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Cevisama 2017

Friday, 24 February 2017 16:33:15 Europe/London

Cevisama 2017


Last week, Eddie and Reuben jetted off to Valencia in Spain for the annual Cevisama Expo. Cevisama is an annual event where tile manufacturers and sanitary ware manuacturers from around the world gather to display their wares to architects and specifiers. There was lots to see and do over the four days, and even Villareal CF football team visited one of the stands on Tuesday 21st. 

There werre a lot cool things around the show, and a lot of evidently emerging trends, a couple of which we'll feature in separate Image of large format wooden tiles and a grey feature wallblogs, but we'll round up the main trends here. 

One of the main emerging trends was the "going large" trend - there were enormous slabs of marble-effect porcelain and sheets of wood-effect tiles that were over two metres long. The tiles were roughly 12mm thick, so they look like they would have been a four person install. 

A continuing trend is grey tiles, which were once again a prominent feature throughout the show, used in a lot of feature walls and bathroom mockups, continuing the sleek and designer look of the bathrooms. 

Mosaics were less prominent at this year's show, with almost no stands that we saw displaying any mosaics other than border strips, and the border strips that were there were being done with a band of textured tiles the same colour as the plain tiles. 

Image of some wood effect tiling and a cool outdoor tiling areaAnother trend that seems to be falling out is the wood-effect tiles, as these seem to be getting squeezed out by the textured tiles. There were stil wood-effect tiles around, but they certainly weren't as prominent.  

Stay tuned for a couple more blog posts on the big trends of the year!

 

 

Comments | Posted By Rachel Kelsey

NoMorePly Versus Plywood

Wednesday, 11 January 2017 07:18:29 Europe/London

Check out our latest video, demonstrating the strength of 6mm NoMorePly® compared to the strength of 6mm plywood.

Enjoy!

 

Comments | Posted By Josh Stutterheim

Mcdonald's

Thursday, 5 January 2017 13:22:43 Europe/London

Mcdonald's Restaurants use NoMorePly®

All new build stand-alone Mcdonald's Restaurants are fitted with NoMorePly® Insulation Board as an external tile backing system.  This provides the required strength whilst maintaining a thin profile.

 

Mcdonalds NoMorePly

 

Check out the video below to view the Clifton Branch of Mcdonald's which opened in May 2015.  This is one of the many examples (and counting) of NoMorePly® being installed in Mcdonald's Restaurants.

 

 
Comments | Posted in Case Study By Josh Stutterheim

Case Study - Ingram House, Covent Garden

Friday, 2 December 2016 09:35:17 Europe/London

Ingram House, Covent Garden

On the 11th November, T4 Mechanical & Electrical contacted Specialist Tiling Supplies with a requirement for our 9mm NoMorePly to be installed in the luxurious renovation of Ingram House. 

This prestigious building was built circa. 1850, and is now being converted to include approx. 3000sq ft of office space and high-end luxury apartments to the upper four floors.

STS were able to deliver the goods to this Central London address within 30 minutes of the deadline stipulated which enabled the project to continue on schedule.

This impressive development will benefit from the superior features of NoMorePly, ensuring that the finely crafted interiors will retain their initial beauty.

 

STS will continue to deliver on your requirements without fail.

 

 

Ingram House, Covent Garden

 

Comments | Posted in Case Study By Josh Stutterheim

Is Staff Training a Carrot or a Stick?

Wednesday, 9 November 2016 14:39:37 Europe/London

Is Staff Training a Carrot or a Stick?

 Image of a man running towards a carrot with a stick behind him

 

It cannot be denied that staff training is beneficial to sales. A team that has a well-rounded knowledge of the products you sell and any objections they might face is going to be better at selling these products than a team that has never been trained. 

However, staff training is not always the most exciting topic to bring up with your sales staff. Often, they see it as being sat in a room, being talked at by a salesperson for hours, when your staff has something more important to do. This negativity then stops your staff from engaging properly with the training and the whole session is a waste of time.

So how do you have a training session that is a carrot and not a stick? We believe the answer lies in the attitude surrounding the training. If you can create a mentality that staff training is about being empowered to develop your skills and not about being punished for not performing well, then half the battle is won. Once you have created the air of positivity, the culture starts to change. 

Before you even start with the training, you should assess your audience - their prior knowledge of the product, their age, their backgrounds etc. This will help you prepare relevant content at the right level for your audience and stop disengagement. 

Another way to have a great training session is to make it interactive - to create an engaging training session is to get the staff members involved with the products they are learning about. Having some interactive demonstrations can go a long way towards getting your staff to connect with the trainer, and can help a lot with understanding. There are many different learning styles, and studies have shown that some people learn by hearing, some people learn by doing. If you can incorporate as many of the different learning styles into your training, it will be a benefit to everyone.

