Electrolux Design Lab mobile appliance concepts

Eight finalists have been chosen for the Electrolux Design Lab awards, which this year saw industrial design students to consider Intelligent Mobility in home appliances. The finalists were selected from a field of 1,300 entrants, throughout the world, and they will present their concepts to a jury of expert designers in London on September 7.

Their concepts include a mobile induction plate, portable microwave, portable spot cleaner bagel toaster kinetic smoothie maker and sousvide cell cooker Senior vice president of global design at Electolux, Henrik Otto commented: “The eight finalists have shown insight and innovation to make it this far in the 20ll Electrolux Design Lab challenge.” He continued: “ln what was a particularly challenging brief the top eight are to be congratulated for their lateral thinking and creativity  but they will now need to demonstrate why their concept should be crowned absolute winner.”

Smeg creates cd format brochure

Smeg has just created its main range brochure in a CD format to supplement its existing printed copies. This ‘ebook’ has been designed to navigate quickly and easily through the product sections and has been designed for use by consumers and retailers. When requesting a brochure on the smeg website, www.smeg.com, consumers now have the choice of a printed brochure or a CD version.

Cooking appliance manufacturer Stoves has launched a free iphone app Wild jam Maken which combines foraging advice and jam recipes. It has been created to mark the second year of the Wl’s Real jam Festival, which takes place on October 8 and 9. The festival, of which Stoves is the main sponsor; is open to entries on September For more details on categories and how to enter visit www.thewirealjamfestival.co.uk

Ideal Standard is sponsoring the National Home Improvement Council (NHIC) Annual Awards, for category of Best Housing Association Modernisation Projects. The category highlights projects that have been ‘of significant benetit to the surrounding community and provide inspiration to future projects.

The NHIC Awards will be , presented by a Government minister at a luncheon, in London on November 24.

Designer bathroom brand from Hansgrohe, Axor has launched an on-line tool to help designers plan their Bouroullex bathroom. It will allow designers to specify the washbasin and brassware and position them precisely for drilling in 2D or 3D, even switching between the two at any time. To use the Axor Bouroullec Composer visit www. Pro.hansgrohe-int.com/axor.

Cad software manufacturer ArtiCAD has announced its ArtiCAD-Pro software now integrates with Cloud-based pricing and business management system KBB Connect developed by Smart Systems. Users can click on a KBB Connect button within ArtiCAD- Pro and run the two systems simultaneously. The programs are synchronised, so ifan item is deleted in Arti-CAD, it is automatically deleted from the KBB Connect system.

Aestus appoints new manager

Designer radiator and towel rail manufacturer; Aestus has appointed Sue Lincoln as its general manager. With over 24 years’ experience in the industry, Lincoln joins the company from another heating brand. She began her career as a showroom manager; where she was responsible for selling to the public and trade, setting up its sales force and distribution.

Lincoln then worked her way up to operations and sales manager and then general manager, holding this  role for nine years. MD of Aestus Rob Kelly spoke of her appointment: “We are delighted to welcome Sue to the team. The  experience, creativity and passion she brings will help to drive Aestus forward during an exciting period of rebranding and growth.”

EQ software training rewarded:

EQ Softwares training programme in kbb business management skills has been recognised by industry body KBB National Training Group (KBB NTC). The company provides on- site training and holds classroom-based sessions at its head office in Tamworth, covering Foundation, Essential and Professional editions of its business management software.

Commenting on the NTC’s decision to approve the companys training programme, CEO ofthe KBB NTC Renee Mascari said: “I am so pleased EQ Software has come on board with us. Their impressive course portfolio underlines the professional philosophy of the company and on-going commitment to raising skills in the use of business management software.”

Operations director of EQ Software, jason Richards added: “It has taken years of development in the software and our training modules to reach this point. Learning to use  business software proficientiy in such a complex and fragmented market as ours takes commitment and patience, but can be very rewarding.  “We see part of that reward is recognition in reaching high standards of learning, with industry accredited certification of achievement”

Amica launches own-service network

Polish appliance brand Amica has just established a Service Centre in Kilmarnock, Scotland, for its white goods. lt will operate alongside a network of service – sellers; engineers and technical retailers that provide service via their own engineers or sub-contractors and the Amica Service network covers England, Scotland and Wales.

