Women In Industry: Clare Crockett – Marketing Manager

An article written for Clearview, May 2017.

 

1. Describe your current role – what do you enjoy most about it and what are the more challenging aspects of it?

As Marketing Manager for hardware distributor Carl F Groupco, I am responsible for managing the marcomms for all our brands, including Carl F Groupco, SmartSecure and Carl F direct. The scope of my role includes planning and strategy. I enjoy the variety of my work, which includes practical implementation of campaigns and close interaction with the rest of the team. As distributors of over 7,000 hardware products there is often a challenge presenting the diversity of the range, but with this comes the satisfaction of successfully showcasing our lines and service capabilities.

Clare Crockett: Marketing Manager

Clare Crockett: Marketing Manager

2. Explain your previous roles and qualifications, and how they lead to your current job – how has your previous experience benefitted the job you do now?

After graduation from Oxford Brookes University with a BA in Marketing Management in 2008 I became Marketing Assistant for, what was then, Carl F Petersen. I was heavily involved in the rebranding of Groupco and Carl F Petersen following the merger in 2010 which resulted in the formation of Carl F Groupco and that paved the way to my promotion to Marketing Manager.

 

3. What job did you aspire to have when you were at school?

At school I loved Business and Media Studies. For me, Marketing is a great combination of both of these disciplines where I get the best of both worlds. It’s great to be working at the forefront of Carl F Groupco’s strategy including creating the new brand SmartSecure and developing collateral to help achieve our business objectives. The marketing role fulfils the career path aspirations I had at school.

 

4. What challenges, if any, have you faced as a woman in the industry?

I wouldn’t say that there are any particular challenges to face as a woman in this industry. Most organisations have women at senior levels and, as I look around me, 40% of the Carl F Groupco workforce is women, a number of whom are in senior positions.

 

5. Likewise, what opportunities are there for women coming into the industry and would you recommend it?

I would definitely recommend this industry to anyone; there are plenty of opportunities for good career paths. As long as you are passionate, committed and qualified there is scope to succeed.

 

6. What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a similar career?

My advice would be to know yourself and know your craft. It is also imperative to put customers at the heart of the matter. Be prepared to stand back from your work and be critical – don’t be afraid of inviting comment from colleagues and customers. Gender is not a barrier to career progression.

 

Carl F Groupco Limited: Tel: 01733 393330
For more information, contact sales@carlfgroupco.co.uk
Follow Carl F Groupco on Twitter using the handles @Carl_F_Groupco and @_SmartSecure.

Carl F Groupco at the FIT Show 2017: Smart Tech and Hardware Highlights

After winning the most successful visitor campaign at the FIT Show in 2016, Carl F Groupco prepares to return to the exhibition with a bigger stand, more Smart Tech demonstrations and impressive hardware innovations. Managing Director John Crittenden explains why the show is exciting for the company, and for visitors to the Carl F Groupco display:

John Crittenden, Managing Director, Carl F Groupco.

John Crittenden, Managing Director, Carl F Groupco.

“We work hard to be proactive and, as we offer one of the largest and most innovative hardware ranges in the UK, our demonstration area always has strong appeal. Our 96 sq metre stand houses exciting new generation hardware in the form of SmartSecure, our electronic locking and smart access control brand, plus a range of industry leading hardware highlights.

With over 7,000 product lines from leading manufacturers, it is always a challenge for us to consolidate our range. But, hats off to our marketing and technical teams, they have devised a stand that is impressive in design, appealing in terms of hands-on displays and comfortable with a large area for visitors to sit down, enjoy refreshments and discuss their hardware requirements.

We will be presenting flagship lines and our fabulous new catalogue will be available that summarises all our ranges. We also have a hardware selector that we are launching at the FIT Show 2017 – we understand the challenges of selecting the right fittings so, with this in mind, we have devised an intuitive display supported by product examples, graphics, information points and a touch-screen catalogue.

Specialist Doors Spotlight SmartSecure

SmartSecure is one of our largest dedicated areas. Working demonstrations will enable visitors to trial the easy-to-use electronic locking and smart access systems. The show is the ideal opportunity for visitors to try out the new technology – it is so much easier to understand how it can be used, its benefits and the simplicity of installation when it is seen first-hand. Visitors can trial the SmartConnect easy access control that opens doors with a smart phone or tablet. They can also try SmartTouch comfort, which uses pioneering active transponder technology and enables entry by simply touching a sensor when the active transponder is in range. Radio-based access control systems are also available including a radio keypad, transponder and fingerprint scanner for keyless biometric access control.

