Industry journey brings insight and learning

Industry journey brings insight and learning

As you may have heard, Redman Training and Development have recently partnered with KBDi with a view to delivering some valuable training and development opportunities for Members. As the co-director of this company (with my lovely wife, Debra), I’m delighted to share this article – the first of a series to be delivered to you – as an introduction.

Many of you will know me from my previous role as Business Development Manager for Blum Australia (I retired from Blum in August this year). For those of you who I’ve not yet met, here’s a short story about my journey within our fantastic industry, and an insight to some of the lessons I’ve learnt along the way.

While I’m now settled in the far northern coast of NSW, I was Sydney born and bred. My first experience in sales was on the sales counter of a large hardware company called Leopold Barnet in Gardeners Road, Mascot, where I quickly learnt that engaging in conversation and asking the customers questions, defining their needs resulted in increased sales values and ‘happy customers’ who would specifically ask for me to attend to their needs.

I learnt that building good relationships built on trust reduced the emphasis on price.

In 1973 I was employed as a sales representative by Richard Small, the Australian distributor for Blum and a range of other hardware brands including office furniture componentry.

In this role, I learnt that developing good relationships presented opportunities to be part of my customers’ businesses, therefore, being sought after to contribute ideas resulting in sales growth for both parties being a WIN-WIN outcome.

My enquiring nature and willingness to support helped me to develop long-lasting business relationships and friendships.

I learnt that honesty is always the best policy, never over promise and if you don’t know the answer, use the opportunity to get the right answer and learn something.

In 1978 I moved to Melbourne to open an office supporting Blum distributors and representing our products to office furniture manufacturers. I lived in Melbourne for the next 10 years. In 1998 I moved to Queensland along with my wife and 4 children.

Despite the cultural differences of Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane, I realised that if I maintained an open mind and willingness to adapt, I could be accepted in each market.

Queensland, at that time, was in a growth phase, particularly on the Gold Coast where I lived. However, this was a time when the kitchen industry couldn’t have been under more threat. Businesses, responding to lower price demands from builders, were reducing margins, losing profit, and were at risk of closing. Yes, business was booming, however, the quality of offer and value for manufacturers was diminishing.

I recall speaking at an industry event in the early ’90s where I appealed to the kitchen industry to start looking at promoting itself as a professional creative industry. An industry very much in touch with customer needs and willing to provide valuable service and product inclusions that would inspire a need to buy a kitchen.

During my career, I have been challenged by many demands on me professionally and personally. My position required a great deal of travel and being away from home and family. Meeting many different, complex and sometimes challenging personalities also required an ability to adapt, understand and where required, modify my own behaviour. I certainly always retained my values.

From these experiences I would seek to learn how to best adapt to these circumstances, I learnt that I always had a choice. These choices, on how I would respond, how I would behave and choices on deciding if my values were being compromised required me to develop as a person.

I have had a long and close relationship with the KBDi since its conception in 2007, where I enjoyed working with Alex Milne and other industry identities around the country, all determined to create an institute committed to providing valuable services to our design and manufacturing community here in Australia.

I’m looking forward to continuing my association with KBDi in this new role, and sharing with Australia’s Finest Designers and Manufacturers more of the many lessons I’ve learnt, and strategies I’ve developed.

(Keen to learn more about Redman Training & Development? Check them out here.)

Easys for handleless refrigerator opening

Easys for handleless refrigerator opening

Handleless fronts give purist looking kitchens a particularly sharp edge. The New Easys electromechanical opening system from Hettich neatly incorporates refrigerators into handleless kitchen design. Besides its space-saving installed height, the system impresses with its user-friendly functions such as finger protection. Visit to view or download the brochure.

Top Trusted Brand for Kitchens & Kitchen Equipment

Top Trusted Brand for Kitchens & Kitchen Equipment

Architecture & Design has announced the results of its Trusted Brands 2018 survey and revealed Australia’s best brands in the architecture, building, construction, and design industries.

With 6,000 votes counted, Blum Australia has been awarded the Trusted Brand for the Kitchens & Kitchen Equipment category and placed 3rd as the overall Trusted Brand winner.

