selling PPE, speak to your Troy Business Development Manager today.
Draper's new campaign reveals health benefits of DIY & Gardening
Draper’s new national campaign to promote the health and wellbeing benefits of DIY & gardening has already been making headlines in the The Sun, The Daily Mirror and other national media. There are some really fascinating findings – PE with Joe Wicks might be over, but there’s still plenty of ways for the nation to burn calories at home.
- UK Homeowners burn more than EIGHTY THOUSAND calories a year by gardening and doing DIY
- During a typical year, house proud Brits will spend 165 hours in total on their home & garden improvements
- 67% of the population said doing a DIY or gardening job well is more satisfying than doing a good job at work
- 73% of homeonwers consider gardening to be a nice way to de-stress and to relax and 47% feel similarly about DIY
Survey commissioned by Draper Tools, conducted by OnePoll. Sample size: 2,000 UK homeowners.
About Draper Tools: Draper Tools is a leading distributor of hand and power tools. Established in 1919 by Bert Draper, the company is now more than 100 years old and is still family owned and run today. Draper Tools prides itself on the range, quality and value of its expanding product portfolio which includes over 10,000 quality products. Product categories include automotive, gardening and landscaping, construction, engineering and many more. Draper Tools products are available through a wide range of stockists both online and in stores. For more information, stockist details and trade enquiries visit: www.drapertools.com.
Fake CE logos – is your PPE is correctly CE certified? How do you know?
The British safety industry federation has reported an area of risk around fake CE logos; Chinese Export logos masquerading as ‘conformite europeene’.
What is CE certification?
To be sold in the European Union, a product must have a CE mark. The CE mark indicates conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA). CE marking applies to all products, ranging from electrical equipment to toys and from civil explosives to medical devices. If a product has the CE mark it does not mean that the product was made in the EEA, but states that the product is assessed before being placed on the market.
European standards are in place for a wide range of PPE from protective clothing against chemicals, heat and flames, to head protective helmets, eye protection, gloves and safety footwear. Many regions outside of the EU are increasingly turning towards the CE mark to show that the product is up to standard and has been tested comprehensively.
If your product is certified it means;
The product meets minimum performance specifications defined in legally recognised standards applied throughout Europe.
A product has been subjected to a series of tests on physical characteristics and finished product performance according to application or protective tape
How do we know if the product is correctly CE certified or not?
All CE certified products should feature a label with everything you need
The info shown on the label should be very specific, this is a legal requirement. Each product type, whether it be protective gloves, glasses or boots has its own specific labelling or marking requirements.
Fake CE Logos
Sometimes, alongside the CE mark can be seen a code which represents the ID number of the respective Notified body needed for conducting the product’s certification.
The CE “Chinese export” mark can be seen on some, not all, products produced in and exported from China. The mark is with a similar design, and if you don’t know how to distinguish it from the real CE mark, it can look identical to you. As a result, y
ou can think that your product is CE marked and safe to use. The “Chinese export” mark is not an official European mark and is considered as fake. Many factories in China apply that mark on their products and afterwards, put them on the market. Such products haven’t had any risk assessment, safety evaluation, or testing. They haven’t been certified against the relevant CE standards, and their placing on the EU market is seen as an illegal act. As overall, products bearing the CE “China Export” mark vary in quality from being acceptable to completely dangerous in their design. A good example of products on which you can very often see this mark is the power supplies.
New legislation came about in 2016 evolving from a loose directive, outlining that responsibility lies with all ECONOMIC OPERATORS to comply with PPE supply chain standards. The new terminology ‘ALL ECONOMIC OPERATORS’ now places responsibility for compliance throughout the entire supply chain manufacturer, wholesaler to distributor. To keep you compliant and your business away from risk, BSIF membership will provide spot checks of products and on site checks. Read more here
To read the Lakeland article click the following link – Lakeland CE Certification
Making the most of the lead up to Christmas
In the leadup to Christmas, we thought we’d share some tips to make the most out of the workplace environment throughout this festive time of year. We have listed 10 things below that we think can help induce the festive spirit within the workplace!
