Richard's Blog

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Author: Richard Gyde Created: Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Observations about Mila Hardware and our industry

Like many in the industry I’m sure, I’m already planning my visit to the FIT Show in a couple of weeks’ time.

Mila took the difficult decision not to exhibit this year largely because the timing of the show, just 13 months after the last one, didn’t fit in with our product development programme. Last year of course, the timing was perfect for the launch of our phenomenal GRIP handle and I like to think we stole the show with our amazingly colourful stand.

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I’ve recently returned from a two week trip to China – 3,000 miles in 12 days and 10 different hotel rooms, which I’m not sure anyone could really describe as glamorous.

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We set great store by our service levels here at Mila – guaranteeing next day delivery and maintaining a supply chain which achieves OTIF scores in excess of 99%.

Critical to that of course is the performance of our warehouse team...

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If you read the trade press, you’ll hopefully have seen lots of coverage of our newly simplified guarantees.

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I’m absolutely delighted that we’ve got another member of the 30+ club at Mila. Dave Smith, one of our most valued warehouse operatives, clocked up 30 years with the business last week and quite rightly got a special gift from Mila to say thank you.

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There’s so much depressing political news in the papers at the moment that it’s sometimes tempting not to read them too closely, but I actually found some real nuggets of positivity in The Sunday Times a couple of weeks ago which I thought I’d share with readers of my blog.

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I’ve just been reading a summary of the 2016 GGF Membership survey and, while there’s a mix of positive and negative in there, it was interesting to be reminded of just how important the federation still is to this industry.

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It seems a long time ago that digital marketing was a ‘nice to have’ rather than a ‘must have’ in this industry.  It’s become a key element in Mila’s award winning marketing activity in recent years and we’ve just appointed our first full time digital marketeer to handle our online presence and engage with customers on social media direct.

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Looking back, 2016 has very definitely been a year of highs and lows – the highs of the FIT show, the launch of our GRIP handle and our most recent success at the G-Awards, and the lows of the price surcharges triggered by the Brexit vote.

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There’s been lots of talk in the market about the price rises and surcharges triggered by the fall in the value of the pound after the Brexit vote. I’ve already written to customers about the currency band surcharges we’re having to impose from January and setting out exactly what proportion of the extra costs we’re absorbing and what proportion we’re reluctantly having to pass on. 

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