Member Profile: Clint Spence, Beaudesert Mitre 10

Member Profile: Clint Spence, Beaudesert Mitre 10

Clint Spence has been involved in the hardware industry for more than 43 years at Beaudesert Mitre 10 and is a valued member of the Hardware Australia Committee, Chair of the Queensland state committee and this year was appointed our Vice-Chair.

When we caught up with Clint earlier in the month, we found out more about his career challenges, highlights and how he came to join our state & national committee.

 

How did you get involved in the hardware industry?

In 1976 I started with the local council in their supply- stores department with my Scout Leader as my boss. I was introduced to bolts, cement, hard hats, safety lanterns etc for a period of 7months. Don Franklin one of three brothers that owned Beaudesert Hardware which was also an ex Scout of my present boss came and asked me to join his team at the hardware store. I thought it would be a great opportunity to know more about tools and building materials, so I began working for Beaudesert Mitre 10 in May 1977.

 

What has been some of the main achievements or highlights in the business over the past 12 months?

Fine tuning the business in the pricing and margin area and most recently transforming the layout of the store with the help of my staff to achieve a more comfortable shopping experience for our customers. The Covid-19 event has certainly produced a history making situations. One that comes quickly to mind is, at the height of our first lockdown I have never seen a seed packet stand stripped bare of every packet in 2 days in all of my career, just amazing.

 

What is one of the biggest challenges you have faced in the business?

The introduction of the GST in 2000. It was unchartered waters for everyone at the time, but also a challenge. We worked with computer companies, government departments, tax office, stationary, printers, industry bodies, and accountants and most importantly explaining how it was going to work to our customers; and yet today it seems so simple and part of everyday business.

 

What is the one business tip you would like to pass onto another hardware store?

We spend a lot of time looking after our customers which is very important, take time out twice a year to sit down and look at your figures. Learn formulations to show how you are actually performing financially. Benchmark yourself against other stores similar to yours, if that opportunity arises. Our industry and other stores have a great deal of information that can be accessed and then implemented to better ourselves. But do not forget about balancing that work/family time. I for one failed in this arena for a period but realised that watching your family growing up is so rewarding.

 

When did you join the Hardware Australia committee?

I was succumbed by Brian Lee a rep for Lockwood in the early 2000, our store had been a member of Hardware Association of Queensland (HAQ) for many years and utilising their training techniques and industry information. Brian invited me to join the board of Queensland. There I was, a young guy from the bush sitting at the table with all these experienced hardware retailers, a learning experience I can honestly say. I soon realised we were all there to see that our hardware industry was tracking in the right direction and arming the retailers with information and connections that would help them in their daily business routine.

Where do you see the future of the hardware industry?

As I polish up my crystal ball and see that our future remains strong. You may be able to source products, watch YouTube, and purchase online, but the hands on experience you and your staff have will never be matched by Mr Google. The younger generation coming through are “Do it for me” and I believe that’s where our opportunity lies.

 

What do you think is the biggest benefit of being a member of Hardware Australia?

Since the amalgamation of all the states to form Hardware Australia, we have grown in strength and experience. Our voice for the independent Hardware members is being heard, our aim to Educate, Advocate, and Associate will always be at the forefront of all our discussions and activities. The resources that are available at present for stores/ members give a sense of partnership and a comfort blanket that you can talk to a person when the need arises.

 

You were awarded the Brian Lee Hardware Industry legend award last year (2019), how did you feel about winning the award?

The Legends Award last year was an honour to receive in front of my fellow hardware suppliers, retailers, family, and friends. I’m a quiet achiever normally, but to be acknowledged for my work to date for the industry was rewarding. To receive the Brian Lee Award was quite ironic as I have mentioned above as Brian introduced me to the fold many years prior.

 

Was there anyone that helped shape your hardware career?

You never stop learning and the people you meet always teach you something different. My mangers before me (Allan & Phil) at the store, passed on their skills to me as well as Don Franklin. Don challenged everyone to do better and learn, he was a businessman through and through and I thank them all for seeing the potential in me in those early years.

