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A fresh strong brand…

Melanie Weir interviewed members of the Board to give you the answers on the brand refresh. Read on to understand why?

So Brad why are we changing the brand?

I think this comes down to three main reasons,  we needed to strengthen and modernise the brand, we need to clarify the logo, so that it easily communicates what the Association does, much like Master Builders or Certified Builders brands. And we need to move the brand from rural centric design, to represent all sectors of the fencing trade.

And who’s idea was it to make these changes?

The 2018 Board unanimously decided that alongside the refreshed strategic direction and growth of the Association, it was time to review the messaging, value and strength of the brand.

Was a change needed?

If we want to keep expanding our reach to parts of the fencing trade other than rural, we will need to ensure our brand encompasses all areas for the trade.

And Andy who was consulted about these changes?

The Board became the panel of members, a focus group, who connected on logic, design and value of the brand and we tested designs with expert support. We have had previous feedback from the general public experiencing the brand which included points like a lack of clarity, ‘who is FCANZ’ ‘what do you do’ ‘is it New Zealand something?’, what does ‘FCANZ’ stand for?

And what’s the cost?

There will be a cost for members to add the new logo to their advertising over time, though we hope this will not be too significant. Fencing Contractors New Zealand will support members with some merchandise including signage for their vehicle.

Bronze Partner, Kerry Godinet Marketing will support members with rebranding and merchandise.

And Darryn, who pays for the rebrand?

The Association, with support from our Partners pay for the Association branding. Members will need to pay for the rebrand of items they feel appropriate for their business.

How will this benefit Fencing Contractors New Zealand

We know that increased brand recognition will support increased recognition of Fencing Contractors  as a proactive group in the fencing trade. And as a group we, Partners and Members, collectively support the trade

When you see strong brands, like New Zealand Certified Builders, you can understand how a brand can benefit  members with stronger professional recognition and increase the value clients place in their expertise.

Also as growth in membership continues, Partners are attracted to collaborate, engage and bring benefits to members – everyone wins!

And John how will this benefit a fencing business?

General and certified members (certified is the new name for accredited) will experience increased recognition by aligning with a strong national association brand.

A connection to Fencing Contractors New Zealand publicly recognised brand, which represents professionalism and expertise in fencing, will benefit your business, as consumers choose you over others due to this affiliation.

Member benefits are increasing and will continue to do so as the Association grows and more Partners come onboard.

Greg why have you dropped Association from the brand name?

We are still legally named Fencing Contractors Association New Zealand, and much like other large associations, our trading name is simplified. Most people recognised us as a group and therefore it is already implied we are a national association, and by removing this word we simplify the logo.

Greg, didn’t it get changed not that long ago? How long will this Logo last this time?

Yes the logo was updated in 2014. The current Board anticipate this logo will be well received, and maintained for many years to come by future Boards.

Stephen, why orange and not blue in the Certified Fencer logo? Is the orange going to get lost in when wearing hi vis?

Orange was chosen as a stronger colour, to stand out and highlight Certified Fencers logo visually.

There is a full style guide which outlines how to use the new logo, font and colour schemes within the brand. Included is an easy option for use on hi vis gear. We have retained the blue colour, this is included in the brand guidelines.

So Laura where did FCANZ go?

We learnt that FCANZ, was not meaningful for clients or people who were not involved with the Association now, it created an acronym that does not clearly describe what we do.

We are still legally trading as the Fencing Contractors Association New Zealand, and have refined the brand to a stronger clear logo.

Fencing Contractors New Zealand used in the logo still implies a professional industry group.

What if we have just got new clothing? Can we still wear them with the old logo? Will there be any compensation for the new logo set up at the embroiderers?

We have organised a 10% discount for members if they use Bronze Partner Kerry Godinet Marketing for ordering new gear, this is also available via the online store at fencingcontractors.co.nz.

Brad, what’s the difference between Accredited and Certified?