Country manager for Amica, Simon Freear commented: “The aftercare of the Amica product range is not a profit centre but an integral part ofthe Amica product promise which requires investment and specific focus. “Amica retailers who have registered to provide the service know that if the consumer has a problem that they, or the trusted engineer they nominate, will receive a generous caIl-out rate and that  any spares will be received from stock very quickly.

“Our retail partners ‘own’ the relationship with their customer and many operate from the high street in their local community, so good service is critical to them, providing them with a competitive advantage over large chains too. We clearly hope that this new system puts Amica in a priority position with our retail customers.”

Fayers takes on Ellis Furniture:

Ellis Furniture has joined with Fayers independent plumbing, heating and builders’ merchant group, which sees its bathroom furniture displayed in its lust Add Water showrooms. There are three lust Add Water showrooms, across London and the Home Counties, with the boutique brand having been established 20 years ago. lt coincides with Ellis Furniture’s recent investment into machinery to reduce its lead times to two weeks.

Peter Elson, Ellis Furniture sales and marketing director said: “There’s a lotof synergy between Ellis Furniture and Fayers. We’ve both been trading for about 120 years and we’ve both become trusted brands over the years, building a wealth of loyal customers and goodwill. I’m conhdent that with our vast experience in the bathroom sector we can achieve great things together This is the start of what I think will be a long and close working relationship and l’m delighted to welcome lust Add Water to the Ellis Furniture famiIy.”

Ken Beney, marketing director at Fayers, echoed this sentiment as he commented: “The Fayers group, in particularjust Add Water; is renowned for its marketing-leading products and comprehensive, consistently excellent service levels. In selecting Ellis Furniture, as supplier for bathroom furniture, we  believe the combined strengths of both our businesses will deliver great results and our customers will benelit from some of the best products available today, backed up by a best in class service.  “We’re honoured to be working with such a professional and financially secure manufacturer who understands our needs and really listens to its customers.”

Moores Group expands retail team

Moores Furniture group has doubled the size of its retail sales team to meet demand for its Four Seasons and Shades brands and to support the company’s growth plans. The new retail team will be headed up by retail business manager Scot Greenwood, reporting to Moore’s sales and marketing director Kevin Tolson.

Tolson commented: “lt is an extremely exciting time for Moores. The new additions and expansion to our retail sales team is specifically designed to drive sales of Four Seasons and Shades through independent retailers. For the Iong standing members ofthe sales team, the new  additions also reflect an on – going investment in people and products.” The retail sales team includes: Tom Kilburn, Mid East; Steve McVey, Scotland; jordan Cameron, North East;  Scot Greenwood, retail business manager; Stephen Box, South East; Kevin Tolson, sales and marketing director; Gary Court, North West; john Barbsy, South West and Trevor Ball, Mid West.

Surface materials specialist IDS has   become the first distributor in its field to open a twitter account @idsurfaces. The company tweets about its portfolio offering product updates, tips and ‘twoffers§ which are discounts or promotions exclusively available to its twitter devotees. Sign up to follow IDS at www.twittercom/idsurfaces

Bosch is offering up to £100 cashback on its energy-efficient laundry, dishwashing and cooling appliances from September 12 – December 21 . The campaign will be promoted to customers via digital media and the cash back will be offered in the form of a pre-paid Visa card. Included in the promotion is its Ecologixx 7 Condenser Tumble Dryer which uses 40% less energy than a standard A rated appliance.

Waterproof wall panel systems supplier, Mermaid Panels has launched a website featuring a virtual ‘design studio’, to showcase its range of glass and laminate panels. lt enables customers to visualise how their bathroom will look, from the companys range of 50 glass and 40 laminate designs. Visit www.mermaidpanels.com and click ‘design studio’.

