008 GGP 1213

GGP December 2013

BFRC issues clarification 8 December 2013 Consumer Credit Solutions (CCS) has been shortlisted for a construction marketing award (www.cmawards.co.uk) in the ‘Best Professional Services Campaign’ category, with its agency MRA Marketing. The CCS/MRA campaign challenges the negative perceptions of point-of-sale finance still held by some who associate it with hard selling and high rates. CCS is an intermediary provider of credit to the home improvement industry and claims to have pioneered ‘soft sell’ finance (i.e. low or zero interest rates, with flexibility and customer control). The company already partners most of the top 100 home improvement firms, but the reluctance of banks to lend has contributed to a growing demand for finance from homeowners who prefer to use local or regional installers. CCS’s ability to offer credit terms that consumers could never get from high street lenders – with interest free, ‘buy now pay later’, and ‘bank buster’ rates has also had a direct impact on its growth. Aimed at retailers in windows, The BFRC has said that the recent articles and letters in the glazing trade media that claim the responsibility for testing warm edge spacers now lies with the European Warm Edge Working Party, is incorrect at present. The European Warm Edge Working Party is run by Bundesverband Flachglas (BF), a trade organisation made up of flat glass manufacturers, spacer bar manufacturers and others. It is the leading authority in this field and receives technical input from organisations such as IFT Rosenheim and the Multi-Pane Insulating Glass Quality Association. Working with the European Warm Edge Working Party is a proposal from BFRC, which was to have become effective in January 2014, but might now be delayed because, the BRRC claims, BF has changed the criteria it uses to undertake these tests. The BFRC states that the proposal has always needed to be agreed and accepted by the majority of warm edge spacer bar manufacturers. The BFRC says that the reason it proposed this route is that the European Warm Edge Working Party uses the most currently relevant tests and has the support of the majority of manufacturers. All European spacer bar manufacturers, and some from outside Europe, are voluntarily members of this working party. Until this proposal becomes effective, BFRC is only asking manufacturers to use BF datasheets ‘where possible’ and will accept data from other accredited sources, providing they are fully compliant with BS EN 10077- 2:2012. BFRC MD, Chris Mayne, said: “This is a highly complicated subject within an extremely competitive and commercially sensitive market. If the BFRC can lead the sector to consensus and long term agreement it will save manufacturers time and money.” Survey indicates growth ahead The recent Construction Trade Survey shows that activity in construction rose for the second consecutive quarter in Q3. The growth was reported by firms across all areas of the industry; building contractors, SMEs, specialist contractors, civil engineers and product manufacturers. Commenting on the survey, Noble Francis, economics director at the Construction Products Association, said: “It was encouraging to see that the recovery, which started in Q2, has continued into Q3. A balance of 43% of contractors reported rises in activity, the second highest level since prerecession 2007. Although private housing is clearly driving industry growth, all construction sectors enjoyed increases in output. With rises in new orders and enquiries, the industry clearly expects that the recovery in output will continue over the next 12 months. CCS shortlisted for national award doors and conservatories, the campaign explains how consumer credit works, and how it can help sales. With customers in all sectors reporting month-on-month growth, CCS has achieved spectacular results, with a projected £325m of managed loans for 2013/14. Andy Wallace, managing partner at CCS, said: “We’re pleased to see that our message ‘if homeowners can’t buy, then you can’t sell’ is recognised as an important and relevant one for the home improvement industry. It’s an honour to be shortlisted.” For more information, visit: www.creditsolutionsgroup.co.uk Fancy a commission cheque for £10,000? Debuting at the 2013 FIT Show, the Sales Professional of the Year competition was billed as the first of its kind to ‘seek out, recognise and reward the people in the front line, those providing the initial key link between the retailer and the customer and as such, the difference between a sale or not.’ For 2014, the FIT Show Sales Professional of the Year Award will follow a similar course, under the watchful eye of Paul Clifton, who is acknowledged as one of the UK’s leading sales trainers in the home improvement market. FIT Show organisers are seeking out the best conservatory sales people and after an initial ‘filtration’ process, entrants will be interviewed by Paul. Those who make the grade will then advance to the finals, which will take place once again in a specially chosen ‘home improvers’ house, with specially trained actors posing as the ‘prospects’. Finalists will be videoed and their performances will be broadcast in the months leading up to the FIT Show 2014. Three finalists will be shortlisted for the main prize of £10,000, which will be announced during the event’s Gala Dinner. There will be no prizes for second or third place, so in this case, the winner really will take it all. FIT Show co-organiser Matthew Glover, said: “The £10,000 prize will motivate people of course. But just as we did last time, we will grill the entrants and dismiss all but the very best. The winner will not just be good at closing the sale. They must secure the order whilst showing detailed and current knowledge of their subject, care for the customer and genuine integrity, the qualities that should be expected of all home improvement sales people in this day and age.” For more details, visit: www.fitshow.co.uk News


GGP December 2013
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