Specialist doors will be featured: designed to illustrate a range of popular applications, high end residential, communal and commercial installations are presented. We know this will be a very popular area but, rest assured, fully trained staff will be on hand to give demonstrations and answer questions.

Once you have seen the technology in use, the applications and benefits are easy to appreciate. Smart Tech is a groundbreaking evolution impacting all sectors. If people are already aware of the concept, we encourage them to come onto our stand for a demonstration and, if anyone is unsure, pop on for a chat – we can explain all the features and de-mystify the technology.

New Roto Range Revealed

As sole distributor of PN hardware by Roto in the UK, we are in the privileged position of showcasing the new System 700 range for reversible windows at the FIT Show. The new fully reversible system with a slimmer hinge that works on a 7mm groove, the latest product from the Roto/PN stable, is ideal for systems companies who are looking to complement their flush casement window range. With consistent aesthetics across all window types, the new system will have widespread appeal, including the new build housing market.

Market Leading Manufacturers

Along with a display of tilt and turn windows, other products on the stand will include ranges from Cotswold, FUHR, Greenwood, Hoppe, Ingenious, Kenrick, MACO, Siegenia and Trojan.

With so much on show, we encourage visitors to hot foot it to stand E40 to sample SmartSecure and have an overview of our hardware highlights.”

 

Click here to register as a VIP for the FIT Show.

Carl F Groupco Limited: Tel: 01733 393330
For more information, contact sales@carlfgroupco.co.uk

Follow Carl F Groupco on Twitter using the handles @Carl_F_Groupco and @_SmartSecure

Carl F Groupco: The Smart Cookies

Helping to mark the first anniversary of the SmartSecure electronic door locking and smart access control solutions brand, and back due to popular demand, are freshly baked cookies available from Carl F Groupco at the FIT Show.

Freshly baked cookies return to the Carl F Groupco FIT Show stand. Carl F Groupco staff pictured from left to right: Rebecca Haynes, Carlia Corras and Julie Warner.

Freshly baked cookies return to the Carl F Groupco FIT Show stand.
Carl F Groupco staff pictured from left to right: Rebecca Haynes, Carlia Corras and Julie Warner.

The tasty treats, which are free for any visitors to the company’s stand E40 in Hall 6, can be enjoyed with a complimentary drink in Carl F Groupco’s hospitality area on its 96 square metre stand.

Commenting, Clare Crockett, Carl F Groupco’s Marketing Manager said:

“We like to think of all aspects of stand requirements, and we like to go the extra mile in all areas of our business. It does take a bit of extra effort to produce biscuits at the show, but there is nothing nicer than freshly baked cookies.

“Alongside our hospitality, we have an extensive range of window and door hardware products on display selected from our range of over 7,000 product lines: these will be installed on the stand to ensure visitors can appreciate their features and benefits. We also have our new catalogue, which can be collected from our stand.”

Appointments are not necessary, but anyone wishing to pre-arrange a meeting at the FIT Show can contact their Regional Sales Manager or the Carl F Groupco Sales Office Tel: 01733 393330.

Click here to register as a VIP for the FIT Show.

Carl F Groupco Limited: Tel: 01733 393330
For more information, contact sales@carlfgroupco.co.uk

Follow Carl F Groupco on Twitter using the handles @Carl_F_Groupco and @_SmartSecure

SmartSecure lock achieves Secured by Design accreditation

The FUHR 881 multitronic lock, which is at the heart of Carl F Groupco’s SmartSecure electronic door locking and smart access control solutions, has achieved Secured by Design accreditation.

The FUHR 881 multitronic lock, a central element of Carl F Groupco’s SmartSecure solutions, has gained Secured by Design accreditation.

The FUHR 881 multitronic lock, a central element of Carl F Groupco’s SmartSecure solutions, has gained Secured by Design accreditation.

As the latest in a series of hardware products offered by Carl F Groupco to achieve Secured by Design, the company was confident of gaining the certification as the lock design, consistent with the established process for all FUHR locking systems, had already passed rigorous security testing.

