Changing perceptions

DIY Industry Awards

Front: Reinier van den Berg group general manager at Essential Hardware. From Left to right: Ruwag, received a silver award for Industrial Supplier of the year; Skillcraft won the Power Tool Category Supplier of the Year as well as a Silver award for Hand Tools Supplier of the year; The gold Voluntary Buying Group of the Year award went to Essential Hardware and Eurolux received Electrical & Lighting Supplier of the year; Ruwag won a silver as Fixings & Fasteners Supplier of the Year.

On Wednesday 7 November, suppliers to the hardware industry gathered at the Midrand Conference Centre for the eighth DIY & Industrial Trade News awards ceremony.

Johann Gerber, the magazine’s publisher thanked all who attended before summing up the year,

“I am either not quite ready, or my mind is struggling to comprehend how we are already at the end of 2018. This has been a rollercoaster of a year and while I look back I am feeling fairly content but I do sit and ponder about missed opportunities.

I recently read an article, about the psychology of the brain.

The brain is wired to keep us safe. Thus it will always opt on the side of caution. When you stand close to the edge of a cliff your brain is wired to issue caution, safety and keep you alive. This same wiring is what impacts our decision making in life and business.

Witness something uncomfortable or difficult, your brain will override everything to make the safe decision. We all know those seven words – we have always done it that way.

Here is the good news, you have five seconds from discovery or realisation to make a conscious decision before your brain’s survival mechanism will kick in.

Only once we are in uncomfortable spaces can we grow. And while 2018 has been a particularly difficult year, our business repeating the same practices make it harder to grow. We need to move into really uncomfortable spaces to force our brains to creatively solve these problems.

For 2019, count back from five and make risky decisions to help your business realise these business opportunities.

We live in the country and continent with many opportunities. In 2018 we have seen a new retail group being established as well as a corporate enter the industry. As I explained to my team, investors are not looking for 10% returns; they are looking for much more.

This shows confidence in our country and Africa. This is the ‘land of milk and honey’. We need to ensure our businesses remain part of the conversation. Keep your business relevant in tough times. You can do this by following JW Marriot’s example of very successful global hotel chains – ‘be out in the field. Don’t get bogged down behind a desk’.

Know what is happening in your industry and market, be involved, and listen to feedback. Keep Richard Branson’s advice in mind when listening to negative feedback from customers. Branson says, the customer is always right, unless they are wrong.”

To share an example of customers being wrong, Jakob Nielsen of the Nielsen Group wrote an article on 23 August 1998 announcing that print media will be dead within 5-10 years. It is 20 years later and yes while print media is under pressure, print is still relevant and growing.

Business to Business media is one of the only media platforms to show double digit growth. Considering whether print media advertising – on all platforms and channels – is still a relevant strategy today, the Media Space Solutions stated the following: Will print media advertising still be relevant in 2018? Will a hot fudge sundae still taste awesome?”

DIY Industry Awards 2018

Outdoor Supplier of 2018

  • Bronze: Lawnstar
  • Silver: Gardena
  • Gold: Agrinet

Industrial Supplier of 2018

  • Bronze: Matus
  • Silver: Ruwag
  • Gold: Vermont Sales

Electrical & Lighting Supplier of 2018

  • Bronze: Ellies
  • Silver: ACDC
  • Gold: Eurolux

Building Chemicals Supplier of 2018

  • Silver: Permoseal
  • Silver: Sika
  • Gold: a.b.e. Construction Chemicals

Fixings & Fasteners Supplier of 2018

  • Bronze: SafeTop
  • Silver: Ruwag
  • Gold: Eureka

Hand Tool Supplier of 2018

  • Bronze: Gedore
  • Silver: Skillcraft
  • Gold: Vermont Sales

Wholesaler of 2018

  • Bronze: WHD
  • Silver: Vermont Sales
  • Gold: Agrinet

Paint Supplier of 2018

  • Bronze: Duram
  • Silver: Excelsior
  • Gold: Kansai-Plascon

Power Tool Supplier of 2018

  • Bronze: Vermont Sales
  • Silver: Stanley Black & Decker
  • Gold: Skillcraft

Voluntary Buying Group of 2018

  • Bronze: EST Africa
  • Silver: Mica
  • Gold: Essential Hardware

Supplier of the Year 2018

  • Bronze: Academy Brushware
  • Silver: Vermont Sales
  • Gold: Eureka

DIY Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Cindy Engels