You should implement breaks in your sessions, especially if they are all day sessions. Most studies tend to say that the average attention span in a lecture is 10 minutes, but lectures are often over an hour long, so breaks can really help your group to regain their focus and keep them happy. It also gives them an opportunity to take in what they've just heard. 

Finally, you should always ask for feedback on your sessions. Feedback is a great way to measure how well people have engaged with your session, how well they have taken in the information you have presented them and what they liked most and least about your session. Feedback can either be presented as a survey before the participants leave or as a follow up email. You should be open to criticism and use what you learn to improve your sessions. 

We at STS have great belief in positive and productive training sessions that can be used to help staff reach their highest potential. As Richard Branson says " Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to." If you look after your staff, they in turn will look after your customers. 

 

Comments | Posted By Rachel Kelsey

Kaskade vs NoMorePly Wetroom - a comparison

Friday, 21 October 2016 10:14:28 Europe/London

Kaskade vs NoMorePly Wetrooms - A Comparison


Since the launch of the NoMorePly wetroom system earlier this year, STS now offer two ranges of wetroom system, each with their own features and benefits. This post seeks to explain the differences (and similarities!) to hopefully help make your decision on which wetroom to choose an easy one. 


Kaskade Wetrooms

Kaskade wetroom trayThe Kaskade wetroom tray is STS' original wetroom tray. Kaskade trays are made from fibreglass and can sit directly on the floor joists with no extra support necessary.
As the trays are fibreglass, normal cement-based tile adhesives do not adhere to the trays satisfactorily and therefore we recommend the Megalastic Wetroom Tile Adhesive for tiling onto them, which will give you the full guarantee.
As they don't need to be supported, fitting the Kaskade trays is quicker than the NoMorePly wetroom trays.
Kaskade trays can be used with tiles, mosaics and vinyl floor coverings, as well as electric underfloor heating systems. 
Kaskade wetrooms have a lifetime guarantee for complete peace of mind. 

 

NoMorePly Wetrooms 

NoMorePly Wetroom

The NoMorePly wetroom tray is our most recent development. It is a foam core tray and because of this it needs to be fully supported underneath and cannot sit straight onto joists. 
Unlike the Kaskade trays, NoMorePly wetroom trays can be tiled onto with pretty much any adhesive.
Fitting the NoMorePly wetroom trays does take longer than the Kaskade trays, but they are cheaper to buy than the Kaskade trays.
NoMorePly wetroom trays have a watertight promise and a lifetime guarantee, which will ensure your wetroom looks great for years to come. 

Both trays come in three sizes - 1000mm x 1000mm, 1200mm x 900mm and 1500mm x 800mm with a central drain and 1200mm x 900mm with a linear drain.
Both types can be adapted to suit other dimensions if required by simply cutting the shower tray and sealing the cut edge with MegaStrength adhesive.
Both tray types are fully waterproof so you don’t need to apply any extra membranes to the trays.


We hope this post has been helpful. Click here to see our full range of wetroom trays. 

Comments | Posted in Features By Rachel Kelsey

The Importance of good customer service

Thursday, 6 October 2016 16:23:32 Europe/London

The Importance of Good Customer Service

 

Good customer service is about understanding the needs of different customers, keeping promises and delivering consistently high standards. Eight out of ten customers say that good customer service can influence their choice of company, according to the 2013 Which? survey. Four in ten would be willing to pay more for better service and 86 per cent of respondents would leave an organisation that treated them poorly. The cost of bad customer service far outweighs the cost of good customer service. 

A great customer service team is an integral part of any successful business. Whether your customers are one-man operations or huge companies, treating them with respect and care is one of the best ways to strengthen your company’s reputation. Having a great customer service team is what is going to keep your customers coming back to you time after time - initially, good prices and cheap deals might entice new customers, but having a good relationship with a customer is what will keep them. 

Having a great customer service team doesn't just benefit your customers, it also benefits your business. The best way to promote your business is by word of mouth marketing. Similarly, bad customer service can impact massively on your company's reputation. With the popularisation of social media, you can almost guarantee if something good or bad happens, people are going to share it on their social media networks. This leads to direct publicity for your business, and there are many, many examples in the news these days - some good, and some awful. This proves that your customers are talking about you, and it's up to you to join in the conversation and influence the outcome.

So, what are the easiest ways to encourage a great customer service team? Being honest and open with your customers is a great starting point, even if it means confessing to a problem. Communication is always key, especially when something has gone wrong, and if your customers know about problems then you can work with them to resolve them. Ease of communication is another big factor - having information readily available in different formats for your customers is a great way to keep a relationship strong. Finally, you should listen to feedback. It might get tiresome listening to complaints, but then at least you have direction on what needs fixing and it allows you to understand your customers' experiences. 