We have a new process for Certified Fencer status, this will be launched shortly at the 2019 Conference and AGM.

The new name for these top performing members takes advantage of the common knowledge clients and potential clients have relating to other trade recognised businesses like Certified Plumbers, or Certified Builders.

This term allows our members the advantage of immediate recognition and a stamp of high quality which provides an advantage over other practitioners.

The Association will shortly begin a campaign to promote Certified Fencer status both internally with members, and externally in industry, local government and appropriate large business who need to procure expert trade services.

If you have more questions about the new brand connect with the Board team.

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STOCKade Staplers – history in the making

STOCKade Staplers – history in the making

Ten years ago, Stockade was then known as Paslode Rural. This was a little confusing when tools were exported overseas, so Paslode Rural was re-branded to Stockade around seven years ago.

The 315 pneumatic stapler was developed ten years ago and the tool has remained relatively unchanged in that time, the main change has been in the staples. The first staple we had was the 33mm X 3.15 and after 18 months the 40mm staple was introduced to the market.

Next on the production line was the introduction of the ST315i, the impulse fence batten stapler. This tool removed the need for dragging the hose along the fence line. It also made batten stapling on the steep hill country fence lines easier.

Probably the most significant change to the staple is the coating. Originally the staples were galvanised, but with the development of coatings, we moved to the zinc-alum coating. A 10% aluminium, 90% zinc mix gives up to six times the life of standard galvanising; this gives the Stock-ade staple a better lifespan than opposition galvanised staples.

The next change for us was the introduction of the ST400 pneumatic stapler and the 50mm X 4.0 staple. This tool was slow to take off; it was only when individual fencing contractors trialled them, that they became aware of the benefits. Three to four times quicker is the most obvious advantage.

The newest tool is the ST400i impulse stapler. Portable and robust enough to survive a 300-metre drop from a ridge line down in to the gully, this tool will make the job so much faster. This tool was also a little slow to take off, but in the last 12 months, sales of the ST400i and staples have had a dramatic increase. Many of the top fencing contractors that compete in the various fencing competition’s now have this tool.

Both of the Impulse tools, the ST315i and the ST400i are using the ITW (Paslode) technology in their development. This helps keep them to the forefront of design and leadership.

Contractors have stated that time savings of up to 2 hours per strain are achievable in the right conditions. One contractor is quoted as saying that the ST400i staple gun is simply the best hand tool that he has ever purchased for his fencing business.

If you would like a demonstration of these tools at your place of work, contact your local Stockade Representative, www.stockade.com.

 

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Five simple ways to find new staff

Five simple ways to find new staff

Most tradies say the same thing: it’s hard to find good staff. MTA recently said there are 1,600 jobs throughout New Zealand that have not been filled. It’s a problem.

So if you have too much work, how do you find skilled staff to grow your business?

I believe that even in a shortage, there will always be good people who are looking for other opportunities. Here are my tips:

 

  1. Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.

The sooner you start looking, the more likely you are to find someone and be persistent. You may have difficult experience in employing the right person; one of my clients, a builder, had been actively looking for a salesman for many months. They finally found someone, three days later, he quit! They were disappointed.

Business owners decided to advertise again and found John, who has been a real star for them. He has consistently outsold other reps, and sales have gone through the roof. If they hadn’t kept advertising when they did, they wouldn’t have found him.

 

  1. If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

Good staff know what they are worth. Don’t worry; the good ones will always earn more than they cost.

If hiring someone at a higher rate means jobs will be done right, fewer callbacks and less stress, then you will free up time to grow your business, it’s worth it.

Also, consider what benefits you offer. Why would this job be more attractive than anything else out there? Are current employees happy with benefits? Ask them for feedback and new ideas.

It might be as simple as free breakfast once a week over a toolbox talk. The flexibility to leave early occasionally if the job is completed. Incentives when they meet targets. Or maybe it’s a generous tool allowance, latest iPhone or Samsung work phone, uniform, or company vehicle.