Relax with your Staff
- Elf yourself – https://www.elfyourself.com/
- Secret Santa
- Bring a pet to work day
- Christmas Jumper Day
- Advent Calendars
- Christmas Quiz – https://www.whychristmas.com/fun/quiz.shtml
- Christmas Raffle
- Decorating the office – https://christmas.snydle.com/40-office-christmas-decorating-ideas.html
- Christmas Music – few of our favourites; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8gmARGvPlI & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9QLn7gM-hY & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THcbQyFtCqg
Now onto more the more serious stuff….
Although Christmas is for celebrating with family & friends, it’s also a great time of year for thieves as everyone is out of the office. Below are a few things we think you need to prevent this while away on the holidays.
Safety on Site
Security – Remember to check that your premises are secure over the holiday period. Safety lighting is good prevention.
Making sure your gates and doors are locked is paramount – padlocks and chains will be of good use.
Any stationary vehicles across the Christmas period may benefit from antifreeze to keep vehicles maintained and running for when you return to the office.
Turning electrical plugs off at the source is a great way to save on your electricity bill.
Make sure fire doors are closed and valuables aren’t on display.
Return in January
Plan to hit the ground running in January 2020;
- Have yourself and employees create to do lists
- New year’s resolutions & promises
- Consider your goals and objectives for Q1
- Cold weather preparation
Remember to keep your eyes out for a hamper in the post!
Managing your energy bills through challenging trading times
1. Take meter readings
Many meters now take half Hourly readings which communicate with suppliers meaning that your energy usage will be billed on actual usage, however there are also still many meters that will not do this, therefore it is important to take meter readings while your usage is minimal so that the suppliers do not just estimate your usage based on passed month. When businesses are closed and not consuming energy you should only be paying for the standing charge as per your contract except for those contracts that have volume tolerance clauses. If you are unsure, contact your Troy Business Development Manager.
2. Seek whether a payment break can be negotiated.
Some suppliers will be happy to offer this for their customers, which will simply mean that the period of non payment will be added at the end of the contract, do not cancel any direct debits without speaking with your energy suppliers as this will affect your credit rating.
3. Check whether there are any volume tolerances in your Ts and Cs
It’s possible that you have terms in your contract that may cause you issues later in the year, the most common is called Volume Tolerance. This tends to be for larger energy users and means that you have agreed on a level of energy to be used on-site over a set time period. Energy consumption will reduce as businesses have a break in trading, Volume Tolerance means that you could be charged for a set level of Energy whether you use this or not. If you’re not sure on your position here, we will happily review your Terms and Conditions and check how a change in your consumption may impact you.
4. Turn off all non essential Electricity and Gas consumption
As your business premises will likely be empty or running with skeleton staff it’s recommend turning off any piece of equipment including computers, machinery and any lighting which is not needed. This will help reduce your demand and subsequently lower your bills while the premises is not in use.
5. Contracts nearing their renewal date
It is important to keep an eye on any contract renewals due in the next few weeks/ months as if these are left to roll, you will be put on out of contract rates which can be very expensive. It’s important to tender, negotiate and renew these contracts as per usual, even though this will not be top of mind right now. If you are renewing your contract and switching suppliers, it’s important to adhere to your Terms and Conditions and remember to terminate your existing contract.
6. Set up an online account with your supplier
This can easily be done through your energy supplier and will allow you to submit meter readings, monitor your energy usage or make changes to your billing requirements such as changing to electronic bills.
Purchasing Insight from Our Industry Experts.
