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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
4th February 2011


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Please note that you are viewing an archived issue of The KBzine.

International News

Grohe grows

In the first nine months of 2010, Grohe has posted further strong growth in terms of both sales and earnings.

Bauformat scores Top 10 position in Markt Intern 2010/2011

German kitchen and bathroom manufacturer Bauformat, hit the Top 10 on several counts in Markt Intern 2010/2011 - the independent survey of German kitchen manufacturers, which is carried out every two years. Even better, it won in the 'Best Representation' category.

Its results were:

No.1 - Representation
No.3 - after-sales service
No.8 - Promotion and Sales Support
No.10 - Product Design

T: +44 1922 698000
F: +44 1922 698001
E: [email protected]
W: www.bauformat.co.uk

Going Global in a Day

Whether you are an experienced exporter or considering trading overseas for the first time, research the world in a day by attending this valuable seminar, being held on Thursday 17th February, from 09:30 - 17:00, at the Copthorne Hotel, Slough-Windsor.

Brabantia kicks-off 2011 with new on-line design competition

Following the success of its 'Iron In Style' competition two years ago, Brabantia is to run the event again in the UK, Belgium, The Netherlands and France. The previous competition was a huge hit, attracting some 1,100 entries, and the company is keen to repeat that success.

The house that Ray built - in Romania!

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Ray Isted, Head of Training at Whirlpool UK, recently volunteered to build a house in Romania!

KBA announces newest KBB industry Hall of Fame member

The US National Kitchen & Bath Association has announced the 2011 inductee into the Kitchen & Bath Industry Hall of Fame, which honours individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the industry. The inductee, Surjit Kalsi, is Chairman of Capital Cooking Equipment and is considered one of the foremost experts in cooking range design and manufacturing.

New ace app from Uber


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A fantastically useful application has been designed specifically for retailers and designers of Uber kitchens.

In these days of 24/7 mobile business, the app, which is exclusive to Uber customers, allows the user to view the comprehensive range brochure and immediately obtain complete quotations on all cabinetry and accessories. The user simply selects a range, for example, and then specifies the sizes and quantities required which are costed individually.  The items are then placed in a virtual 'basket', a complete price is displayed and the user enters a personal reference number. A quotation in PDF format is then emailed to the specific customer.

Form a line! The Contour from leisure sinks is now available

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The Contour is the latest addition to Leisure Sinks' range of extremely competitively priced large single bowl, reversible sinks. Utilising a stylish 'sun burst' design drainer and manufactured from 0.9 gauge high grade stainless steel, Contour is a quality sink which is at home in either contemporary or traditional kitchens.

Welcome to the


When it comes to innovation, the European Union still leads India and Russia, but is failing to close the innovation gap with its main competitors, the US and Japan, according to figures released by the European Commission on Tuesday. That innovation gap is being closed by other countries though, with Brazil making steady progress and China catching up quickly.

In measuring the innovation levels in Europe, the Commission evaluated the countries based on 25 indicators that fall into three broad categories: building blocks that allow innovation; investments, entrepreneurship and intellectual assets, and economic outputs.

Sweden ranks top in innovation, followed by Denmark, Finland and Germany.

After the leaders come the innovation followers: the UK, Belgium, Austria, Ireland, Luxembourg, France, Cyprus, Slovenia and Estonia, in that order.

Below the EU average on the innovation scale are Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain.

Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania are classed as "the laggards".

The first scoreboard under the Innovation Union initiative comes just days before EU leaders meet in Brussels for a one-day summit on energy and innovation.

According to draft conclusions obtained by EurActiv, leaders are expected to call for:

* A European Research Area to be completed by 2014 to create what has been dubbed "a genuine single market for knowledge, research and innovation";

* Rapid progress, to ensure the Digital Single Market is created by 2015, and;

* The Commission to present a proposal by the end of this year to lift the legal and administrative blocks to cross-border venture capital funds, a major problem for small- and medium-sized companies in search of fresh capital.

"Innovation is as essential to a successful modern economy as water is to life. It is at the core of economic policymaking and the main way economies create jobs," said Antonio Tajani, commissioner for industry and entrepreneurship, launching the report. "If Europe stands still we will see the US disappear into the distance just as we feel emerging nations breathing down our necks."

The message seems to be a good one, but I can't help wondering how much it's going to cost all the EU's taxpayers to fund all the bureaucrats who'll be setting it up and running it.

Of course when it comes to innovation, this particular industry seems to leave others standing and the issue as far as I can see, is how to let people know about it! Obviously KBZine can help and we're looking forward to attending as many exhibitions and launches as we can over the coming year. In the meantime though, if you have any news you'd like to share with our readers, do make sure you send it in for consideration.



Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

LDL expands nationwide presence with new Scottish office

* LDL-Scotland.jpgLDL, the nationwide distributor of quality furniture fittings, has joined forces with AH Distributors of Cumbernauld to form LDL (Scotland). Designed to consolidate and strengthen LDL's presence in Scotland, the office and showroom will be run by Lloyd Connachan, founding director of AH Distributors.

UK construction sector returned to growth in January

January data signalled a solid expansion of activity in the UK construction sector, with the seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers' Index posting 53.7, up from 49.1 in December. An improvement in weather conditions at the start of the year helped to boost construction work, while there were also gains in new business. Despite rises in both new orders and activity, employment nonetheless fell again.