 

  1. Your vibe attracts your tribe.

 Look at the latest ads on Trade Me or Seek. Here’s the deal; if you want the great applicants, you have to have a great ad. Visualise the best team member you have on board right now. What exact ad would attract another just like them?

Put some personality into the ad and make the advert friendly, talk about what you offer and how you look after your staff. Make sure it reflects your vibe and how you operate.

What kind of company you want to be. How do you want your team to feel about you. What makes you unique? Are you about precision and high standards? An easygoing team that has a lot of fun? Serious about work/life balance? A growing professional level company that dominates your niche?

Also, make it easy for them to apply. Some people are not great with paperwork so a phone call might be better in some cases. Of course, if it’s an admin, sales or supervisor position, you will still want a proper CV.

  1. Think outside the box.

First, ask around. Some of your best hires will come from word of mouth. One way to quickly get the word out is to set aside a couple of hours on a Friday afternoon. Shout pizza and get your team to message friends and post on social media. Use the time to reach out to your contacts and do the same.

If you’re trying to reach under 40’s, you’ll want to list your ad online. Trade Me or Seek is an excellent place to start. Also, post on your Facebook business page and in local groups.

What about taking on an apprentice as part of the plan? They take a bit of work in the beginning, but in a few years, they’ll be fully trained in your way of doing things.

Always field test applicants. Things to check are: Are they punctual? Can they think for themselves? Are they willing to learn? Can they follow instructions? Are they honest? Do they have attention to detail? Remember skills can be taught – hire for attitude.

Consider recruitment agencies. It might cost a bit more, but often they have a pool of workers ready to start now. It could be short term or long term, as long as you have a good margin on jobs and can afford to pay a bit extra, this can be a good option.

Depending on your trade and what you are looking for, some immigration and recruitment agencies are sourcing highly skilled overseas workers from places like South Africa or the UK. Talk with them, see what options are available.

An engineering firm I worked with had a staff of around 20 welders. Approximately half of these were hired from other countries. It worked for them, it might work for you.

  1. If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.

I was speaking with a business owner recently who was looking for drivers. Their comment was “you just can’t get drivers.”  I know there are not many around. But to say you can’t find drivers ever? That’s going to trip you up.

We talked it through, made the job ad more appealing, got interview questions ready, and threw the dice. A few weeks later they’d been receiving much better quality applications. The guy they hired told them in the interview “I kept going back to your ad. I just couldn’t go past it. I really want to work for a company like yours. So here I am.”

I think the bottom line is this: if you have the right hiring process, you can still find excellent people, even in a difficult market. Go for it. You might be surprised who you find. And it could be the next gamechanger for your business and your sanity.

Want help to grow your business and your profits to the next level? Book a complimentary online call with me here nextleveltradie.co.nz

 

Daniel Fitzpatrick

Business  Coach

Next Level Tradie

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Gisborne Fencing Trade Day

The Fencing Contractors Association NZ, in Partnership with WIREMARK® are hosting a day for the fencing trade.

Friday 17th May, 9.00am

Young Nicks Head Station, SHW2, Gisborne

FEATURING Best practice fencing, new techniques, footing, stays, tying off, wire knots and quality basics, two new ways in tying back angle posts, Site Safety Plan workshop, new product demonstrations and prize draws!

Proudly hosted by Greg Burton, Board Member and Shane Bouskill, 4x Golden Pliers Winner, 4x Silver Spades Dbls Winner, 2x World Fencing Titles demonstrates fencing techniques.

MEET Leading industry partners, FCANZ Board Members, Health & Safety Advisors, like-minded industry people.

A DAY FOR YOU Fencing Contractors, Fencer Generals, horticulture workers and farmers, those starting or interested in a career in a fast-growing industry.

 

COST $35 pp includes catered lunch

FCANZ registered employee members free

 

RSVP BY 14 May

Text 0274322033, or call 0508 432269

 

REGISTER NOW!
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Posts got you turning green?