Apex Interior Systems has published two brochures, one for kitchens and one for bedroom furniture, promoting its designs, foil and vinyl finishes. Both are fully illustrated with roomsets offering interior design ideas, including using its vinyl wrapped products as wall panelling and headboards. Seven vinyl and foil colours have been added to its existing range of over 40 colours, with a handleless door adding to more than 40 designs.

Distributor F&P Wholesale has unveiled a new-look website offering more product information and online ordering facilities. It offers a range of heating, plumbing and bathroom products, including own brand Pro and Fresssh Bathrooms. All products are available on a ‘next day’ delivery basis and for more information visit www.fpwholesale.co.uk

BSH scoops supplier of the year

Europe’s largest buying group for consumer electronics, Euronics International has named BSH as Supplier of the Year, within the large home appliance category, for the sixth year in succession. Euronics acts as an umbrella organisation for more than 11,000 specialist retailers in 29 countries and members choose their supplier ofthe year in four categories. Suppliers are assessed upon their sales organisation, marketing support, supply capacity, dependability and customer services.

Thomas Baader, vice president of international sales at BSH, accepted the award and said: “We are  extremely proud to have received this award, as it is the result of work carried out by many individual BSH employees in a huge number of divisions, and it also demonstrates the high standards of quality that we  set for ourselves in our business operations. The fact that we have been honoured yet again is a clear indication ofthe sustainability that we are keen to foster, particularly in dealing and co-operating with our retail partners.”

Bosch manager retires

Ken Humphrey, Bosch Home Appliances brand manager, has taken early retirement after 21 years of service. His successor is Rosalinda Buttice who has worked with Humphreys for the past two and a half years. Marketing director for BSH Home Appliances, Rainer Bannwarth commented: “It’s a great shame that Ken is leaving us. He’s done a fantastic job for so many years and has been instrumental in helping the brand to grow and evolve both in terms of volume  sales and environmental progress and achieve prestigious accolades such as the Which? Best Large Home Appliance Brand for the second time.”

Marsden takes reins of Nolte UK

Bob Marsden has taken over the position of UK country manager for German kitchen furniture manufacturer Nolte. He will be responsible for developing the companys direct dealer network throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland. Marsden has over 30 years’ experience, with his career spanning roles at De Dietrich and Teka/Kuppersbusch. He commented on his new appointment: “I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to grow Nolte’s direct Kitchen specialist business in the UK and Ireland alongside our distribution partner Mark David Enterprises. As the ‘direct to dealer’ strategy is a relatively new venture for Nolte, this is a very exciting time for the company in the UK.”

B and Q gain award for fitting service

DIY giant B&Q has gained FIRA Gold Installation Certification for its kitchens, bathrooms and bedroom fitting services. It means that the installation processes, used by B&Q, have passed a series of test to achieve FIRA Gold and will be audited to maintain the level of service. This follows the recent announcement that Homebase has achieved FIRA Gold Installation Certihcate, as well as a FIRA Gold Product Certihcate and follows on from B&Q being named a TrustMark scheme operator DIY giants are frequently held  up as poor examples of fitting, lambasted in online consumer reviews and TV programmes, such as Watchdog.

But CEO of FIRA Johnny Westbrook refuted suggestions that by acknowledging large home improvement companies, it puts FIRA Gold Installation Certification into disrepute. He commented: “Due to the high volume of kitchens that the larger retailers install there will always be unhappy customers and internet-based reviews are sometimes strongly biased towards them particularly it they are very  active; in other words it can often be the case that a few loud voices make a very big commotion.” Westbrook continued: “lt should be said that the supply and fitting of a kitchen is logistically very complicated, any number of things can go wrong which the retailer may not have direct control of from time-to-time things do go wrong for every business and we believe it is how problems are dealt with that is the real mark of excellent customer service. “The key point is that by achieving FIRA Gold Installation Certification, large retailers are showing their commitment to ensuring their installations are carried out as well as possible.

FIRA Gold Installation Certihcation looks at every aspect ofthe installation process, ensuring that installations are carried out following a robust process which FIRA has audited. Through the certification process, large retailers have shown their genuine desire to improve their installation services, which can only be good for consumers.”