Mental health resource centre to help your business

Mental health resource centre to help your business

COVID-19 has changed our lives in a way we never imagined, many of you are wearing the burden of the mental health and wellbeing of your family and staff. Now more than ever it’s important to check in with yourself and not just your team.

Last week the federal government launched a digital hub to support small businesses with mental health and wellbeing resources.

Ahead for Business is an initiative of Everymind and is funded by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy, and Resources.

Resources available to you on the hub include:

  • Interactive tool kits: Designed with small business owners and policymakers in mind, these toolkits provide practical guidance on how to support small business owners and how small business owners can make the most of their existing networks.
  • Adverse events spotlight: A centralised hub of support, information and resources for small business owners and those who support them to assist in navigating adverse events like COVID-19, drought and bushfires.
  • Voices and stories from small business owners: A blog space featuring the voices and stories from small business owners across multiple settings and industries.
  • Personalised dashboard: A secure, private portal where small business owners can save resources, results and information and track their progress over time.
  • Connect and chat online: Access an anonymous, peer-focused online forum featuring topics and issues that matter to small business owners.
  • Directory of support: A section that connects to service providers and organisations who provide mental health, business and industry support for small business owners.
  • Identify your stressors: Access a range of digital tools and plans to identify personal and business stress points and understand current mental health and wellbeing status, including personalised resources.
  • Tailored multimedia resources: A series of podcasts, videos and case studies designed to empower small business owners, and those who support them, to take action on their mental health and wellbeing.

Upcoming Mental Health Events and Webinars

On 2nd September, ForestWorks will be holding a free webinar on actions you should take to implement a mental health workplace webinar if you’re able to attend make sure you register and a recording will be sent to you so that you can catch up in your own time.

R U Ok?Day is coming up on 10th September, the day aims to encourage and remind Australian’s that every day is the day to ask, “Are you Ok?”. More details and resources to use in your business to promote the date visit https://www.ruok.org.au/

Global Hardware Market Updates

Global Hardware Market Updates

In this month’s global news, DIY sales continue to soar around the world with never before seen quarterly results in the US, Germany, Austria & Switzerland. In Japan, Cainz has opened their first membership-only pro store and Russia is seeing a trend toward smaller stores. Find out more below 

Lockdown & Stamp Duty freeze sees households making more home improvements

The Chancellor’s stamp duty holiday has convinced many that it is time to move home. Eight in ten homeowners, who have considered moving since lockdown began, say they are now even more likely to do so as a result of the announcement. In London, nearly a third (30%) are considering moving away from the capital.

Many homeowners are also still carrying on with home improvements to increase the value of their current property, with a third (32%) currently planning to undertake some form of renovation.

Looking back over the last 12 months, six in 10 (62%) homeowners have already made home improvements, spending an average of £3,000 on the work. Of these, 58% did so in favour of moving up the housing ladder. Over a quarter (27%) cited cheaper costs as a reason for undertaking home improvements than moving, while one-fifth (20%) wanted to increase the value of their current home for a later sale.

Lockdown has been a main driver to encourage homeowners to either move house or make improvements, with nearly two-fifths (39%) saying that they had been planning to make changes for a while and lockdown inspired them to do so. Over a third (36%) said that the decision came as a result of spending more time in their home which made them notice it needed improvements, while nearly a quarter (24%) said the extended time spent indoors has increased general ‘wear and tear’ within the home.

The Home Depot Announces Renewable Energy Goal

The Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, today announced companywide sustainability progress in its 2020 Responsibility Report, which outlines the company’s 2019 progress on its corporate responsibility strategic pillars: focus on people, operate sustainably and strengthen communities. The report also introduces several new goals and provides an update on the company’s recent response to COVID-19 and social equality issues.

As part of its existing pledge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent by 2035, The Home Depot reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent in 2019, driven primarily by energy reductions and supply chain efficiencies.

New goals include a commitment to produce and procure energy from 335 megawatts of renewable and alternative energy projects by 2025.

