Our magazine of moving
ideas for changing times

issue#1

Preparing for the new normal

Welcome to the first edition of view, as we all start the journey to finding an acceptable normality in our daily working lives, we at Blum have been trying to explore ways in which we can continue to be a proactive partner for you and your business.

This publication aims to provide a support level that not only brings the Blum perspective but also a view across the wider furniture industry.

Over the coming weeks we aim to share many different ways of how we are all adapting to our new environment.

At Blum we believe that ideas can move the world and by working together through sharing and learning we give ourselves an opportunity to make the best of our present situation.

I hope that you enjoy reading the content and we welcome any inputs from your side.

All the best and, most importantly, stay healthy.

ENCOURAGING SIGNS

It’s good to know that the wheels of the KBB industry are slowly starting to turn again and that, as doors are unlocked, customers are ready and waiting to make appointments. As the independent kitchen and bathroom retail market opens its showrooms up to real consumer interest the press are reporting positive news.

kbbreview says: “Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that the pent-up demand many predicted is coming to fruition, with many retailers opening by-appointment-only ahead of the official June 15 government deadline for non-essential shops.”
Read the full article here...

In a later feature kbbreview goes on to confirm: “...the large majority of independent kitchen and bathroom showrooms in England are now open for business – mostly by appointment only.”kbbreview conducted a survey of nearly 100 English retailers in which 88% said they were open.
Read the full article here...

Always here to help

If you have a query here are some handy hints on how to reach the right person

 

• Accounts & General Queries: Please contact our reception team on 01908 285700. Messages will be passed to the relevant department, who will return your call.

 

• Technical Queries: Please email technical.uk@blum.com or call 0800 230 0898.

 

• For details on who to contact regarding Orders or Sales Queries please refer to our dedicated coronavirus web page – click here.

Want to place an order...

Since Monday 1 June, Blum UK has been offering a 5-day logistics service.

Cut off for orders each day is at 11.00am. Goods will then be despatched within a 48-hour window (i.e. orders received by 11.00am on a Monday, will be despatched by Wednesday, for delivery by Friday at the latest).

We will continually assess the order intake level and the need for social distancing within our warehouse. We will of course notify you immediately of any changes to the above schedule.

Please email your order to
orders.uk@blum.com

Latest live updates on our website

Matthew Glanfield is our Technical Manager based in Milton Keynes. He has been with Blum for 2 years and he is a self-confessed ‘tech geek’ but hey everyone needs one of those!

David Grant is a seasoned ‘Hinge Ninja’ having been with us for 19 years as Senior Technical Advisor. David has run the London Marathon twice and played football with Chelsea Old Boys.

Going the distance with CV19

The pandemic is putting up a stronger and longer fight than any of us could have imagined. Our wellbeing section is likely to become a regular feature of view to address crucial Health & Safety matters, a subject that has never been more at the forefront of our minds. Leading industry bodies such as KBSA and the British Institute of KBB Installation have recently collated important guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidelines to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible.

In their main publication, BEIS have outlined five steps to working safely and here is a quick reminder:
• Carry out a COVID-19 Risk Assessment
• Follow cleaning and hygiene rules
• Help people work from home
• Stay 2m apart where possible
• If 2m cannot be achieved, take steps to manage risk.

There are 5 Risk Assessment guides from the Government which cover a range of different types of work that are most relevant to the KBB industry, and these together with other helpful advice from BiKBBI (following their webinar in May) can be downloaded here.

TAKING CARE OF CRITICAL FINANCIAL NEEDS

The Furniture Makers’ Company, the City of London livery company and charity for the furnishing industry, is supporting UK furnishing industry workers and sole traders (badly effected in the COVID-19 crisis) by awarding Personal Support Grants. From £200/month for individuals, up to £500 for sole traders.

Go to their website for eligibility criteria

The show must (virtually) go on...

It’s hard to believe that it was only in March that we unveiled our latest exhibition stand at the NEC – because it feels like a world away!

The event sector has been massively impacted by coronavirus since then but it’s encouraging to see it evolving in the face of our current challenges. One example is the Homebuilding & Renovating Show (24th–25th July) – in a web statement they say:
“We know that it’s important to get the expert advice and inspiration you need for your home project, so we’re transforming the live show you know and love into a virtual event. The event will continue to provide all the expert advice, inspiring sessions and access to the products and services you’ll need to make your dreams a reality. We hope that it will be even easier for you to enjoy our show, with no travel, risk or cost.”

See the website for more info

Avoidance of risk is a key selling point but what about the lack of human contact? Of course organisers are keen to stress that a ‘virtual event’ is very similar to a live one, only enjoyed from the comfort of your own home. This will mean that visitors watch and browse on their mobile, laptop, desktop or tablet. Usually an online platform is accessible throughout the live days of any show and for a set period afterwards.

So what can visitors expect from events like the Homebuilding & Renovating Summer Show? You will be able to move between virtual exhibitor booths, finding inspiration and gathering information for a project. In addition there will be seminars & masterclasses, live chat and call back requests, videos from key suppliers and lots of Downloads.

Keep an eye out for our new online Webinar series coming to a screen near you by the end of July. We’ll keep you posted on dates and registration details to add to your diary in the next issue of view

The first Webinar will focus on KBB retail & the ‘New Normal’. If you would like to be added to the mailing list for this event and others please email:
receptionist.uk@blum.com

Please share any suggestions for future event content or specific ideas for what we can do to support you.

Give the great and the good in our world their place in the limelight

There are two highly coveted award schemes we’d like to mention, that reward industry excellence. Probably worth checking them both out.

The first is The designer awards 2020 the ceremony for which is held at an exclusive venue in London – widely regarded as the only design-focused awards event for the kitchen, bathroom and interiors industry. These awards were created to recognise outstanding designers, project design and manufacturers for product design. It will take place in November 2020 and there are 8 categories this year.

As the organisers of the second are quite right to point out, we will need a party by the beginning of December.

The annual Essential Kitchen & Bathroom Business Awards are back and we’re being encouraged to join in the celebrations. Nominating your products, staff, campaigns and more couldn’t be easier. Simply visit the nominations website by clicking the link arrow under the logo and complete your entry entirely online in minutes.

There are 16 categories in which you can highlight best products and practice – we might see you at the 2020 Awards event!

Blum UK, Mandeville Drive,
Kingston, Milton Keynes, MK10 0AW

Tel +44 1908 285700
www.blum.com