The current supply of posts available out there appears to be a lot greener and wetter than usual. With the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, not even the Hulk can get away with carrying posts around by himself.

All joking aside, it is probably a good reminder about using proper manual handling techniques.

Manual handling is when someone; carries, holds, moves or manipulates something, in any way, as part of their work.  Some workers do a wide variety of manual handling tasks.  The tasks involve using force, repetitive movements, stooping, static and awkward postures, frequent bending and twisting at the waist, and handling heavy objects.  These can cause several problems, including; serious back injuries, musculoskeletal disorders, including occupational overuse syndromes, acute injuries, like muscle or tendon sprains and strains, injuries from slips, trips and falls.

The main issue with lifting and carrying these posts is the sheer weight involved.

Handling heavy objects needs a lot of strength. This means tissues and joints in the back, knees, arms and shoulders are overloaded. A lighter weight held away from the body needs the same effort to handle as a heavy one held close. Jerking or moving a load quickly uses more force than just carrying the load. No one can set out specific weight limits (because manual handling is a complex process involving a lot of different risks), but the more weight or force needed, the more likely it is someone will be hurt.

Key points for preventing manual handling injuries when lifting and carrying heavy posts

  • Workers must be trained in correct techniques for manual handling jobs
  • (Re)design the workplace to minimise manual handling hazards
  • No one should lift something that is too heavy for them
  • Warm up before lifting and stretch regularly
  • Lift with the legs, not the back
  • Use mechanical/lifting aids where possible
  • Plan regular breaks and rotate jobs

The other issue with these posts is being wet, is that it exposes everyone handling the posts to tanalising chemicals. The immediate effects of this exposure can be skin irritations or rashes and illness. Over a longer period of exposure, the effects can be more serious long-term health issues such as cancer.

Key points for preventing exposure to tantalising chemicals from wet posts

  • Take particular care when the post has crystalline chemical deposits on it.
  • Wear long sleeve shirts when handling posts.
  • Wash your hands before eating, drinking or smoking.
  • Wash exposed areas of your body after working with tantalised
  • Wash work clothes separately from other clothes.

Finally, talk to your post supplier and don’t settle for posts that aren’t up to standard, it is you and your team that are being put at risk with the manual handling and exposure hazards that these wet posts present. Paying a higher price for good posts may seem a small price to pay when compared to injuries, sickness, long-term illnesses or fines for not appropriately managing this hazard.

Stay safe out there guys.

The Rural Safe Team

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Dashboard Fence finds fault sooner

Farmers can now have peace of mind their electric fence systems are functioning and stock are where they should be, thanks to Gallagher’s Dashboard Fence App.

The smart Gallagher app, and equally smart electronics mean all Gallagher i Series Energizers can provide regular updates on an electric fence’s status, alerting users to any faults or problems and even providing an approximate fault location when used with Gallagher Fence Monitors.

Connecting a small WiFi Gateway box to the Gallagher Energizer enables it to connect to the internet via a WiFi connection.  If WiFi is not available a cellular connection supplied by an internet service provider can be used to provide connectivity.

“Once you open the app you can view voltage, current and set alerts for the Energizer and up to six fence zones around the farm,” says Gallagher Product Manager Brian Rose.

The alert system will identify if there are any faults in the system and which zone they are located in. The graphics give a clear picture of the system’s performance over time, whether daily, weekly or monthly.

“For intensive grazing operators, or farmers who have crops being regularly grazed under strict quantities per animal per day, Dashboard Fence is invaluable for ensuring that any failures in the fence are known about as soon as possible.

“It is peace of mind knowing your system is working and a lot of time is saved by knowing you have a fault, and being able to track it down quickly through the app.”

“There is nothing worse than only finding out the fence has failed when your livestock are running down the road in the dark, he says”

The Dashboard Fence App was launched at Fieldays and is now available for purchase.