Read the full report here: The Home Depot 2020 Responsibility Report

 

Amazing 2nd Quarter Results at The Home Depot

I’ve never seen a quarter like this” analysts have said about the results posted by The Home Depot. Like for like sales are up by 25% compared to last year. It is thought the one of the main reasons behind this incredible growth is that customers are stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic and are enjoying a “summer at home” tackling home improvement projects they have previously put off. 

Net Earnings at The Home Depot are $4.3 Billion compared to $3.5 Billion and earnings per share have increased by 26.8 per cent.   

The Home Depot has also announced that it will open three new distribution centres in Georgia over the next 18 months to support the growing demand for flexible delivery and pick-up options for professional and DIY customers.

In 2017, the company announced a USD 1.2 bn (EUR 1.02 bn) investment to expand its distribution network with approximately 150 new supply chain facilities nationwide, with the goal of expanding the company’s existing same-day and next-day delivery options to 90 per cent of the US population. 

The company is also working to make online shopping easier. How successful The Home Depot has been in this regard is shown by the increase of more than a billion dollars in revenue from online sales in the last six months.

In the first quarter of 2020, online sales increased by as much as 80 per cent, due in part to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Interestingly, 60 per cent of customers collect their online purchases from the store.

Cainz Open a New Type of Membership-Only Pro Store

This August Cainz will open its first pro-concept store, “C’z PRO”, in Yokohama, Japan. This will be its entry into the membership-based wholesale business for construction professionals. Since July the company has started recruiting members on their C’z PRO website.

The C’z PRO store will offer a wide range of building materials and tools as well as a variety of services. The store will have a “Creative Space” for members only, providing rental tools, copy services, a library of catalogues and building material samples. Members will also be able to use this space as a meeting spot for information-sharing with each other, including free drinks.

Cainz has also developed a unique ordering service for their “C’z GO!” stores. An online application enables members to search and purchase all products offered in the store in real time. There are also three options for picking up the items: pick up at the store during business hours, pick up from a pick-up locker outside the store at any time, or have the goods delivered directly to the site.

Hornbach reports ongoing strong growth trend

Due to customer demand remaining high, the strong growth trend shown by Hornbach Baumarkt AG Group has continued into the second quarter (1 June to 31 August 2020) of fiscal 2020/21, according to the company. Provisional, unverified figures suggest that cumulative sales and adjusted EBIT have risen substantially in the first five months of the reporting year. Following the initial provisional results, group sales in both the second quarter and in the first half of 2020/21 will probably increase by around a fifth.

The forecast published for fiscal 2020/21 in the 2019/20 annual report of the Hornbach Baumarkt AG Group has therefore been adjusted. The board made it clear that the opportunities and risks associated with the coronavirus crisis are considerable and difficult to estimate. This is reflected in relatively wide ranges for the updated sales and revenue forecast for 2020/2021 as a whole. According to these forecasts group sales (previous year: EUR 4.4 bn) will grow in a band between plus 5 and plus 15 per cent. Depending on the extent of possible cyclical effects, the board currently believes that the adjusted EBIT will lie in a bandwidth of EUR 180 to 280 million (previous year: EUR 182 mio).

Trend toward smaller stores

A trend is developing in the Russian home improvement sector towards smaller stores located close to residential areas or in retail parks, usually with a higher footfall.

The number of large-format stores, known here as hypermarkets, is dwindling.

In 2019 market leader Leroy Merlin paved the way for this trend with the opening of three stores in the “Leroy Merlin Gorodskoi” supermarket format, each with a maximum retail area of 2,000m².

Maxidom, currently ranked in 7th in the market, is now working on a new format with a retail area of 4,000 to 5,000m² for St. Petersburg and the surrounding region.

Sales by French home improvement stores increased by 30 per cent in June

After a sharp fall in sales by the French DIY store operators in the months of March and April of this year, at minus 49.2 and 61.7 per cent, the industry was able to recover somewhat in the months of May and June.