Do you have any feedback to share with us? Let us know here.

Natalie's faceWritten by Natalie Wainman, Customer Service and Office Manager at STS

 

Comments | Posted in Features By Rachel Kelsey

The Y3P Challenge

Wednesday, 28 September 2016 10:49:50 Europe/London

STS, Dunlop and Ardex conquer the mountains

On Saturday 24th September at 7:50am, in the depths The team before the walk
of the Yorkshire Dales, a small congregation of people met, with one goal in mind - to scale the three peaks. 

Joanne from STS joined GarethJohn and Steve from Dunlop and Lee from Ardex in the shadow of the three peaks. Lunches were packed, thick socks were on and the walk began.

The day started well, with our intrepid explorers scaling the first peak together, but the group split up from thereon out.

Joanne and JohnDespite the split, the teams cracked on, with the challenge being completed by the end of the day. Gareth conquered all three peaks in nine hours, which is a great achievement. 

Joanne said it was one of the toughest things she's ever done and hopes that the next activity involves sitting down! 

Here's to the next adventure!

 

 

  

Image Credit: Gareth Birks & Joanne Hodgkins

Comments | Posted By Rachel Kelsey

Flooring Show 2016

Thursday, 22 September 2016 16:36:55 Europe/London

STS attends the Flooring and Tiling Show


NoMorePly StandEvery year, Harrogate International Centre plays host to The Flooring Show, which is hailed as the industry's flagship event and continues to be one of the biggest and best loved in the industry. 

This year, the Flooring Show's 54th year,was the first time that the Tiling and Flooring shows were co-locacted in Harrogate's International Centre.

The show aims to bring together all areas of the industry, and exhibitors and visitors alike get together for three days of exhibits, displays and demonstrations under one roof. With no other B2B show in this sector in the UK, the show hopes to build a unique platform for manufacturers and distributors to show current products and to launch new and exciting designs.

Joe and Charlie manning the standSTS attended the show on 19th and 20th September, on one of the biggest stands right next to the demo area of the Tiling Show.

This meant we had a prime spot to watch the demos over the couple of days, including demos from  N&C,   BAL and Instarmac.

We were also conducting hands-on demos on our own stand, including scoring and  snapping the 6mm N
oMorePly, applying MegaStrength to  the board and drilling the boards to some mocked-up flooring.

Some of our customers visited the stand over the two days (including Craig Sellars, who I pinched this picture from) and we saw some of our friends from other companies, such as Dunlop Adhesives, Genesis and Tilemaster. 

Overall the show was a success and we had a lot of fun. Here's to the next one!

 

Comments | Posted By Rachel Kelsey

H&B Activity Day

Thursday, 15 September 2016 16:02:35 Europe/London

H&B Activity Day

Arrows were let fly and tyres squealed through the
mud at Carden Park in Chester on Tuesday for
A group picture of some of the members and suppliers of the activity daythe annual H&B Activity Day. The

H&B Group put on an annual activity day for members and suppliers to attend, to allow them to relax and network whilst having fun. 

Vanessa and Mark went representing STS and NoMorePly, and Vanessa went prepared for the rain (in her £28 mac from George at Asda) despite the forecast for the hottest day of the year. Sure enough, Vanessa was proved right when the heavens opened and those attending in shorts and canvas shoes got more than a little bit damp, naming no names (Baljit). 

   

Pictures of the laser clay pigeon shooting Those who were doing clay pigeon  shooting were led up into the hills in  the fog whilst the golfers were  trudging round the course in the  rain. Vanessa tells us that Nicola  from Beatsons was robbed out of a  perfect 50 score on the laser  archery due to a so-called "faulty  gun". 

 Mark represented STS in the laser  clay pigeon shooting alongside Cliff  from Chestnut Building Centres.

 At dinner, Steve Morgan gave a    speech and the  attendees were  entertained by the comedy  stylings  of John Culshaw. The day slowly  wound into the night with reports that the bar was still  packed at 3:30am with people making merry  into the small hours.

  

Following the activity day was an H&B Exhibition, which was two hours of the members walking round to see the suppliers. There was a great turnout for day two, with lots of members and suppliers attending. STS launched NoMorePly, NoMorePly Wetrooms, Tanking Kits and Trims on the day. 

All in all, the event was a big success, with new friendships forged in mud and rain. Thanks very much for having us, here's to doing it all again next year!

 

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Comments | Posted By Rachel Kelsey
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