We’re dropping in on our Prodigy of Purchasing, Jim Chadwick, Group Purchasing Director, and the Brains of Business Development, Richard Pymm, Business Development Director for an ‘exclusive’ on Purchasing. They’ll be sharing their views and advice on how best to consider your procurement process and successfully source the highest quality & best value products, whilst minimising surplus stock and maximising profit…
Reasons To Go Greener
1. Clients, Customers, Growth
Sustainability is becoming more of a demand from customers. They are seeking to spend with businesses who reflect their green values. Making small steps to reduce waste or fossil fuel use in your business will attract customers, make a positive impact on the environment as well as your bottom line. It could even help you grow through winning Tenders. Tender criteria is growing to include green accreditation such as ISO14001 and if your business can comply with green standards and credentials you may be able to win new routes to market.
2. Attract and retain top talent
CSR is becoming a powerful mechanism in the way it influences customers and employees alike. Ensure your recruitment strategy and the recruiters you use showcase the green side of your business and CSR Policy.
A Corporate Social Responsibility Plan or Policy for your business could include cycle to work schemes, recycling, litter picking, beach cleaning, reducing carbon footprint, reducing plastic usage, volunteering days, supporting the development of your employees, charitable giving. Prospective employees will find a conscientious employer more attractive.
3. Reduce waste, increase efficiencies save money
Energy conservation and use of alternative energy sources are among the most significant changes sustainability can bring to a modern business.
Not only does it protect the planet but Energy saving policies implemented in the work-place engage the staff and save bottom line costs. Encourage employee adoption by monitoring your energy data from smart meters to prove their efforts are working!
No area of your business is too small – reduce waste and plastics that end up in the ocean by joining the reusable revolution, shop more locally and reduce the supply chain travel, have your photocopier on a password release so people have to think about what they print.
When it comes to reducing waste and increasing efficiencies, no area is too small and every decision you make as a business owner makes a step towards cost savings.
Having discussions around sustainability, leads your business and its people to approach its operations and consumptions holistically. Whole system thinking will open your conversations to new efficiencies that can be made rather than looking at things in silo.
If you are not taking it seriously already, then market demands may soon force your hand. The benefits and communities you can enjoy are only growing.
To find out more about sustainable solutions for your business be it green energy contracts or solar power, view Troy Business Services, where you’ll find a number of recommended partners that can support you.
Thomas Graham Secure £Multi-million Contract
We are thrilled to announce that Troy member Thomas Graham, in Carlisle, has been awarded a 4-year contract worth £45 million to supply the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) with power tools and general maintenance, repair and operations products (MRO). This winning tender was devised with the assistance of ‘Team Troy’ and emphasised our strong industrial supply partnership with a large number of key brands.
To read the full article click the following link – Thomas graham news
TMB save the date
The Show Must Go On…
We are pleased to announce that our famous Troy THS annual show, recently postponed due to the COVID-19 virus, has now been rearranged for Thursday 22nd October 2020 at Silverstone; with guest speaker Brad Sugars, confirmed as taking the stage the evening before the show (Wednesday 21st October), sharing his secrets of success in business.
We will be getting in touch
with our Members and Suppliers with more details in due course.
Top Tips on Merchandising from our Marketing Masters!
In this Troy Insight edition, we speak with our Masters of Marketing and Merchandising at Troy to bring you the Top Tips on how best to market & merchandise your Trade Counter for maximum footfall, increased profit and to establish a loyal customer base.
Troy/THS Staff Day
On the 18th October, a staff afternoon was held at Exeter Sky Park Offices for all Troy/THS employees from Barnstaple, Rotherham and Exeter branches. The afternoon kicked off with various presentations outlining group strategy led by CEO Paul Kilbride giving an overview of goals, objectives and reflection on the groups’ journey so far. This was followed by an I.T overview, Business Development / Sales update, Marketing and finally a word from our new HR department.
The day provided the perfect environment for staff from different sites to network and get to know each other better. Once the presentations concluded the whole team enjoyed a buffet of BBQ’d meats, salads and sides, pool tournament and games.
A few colleagues continued out into the nightlife of Exeter where a wonderful evening was had drinking cocktails at Dr Inks on Exeter Quayside!