“We continually focus on dialogue with our customers and their experiences with Blum so we can understand their everyday requirements, this feedback is a key element in our efforts to develop products and services that support our efforts to become a valuable business partner. Receiving this award is a nice recognition of this translating to our customers and we are very humbled to win the most trusted brand in the kitchen and kitchen equipment category”, shares David Noakes, Director –Sales and Marketing, Blum Australia

This was also reflected in the Trusted Brands Survey, which sets out to uncover the drivers behind trustworthiness while also helping to define trust as something based on three key pillars: Quality, Consciousness, and Candour.

“Entirely dependable, beautiful to use, lifetime warranty backs me up when I’m promoting so I can specify without any worries” Leonie, 2018 Top Trusted Blum Brand voter.

Click here to see the latest product releases from Blum including the highly anticipated EXPANDO T – thin fronts range.

Looking for inspiration? Look up!

Looking for inspiration? Look up!

We look up for inspiration, down for desperation, right and left for information.

The stunning kitchens and bathrooms that make their way into the KBDi Designer Awards program are always head turners, and the 2018 entries gave us plenty of good reasons to ‘look up’ with some eye-catching ceiling treatments.

Tasmanian designer, Lydia Maskiell (Lydia Maskiell Interiors), added some almost-black magic to this elegant bathroom. In a dynamic contrast to the glossy white wall tiles, the ceilings are finished in low-sheen Dulux Oolong. Tasteful grey-toned floor tiles create a happy medium between the stark black and white, balancing the room beautifully.

A delicately detailed pressed metal ceiling adds another level of interest to this eclectic kitchen by Adelaide designer, Mike Schirmer (Goolwa Kitchens). Framed with matt black exposed steel beams, the ceiling is an artwork in itself, set amidst a gallery of striking patterns and textures.

Natural light floods this beautiful bathroom by Perth designer, Caitlin Slater (Smart Style Bathrooms). With generous windows and skylights soaking the earthy colour palette and organically shaped basins and bath in light, the bathroom – nestled within a rammed-earth home – is a refreshing retreat for the homeowners.

The balmy blonde tones of ply add top-to-bottom warmth to this otherwise industrial kitchen by Adelaide designer, Nathan Wundersitz (Space Craft Joinery). The finish is cleverly incorporated in the cabinetry, too, with the island unit, featured shelving and shadow-line details expertly manufactured in hoop pine plywood.

Brisbane designer, Lee Hardcastle (Enigma Interiors) has used clever visual trickery to encourage you to ‘look up’ in this stunning kitchen. The vertical veins of the Dusky Elm panels and the ‘straight up’ vj panelling encasing the cabinetry lead the eye up to a dramatic timber profiled ceiling.

Best in class: a perfect run for the tall cabinet

Best in class: a perfect run for the tall cabinet

An elegant tall cabinet is the gateway to a good kitchen life. Tall cabinets make the best use of space and are convenient, gentle on the back and ergonomic. With its VS TAL range, Vauth-Sagel offers a number of different types of tall cabinet – some models are even suitable for narrow gaps and small opening angles.

Now Vauth-Sagel has upped the bar again for its leading technology: the VS TAL Larder pull-out tall cabinet can now be enhanced with PAM – the new Power-Assisted Movement system that is in a world of its own in terms of comfort. For the new VS TAL Larder generation, this means a first-rate opening damping effect in addition to the tried-and-tested closing damping effect. The new VS TAL Gate pull-out pantries come in a new design, which almost totally conceals the upper runner.

The new solutions had to fulfil several requirements: they had to provide greater comfort, be quieter when in motion and allow the manufacturer to set itself apart from the competition thanks to the unique functionality. The result is a pull-out tall cabinet with a new name – VS TAL Larder – and an impressive range of innovations. This is the embodiment of the state-of-the-art pull-out for the immediate future. It is owed to something Vauth-Sagel is calling PAM. The acronym stands for Power-Assisted Movement system and provides the user with uniquely convenient functionality. The PAM opening damping effect is used exclusively with synchronised lower runners. The three runner profiles are connected via steel wires. This system can be combined with standard ball bearings to ensure the runners move quietly and securely throughout the entire operating cycle. Furthermore, the VS TAL Larder is equipped with a hydraulic soft-close, which protects the opening from stops and rebounding. With this new feature, Vauth-Sagel has developed one of the first “pharmacy” drawer runners with a complete heavy-duty hydro soft-close system. The new developments for the VS TAL Larder have been combined with an optional opening damping effect.