Sales in May 2020 lay at 23.8 per cent and in June 2020 at 30.0 per cent higher than in the same months of the previous year. These figures from the Banque de France have been published by the French DIY retailers’ association FMB.

Despite the most recent positive development, sales relating to the whole of the year 2020 continue to lie at around 8.5 per cent below the previous year’s value, according to FMB.

Cashbuild Accquire The Building Company. 

Cashbuild, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a definitive sale and purchase agreement to acquire 100% of the issued share capital of The Building Company Proprietary Limited (TBC). 

TBC is a leading Southern African building materials retail and wholesale business, providing a full spectrum of services through its portfolio of 13 well-known brands across its three divisions. TBC has an established presence across the coastal regions of South Africa, comprising 160 TBC outlets and 21 franchise stores.

In the prior financial year ending 30 September 2019, TBC achieved revenue of c.R8.2 billion across the retail, wholesale and specialised divisions. In the twelve month period ended 31 March 2020, TBC achieved revenue of c.R8.0 billion.

Cashbuild’s management identified geographic expansion and incremental access to additional segments of the market as key areas for potential growth. An acquisition of TBC allows Cashbuild an opportunity to drive these growth initiatives while still maintaining its commitment to its customers in the South African and neighbouring markets.

DIY industry closes a challenging first half of the year with clear positive development.

The DIY industry in the DACH Region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) have generally coped well with the first phase of the Corona crisis.

German retailers generated sales of 11.82 billion euros in the first half of the year, which is a record increase of +15.6 per cent (like-for-like of ​​+16.0 per cent)

DIY retailers in Austria (1.49 billion euros, + 8.3 per cent, like-for-like + 7.1 per cent) and Switzerland (1.82 billion CHF, + 3.5 per cent, Like-for-like +3.6 per cent) also showed very good performance in the crisis, despite some stores having to remain closed. However, the currently numbers only represent a snapshot in a very volatile and special economic situation.

A clear trend can be recorded in Germany: people have in repaired, refurbished, renovated and decorated their homes. A large part of this”Summer at home” trend is an increased spend on the garden and balconies.

The categories that are selling particularly well are:

  • Coating materials / painting accessories: + 37.6%
  • Wood (also garden wood): + 29.1%
  • Garden equipment (including garden houses): + 25.1%
  • Construction chemicals / building materials: + 24.9%
  • Garden furniture: + 21.4%
Is your SME safe guarded for a Cyber Attack?

Is your SME safe guarded for a Cyber Attack?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently announced that Australian businesses were being targeted by a sophisticated foreign state-based hacker.  Thankfully the Prime Minister confirmed there have not been large-scale personal data breaches…..yet.

Unfortunately, when Australian SME owners hear about state-based hackers or international criminal gangs, they assume that means hacking attacks targeted at large corporates, financial institutions, ASX listed companies or international companies.  This assumption is extremely dangerous and leads to complacency in cyber security; and it is this very complacency that paints a huge target on the back of every SME business.

Cyber criminals are acutely aware that SME businesses have limited resources to invest in adequate security and typically lack suitable staff training.  Even when the implementation is right, many SMEs fail to ensure ongoing staff training, security upgrades or system patches; which creates opportunities for criminals. This makes SME’s an easy and lucrative target for cyber criminals.  Other SME misconceptions include:

We don’t hold valuable data:

Valuable data isn’t limited to financial information, credit card details or sensitive medical records.  It can be as simple as an employees’, suppliers’, or customers’ personal details such as full name, date of birth, physical address, email, drivers licence number, tax file number, or banking details.

Most businesses will hold this information about their employees, customers or suppliers as a minimum, meaning they are at a higher risk of being targeted for a cyber-attack.  If a cyber-attack were to occur and this valuable data is stolen it may be used by an attacker to commit identity fraud or as the basis for a social engineering or phishing attack.

These breaches can trigger very costly mandatory reporting requirements under the privacy legislation as well as having to notify every individual who’s data has been breached.  The costs of a privacy breach can also include fines of up to $2.1m.