Commenting on the importance of being able to display the Secured by Design logo for the FUHR 881, John Mitchell, Carl F Groupco’s Technical Manager said:

“As an officially recognised accreditation body, Secured by Design reassures home owners that products are tested to the most stringent and current security standards. It also aids fabricators and installers in demonstrating the quality of their offer.

“This achievement affirms our commitment to the evolution of our range and underscores our objective of providing the very latest in technology without compromising security.”

The FUHR multitronic 881’s intelligent technology, combined with a modular construction, has made the versatile locking system ideally suited for SmartSecure’s range of solutions including the smart phone / tablet based SmartConnect easy; the transponder / sensor variant SmartTouch comfort and the brand’s radio-based access control systems.

 

For more details on the FUHR multitronic 881 lock, please click here.
You can demo our SmartSecure solutions on our FIT Show stand, to register as our VIP guest click here.

Carl F Groupco Limited: Tel: 01733 393330

For more information, contact sales@carlfgroupco.co.uk

Follow Carl F Groupco on Twitter using the handles @Carl_F_Groupco and @_SmartSecure.

A Private Matter

An article written for Glass News, April 2017.

John Crittenden, Managing Director, Carl F Groupco.

John Crittenden, Managing Director, Carl F Groupco.

As one of the last remaining privately owned hardware distributors, Carl F Groupco has the ability to adapt, pre-empt demands and respond quickly to changing requirements. In this article for Glass News, John Crittenden explains how autonomy gives the organisation the ability to be open with its staff and flex its offer to react quickly to market demand.

 

“A major advantage of private ownership is that the company doesn’t have layers of group management to negotiate before implementing new procedures or processes, this ensures high levels of responsiveness throughout the business.
“We can be totally open with our staff which offers significant value… our workforce understands fully the direction of the organisation and importance of service excellence, including next day delivery targets.

“As part of this transparency we introduced Business Conferences where we talk honestly, including reporting our On Time In Full service statistics and sales figures. We look at where we are, what we are doing and what we are going to do. Questions are encouraged, which are collated and responded to. Nothing is hidden which builds trust and understanding. All staff attend, and at each conference one department presents its contribution to customer service: this helps everyone understand that they have a key part to play in meeting our business objectives. Members of our accounts team – traditionally a department that works behind closed doors – presented at the last meeting.

“Staff members at every level are encouraged to be proactive in making proposals for new systems. We don’t just pay lip service with suggestion boxes, when our workers identify areas that could be improved they simply talk to us and initiatives are given due consideration… some of our most effective advancements have come from our workforce.

“Taking the example of customer quotations, an improvement to how these are generated originated from our employees that work with the system. Linking quotes to our central CRM operating system resulted in instant access across the team to view quotes and data regarding profit margins. This empowerment is all important in releasing discretionary effort; it means our workforce doesn’t stick to the letter of job descriptions. 

“Our buddy back up concept was also inspired by front line workers. Members of the internal sales team recognised the benefits of working in tandem with Regional Sales Managers. As everyone has access to the same information, the customer is assured there is always someone available to help.

 

Warehouse team member Richard Booth with bespoke packaging that he helped design.

Warehouse team member Richard Booth with bespoke packaging that he helped design.

Joint Responsibility

“We all roll our sleeves up, coming together to take joint responsibility. A good example is stock take weekend where everyone, including the management team and company Directors, pulls together to complete the essential audit.

“Refreshingly, warehouse staff are also highly engaged in our customer focus. I believe this is because they are recognised as an essential part of the team and included in all communications. There are many examples of our warehouse staff’s contribution to the bigger business picture. As part of our bespoke packaging for a number of major profile companies there have been a number of occasions where we have presented new challenges. Rather than balk at additional work, they have come up with a brief of how to pack and label to speed up the process and improve the packaging quality. If they have a quiet day, stock is pre-packed in readiness for shipping – this lack of ‘jobs worth’ mentality is invaluable to the successful running of the organisation.

“The benefits of organisational autonomy mean we can move quickly to pre-empt market trends. Carl F direct was our first venture more than one step aside from hardware distribution, this evolved from selling a few tools to a dedicated service. Being constrained by a parent group probably wouldn’t have allowed this initiative.

