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Paul Collins

Designs on Success

Earlier this year Avocet Hardware announced the appointment of Paul Collins as its new product design and implementation manager – a move that company director, Dr Tinkle Jain said was “a vital element of our strategy to place Avocet at the forefront of the market.”

Here at MyTradeTV we are always interested in digging below the surface to find out just what makes different companies tick and so we set out for Avocet’s HQ in Brighouse to talk to Paul Collins about the importance of design in the marketing and development strategy of a company.

“It doesn’t matter what industry you work in, what country you are based in, or even what kind of product you’re making – design is the be all and end all,” said Paul.

“It’s what makes all the difference between success and failure.”

“Pick any successful product-based businesses – Apple and Dyson spring to mind for me – and you will find good design at the core of their success.”

“And while our particular market may be far narrower than those targeted by the truly global brand names mentioned above, the theory that good design can make or break you still stands true.”

Avocet Hardware, like so many other businesses, was a victim of the recession – the collapse of Focus DIY leading to the business being put into administration and its very future left hanging by a thread.

But unlike the many that went under, Avocet was seen as ripe for saving, and the Jain Family, fresh from turning round the fortunes of Eliza Tinsley, stepped in to take ownership.

One of the reasons cited for this is that Avocet was a good business with good products and, prior to the administration, a great reputation.

“People and service levels can certainly help to build a reputation, but it is the product that cements it,” continued Paul. “And no matter what has happened at Avocet over the years there can be no argument that the product design strategy has always been spot on.”

“Our product portfolio currently consists of thousands of products, all available with next day delivery, many of which can lay claim to being the best on the market.”

“Take for example our ABS snap secure lock. Developed specifically to provide a secure barrier against lock-snapping attack, its design, and the attention to detail within it, is unparalleled.”

“As well as boasting patented snap secure technology, the lock features a blocking device, anti-bump, trap and anti-drill pins, plus anti-pick technology. And if that wasn’t enough it makes use of secure key registering and has achieved accreditation to Sold Secure’s SS312 Diamond standard and BSI’s TS007 3-star rating.”

“This fixation on design excellence is replicated time and again across our offering.”

“Our Affinity hinges have a patented independent compression adjustment to ensure against lateral movement; are non-handed, which means they are symmetrical no matter how they are positioned or adjusted; suit rebate heights of 14-23mm; are PAS024 compliance; are quicker, easier and simpler to fabricate and install; and amazingly have only four parts.

“Meanwhile, the confidence we have in our Secured by Design approved range of door hardware products is so high we actually offer a sizeable guarantee that they will not be the main cause of a break-in.”

Avocet’s £2,000 door security guarantee works exactly as Paul mentions. The company will provide £1,000 to replace the door and £1,000 in compensation to the homeowner should a break-in occur as a direct result of its selected package of Secured by Design rated products being at fault.

“Everything we do at Avocet is aimed at us returning to, and then surpassing, the position we previously enjoyed at the forefront of the market,” added Paul.

“And while there is a great deal of focus on everything from customer service through to stock levels and delivery times, it is our products and the way they are designed that will ultimately help us achieve these goals.”

“And it’s not just a question of launching a product and saying there you go. We are constantly looking at ways to improve on everything we have – an approach to product design that means our products are always the very best they can be, which for those using them means they are the best they can get.”

For additional information on Avocet Hardware visit www.avocet-hardware.co.uk or call 01484 725601.

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