We don’t transact online

An SME may not have online sales however all will use computers, a local network, or a server to hold electronic files and records.  A business will also do their banking online, manage their invoicing electronically, both of which include sending and receiving personal and sensitive information.  

Our data is safe in the Cloud

Data stored in the cloud is simply using another business’s server to store information, which will have more advanced security than an SME can afford.  The information can still be accessed, copied, stolen or altered.

Each business is legally responsible for their information, even if it is stored in the cloud and may incur notification costs to affected individuals, remediation costs, legal costs and fines should a data breach occur.

Our IT team will take care of it

A cyber breach requires very specific and specialist skills, including forensic IT expertise, data management skills, privacy breach legal advice, public relation consulting to protect the reputation of the business and loss assessment skills.  Whether the IT team is internal or external they will not have these capabilities, or the ability to respond immediately to a breach 24/7.

Our IT system cannot be breached

No system can be 100% safe. The world’s most secure systems have been breached, including the FBI, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Facebook and Sony to mention just a few.  If these organisations with all their expensive cutting-edge security can be breached, what hope does an SME have.  This is why a cyber breach is a matter of when it will occur and not if.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner confirmed that 35% of all breaches are the result of human error, so even with the best possible security, employees are inadvertently allowing criminals into their employer’s system.

There are several things an SME can do to reduce their risk to a cyber or privacy breach and many of these steps are either free or relatively inexpensive.  It is important to consider what funds the business can allocate to security so that an assessment of the available options can be made.  Its also important not to put all your faith in one solution, but rather have a multifaceted protection philosophy.  Some simple tips include:

Have an incident response plan

The Australian government has prepared an easy to follow breach preparation and response plan available at www.oaic.gov.au.  This is a free offering and having a plan in place allows a business to react quickly and calmly when a breach occurs.  This is crucial because the longer the breach remains unattended the more costly the event will be for the organisation.  

Ongoing Staff Training

With 35% of breaches occurring due to human error staff training is a must.  There is an endless supply of free content on the internet to help educate staff.  Two excellent sources are www.oaic.gov.au and www.cyber.gov.au/acsc; both are trusted Australian government agencies with excellent material.  A good starting point for staff education is “identifying red flags when clicking on links or opening emails” and “how to prevent phishing attacks”.  The key to successful training is for it to be easy to follow, regular and across all staff.

Be vigilant with patches

In addition to maintaining standard firewalls and anti-virus protection; software providers are constantly issuing “patches” to update weaknesses they identify in their products.  Criminals are constantly using these weaknesses to penetrate a company’s system.  It is astonishing the number of SMEs that fail to run regular scans for security and software updates.

Daily back ups

Backup is crucial for data protection and recovery when a breach occurs. A regular data backup, preferably daily, saves your important files from inevitable data loss situations due to common events such as system malware infection, virus corruption and ransomware.  A good back up system will reduce the time it takes to recover and minimise the potential for loss of revenue.

Strong password protocol

A strong password provides essential protection from breaches, financial fraud and identity theft. One of the common ways hackers break in is by guessing passwords.  The other being a staff member using the same password across multiple business and personal logins. A strong individual password, which is changed on a regular basis,  and combined with multifactor authentication, is a simple and effective security measure.

Cyber Insurance

A business will have sprinklers, fire extinguishers, fire retardant doors and other risk management measures to prevent their property burning.  These measures do not guarantee the building won’t burn, which is why insurance is purchased.  The same applies to cyber exposure.  No matter the level of cyber security and awareness, a business remains vulnerable to a cyber-attack.

Cyber insurance offers an amazing level of protection.  It will pay for the emergency response team to offer support 24/7.  The policy will cover legal fees to assess if a privacy breach has occurred and to defend any prosecution.  It will pay for a public relations consultant to protect any further damage to the company’s reputation.

The insurance will pay to fix the weakness in the system, remove any malware, ransomware, virus or encryption.  The costs to recollect and reinput any lost data will be covered.  A cyber insurance policy will also reimburse the business for loss of profit as a result of the breach, which can take months to recover from.  The insurer will also pay the ramson if that is determined to be the best approach.