Maytag adds to iconic refrigeration range

* Maytagsxs.jpgTop quality manufacturer Maytag has added to its iconic and highly distinctive range of refrigeration appliances with the launch of a new stainless steel MNN20FCSl7 side-by-side fridge freezer.

World Plumbing Day 2011 to see increased industry activity

* world-plumbing-council.jpgIt looks likely that the second World Plumbing Day - on Friday 1th March 2011,will see even more industry activity than on the first Day in 2010.

Plumbing organisations in several countries are making plans to mark the Day in the hope that they can draw attention to the important role which plumbing plays in relation to both public health and the environment.

TTA Lobbies Chancellor on Fuel Price Increases

In common with many other associations, The Tile Association has written to The Right Honourable George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, regarding the fuel price increases. It said:

New manufacturing manager for Mereway Kitchens

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Mereway Kitchens has appointed Steve Neal to a new position of Manufacturing Manager. Steve has joined Mereway Kitchens from working as Production Manager for sister company Mereway Bathrooms and brings with him many years of knowledge and experience within the KBB industry, having previously worked for A & J Gummers (Masco Corporation) and Triton.

As a real asset to the Group, Steve had implemented a range of operational efficiencies within the Mereway Bathrooms business with the support of their production team over the last 18 months, including the successful introduction of a lean manufacturing process, resulting in reduced lead times and improved productivity.

Quality of management "crucial" to lift employee morale and engagement

This quarter's Employee Outlook Survey from the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development illustrates the extent to which employees are concerned about their standard of living, as inflation continues to erode the real value of wages. The survey of 2,000 employees finds almost a third of staff say their standard of living has worsened over the last six months compared to 10% who say that it has improved.

Bolstering sales north of the border

* Croydex-Kevin-Whitehead.jpgPopular bathroom accessories manufacturer Croydex, has bolstered its sales team in the north of the country with the appointment of Kevin Whitehead to the position of Northern Sales Manager.

Kevin brings a wealth of experience to his role at Croydex, having spent 16 years at Bristan - 12 years as Area Sales Manager for the North West and a further two years as Regional Sales Manager with responsibility for the northern sales team. Kevin spent the past two years at Bristan as National Account Manager.

DEFRA Minister supports BMA's WEPLS

Richard Benyon, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, has thrown his weight behind the BMA's Water Efficient Product Labelling Scheme.

EDF Energy teams up with Wickes to provide low-cost insulation for millions

EDF Energy, the UK's largest producer of low carbon electricity, has teamed up with Home Improvement retailer Wickes to provide low-cost DIY insulation for domestic households.

The KBzine Archive Search

We keep an extensive archive of news stories and product information that have featured in past issues of The KBzine. If you would like to run a search of the The KBzine web site using the search tool below please just go ahead by entering in the name of the person, product or company or any other key words that you are looking for.

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News in Brief
The Bathroom Academy has completely rebuilt its eLearning website and revised the downloadable bathroom guides.  www.bathroom-academy.co.uk
Ripples tells us that the slimness and soft shapes of its new Velis bathroom range were inspired by the image of sails, their lightness and strength. E: [email protected]
All Rangemaster's dual fuel and induction range cookers are now recommended by The Energy Saving Trust, as being the most environmentally conscious available today. T: 0870 789 6110
Totally DIY, the three-day show for retailers and suppliers of products in the DIY and home improvement sector starts on Sunday. It runs alongside Totally Tools. www.2011.totallydiy.co.uk
Dutch company Philips has acquired the assets of Indian kitchen appliance manufacturer Maya Appliances and its Preethi brand. E: [email protected]
How to contact us at The KBzine:
Jan Hobbs
Publishing Editor
Email:[email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)1372 811 307 
Mobile: 07980 288 373





John Austen
Publishing Director
Email:[email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)1580 755 863
Mobile: 07766 707 888
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Recent News

CIPD conference highlights benefits of managing conflict constructively

Managing workplace grievances takes on average 14 days per case in management time, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development's (CIPD) research, Managing Conflict at Work (2011). This cost, combined with the new Government's proposals to implement employment tribunal charges and extend the time period in which employee's are protected from unfair dismissal from one to two years, means the issue of managing workplace conflict is now top of the agenda.

Self-build site insurance provider welcomes Government's self-build sector boost

Site insurance provider Self-Build Zone has today welcomed the Government's recent policy announcement that it is to cut red tape and boost demand in the UK self-build sector.

REC counters claims about bogus self employment in construction

Following a call last week by UCATT - the Union of Construction, Allied Trades & Technicians - for a government review of payroll companies in the construction sector, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation has emphasised the need to strike a balance between stopping false self-employment and ensuring that the UK construction industry retains its flexible workforce.

Mereway drivers gain First Aid training


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Mereway's transport team recently attended a Basic First Aid training course as part of each driver's personal training programme; their 'Certificate of professional competence in HGV driving', with all 17 team members successfully passing the qualification.

Firms advised that proper book-keeping is essential to avoid £3,000 fine

Small businesses say Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs should get its own house in order following reports of poor service !


Schofield switches to EQ


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EQ Software, the UK's popular KBB business management software provider, has appointed Neil Schofield as Marketing Manager.

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