Other protection provided includes identity theft, phishing breaches, payment of fake invoices, social engineering fraud, hardware replacement, privacy breach fines, social medial defamation and more.

If you would like to obtain a cyber insurance quotation please contact Adroit on 1300 MY ADROIT (1300 and ask for David Edwards or davide@adroit.com.au.

Download Adroit’s Cyber Toolkit here.

https://www.adroit.com.au/cyber-security-essentials/

Adroit Insurance is a Hardware Australia Partner offering insurance to the retail hardware industry.

Image designed by Freepik.com 

Support payments to hire staff (QLD Only)

Support payments to hire staff (QLD Only)

If you are looking for staff, you may be eligible for a support payment of up to $20,000 thanks to the Queensland Governments back to work program.

The program which has been extended until 30th June 2021 or until funding has been fully allocated, is designed to give businesses the confidence to employ Queenslanders who have experienced a period of unemployment. Support payments are available to eligible employers who hire a previously unemployed Queenslander who has experienced a minimum period of unemployment directly prior to commencing work with them.

The programs are available throughout regional Queensland and in some areas of South East Queensland (SEQ). Areas include:

  • Wide Bay Burnett
  • North Queensland
  • Far North Queensland
  • Mackay/Whitsunday
  • Central Queensland
  • North West Queensland
  • South West Queensland
  • Ipswich
  • Lockyer Valley
  • Logan
  • Scenic Rim
  • Somerset

The payments available include:

  • Employer Support Payment
  • Youth Boost Payment
  • Apprentice & Trainee Boost Payment
Employer Support Payment

This payment of up to $15,000 is available for employers who hire an eligible unemployed jobseeker, in regional or South East Queensland. 

Employer Support Payments are available to eligible employers who meet all the program eligibility criteria.

The program is not a wage subsidy. The decision to employ someone is at the discretion of the employer and must be a business decision that is independent of the availability of the Back to Work support payment.

From 15 July 2020, each eligible employer (based on their ABN) may claim a maximum of four Back to Work applications. This cap does not apply to applications for employees commencing before 1 July 2017 and does include applications from this date to (extended until 30 June 2021 or until funding has been fully allocated). This cap applies to Employer Support Payments and Boost Payments and combinations of those payment types. Once a total of four initial payment applications have been approved, no further initial payment applications will be accepted.

Find out more 

Youth Boost Payment

This payment of up to $20,000 is available for employers who hire an eligible young unemployed jobseeker, aged between 15-24 years.

Employer Support Payments are available to eligible employers who meet all the program eligibility criteria.

From 15 July 2020, each eligible employer (based on their ABN) may claim a maximum of four Back to Work applications. This cap does not apply to applications for employees commencing before 1 July 2017 and does include applications from this date to 14 July 2020 (extended until 30 June 2021 or until funding has been fully allocated). This cap applies to Employer Support Payment and Boost Payments and combinations of those payment types.

Once a total of four initial payment applications have been approved, no further initial payment applications will be accepted.

FIND OUT MORE

Apprentice & Trainee Boost Payment

This payment of up to $20,000 is available for employers who hire an eligible unemployed Queenslander who is undertaking an eligible apprenticeship or traineeship.

Employer Support Payments are available to eligible employers who meet all the program eligibility criteria.

From 15 July 2020, each eligible employer (based on their ABN) may claim a maximum of four Back to Work applications. This cap does not apply to applications for employees commencing before 1 July 2017 and does include applications from this date to (extended until 30 June 2021 or until funding has been fully allocated). This cap applies to Employer Support Payments and Boost Payments and combinations of those payment types.

Once a total of four initial payment applications have been approved, no further initial payment applications will be accepted.

This could be an opportunity for you to take on a Certificate III in Retail Hardware trainee. For more details regarding this qualification, contact us.

FIND OUT MORE

 If you need more information or assistance in finding staff please contact Natalie on 0499 545 100.

Hardware Australia members are edible for discounts on staff recruitment through TABMA Australia.