 

Full Commitment

“SmartSecure is an excellent example of rapidly establishing a position at the forefront of new technology. There is undeniable growth in smart home technology and we recognised the importance of grabbing this window of opportunity – after extensive research we moved quickly to invest fully in the concept and our solutions.  With our freedom of operation, we have been able to fully commit to the new brand investing in the appointment of a highly qualified Business Development Manager, a showroom and significant marketing collateral including a dedicated website and video.
“As we aren’t overly reliant on own brand hardware we are able to assist customers in developing their own product lines. We can also create bespoke hardware ‘kits’, mixing and matching brands which means  customers buy from one supplier source. To us it just means a willingness to tailor our service, a little extra time and additional wrapping, but the value to our customers is huge.”

 

We’re exhibiting at the FIT Show, to register as our VIP, click here.

 

Carl F Groupco Limited: Tel: 01733 393330
For more information, contact sales@carlfgroupco.co.uk

Follow Carl F Groupco on Twitter using the handles @Carl_F_Groupco and @_SmartSecure.

Carl F Groupco: FIT and Ready

In this article for Glass Times, two of the managers at hardware distributor Carl F Groupco provide insight into important areas of focus at the FIT Show.

Spotlight on Smart Tech

Phil Rice, Carl F Groupco’s Business Development Manager for SmartSecure.

Following the successful launch of SmartSecure at last year’s exhibition, Phil Rice, Carl F Groupco’s Business Development Manager for the brand explains how the company’s electronic locking and smart access control solutions will be key features of the company’s display.

“With interest in smart access control gathering momentum, we are preparing a larger, dedicated area to cater for interest in SmartSecure demonstrations. The solutions have wide-ranging appeal from architects and specifiers through to fabricators and installers: with this in mind, the display will illustrate a range of technology applications. It would, of course, be much simpler to just show PowerPoints and hand out brochures, but we strongly believe that people need to experience the technology.

“This year we are preparing doors to reflect three scenarios that fabricators and installers regularly come across namely, high end residential, communal and commercial applications.
“It is always a challenge to incorporate all our hardware and services without just exhibiting rows of handles and literature, but the marketing team have once again come up with a design that showcases all our most important product lines in a way that is very hands on and far from boring.

“Some might say it is a brave move to invest so heavily in up and coming technology and to devote such a large area of our stand to it. But society is waking up to Smart Tech and becoming increasingly reliant on it. It’s only a matter of time before people expect more from their front door. Already home owners and commercial organisations are demonstrating they are prepared to invest more in their entrance doors and systems.
“Events around the world are dedicated purely to this topic – we can’t be on the fringes, we have to fully commit. Of course, all our mainstay hardware lines are at the heart of our stand – these are essential to the ethos of Carl F Groupco, but Smart Technology needs separate focus and this is reflected in the design.”

 

Roto: Acquisition Advancements

Julie Warner, Carl F Groupco’s Roto / PN Product Manager with the company’s Technical Manager, John Mitchell.

The forthcoming FIT Show is also Carl F Groupco’s opportunity to launch the System 700, a new range of fully reversible hardware for windows manufactured by Roto/Peder Nielsen (PN).

As sole distributor of PN hardware by Roto in the UK, the new range will be showcased on the stand. This is significant as it reaffirms a relationship with the manufacturer that dates back to 2001 – a partnership that has continued to flourish following the acquisition of PN by Roto in 2016.

Commenting on advancements, Julie Warner, Carl F Groupco’s Roto/PN Product Manager explains,

“We have a long legacy with PN and we are building on this relationship. The PN brand is well respected throughout the industry, known for durability and offering impressive functionality for outward opening windows.  The main lines are the UNI top swing reversible gearing with two variants, Standard and Hotel, which complement the rest of our hardware range and are believed to be the most popular reversible products in the UK. 

“With enhanced development capability, the acquisition of PN by Roto has paved the way for new innovation. In terms of product development, the System 700 launch at the FIT Show is particularly exciting: the slimmer hinge, which works on a 7mm groove, is ideal for systems companies who are looking to complement their flush casement window range with a fully reversible option. Aesthetics are consistent across all window types, which opens up potential for the range to new build housing markets.”

 

Carl F Groupco: Stand E40
Carl F Groupco will also feature Cotswold, FUHR, Greenwood, Hoppe, Ingenious, Kenrick, MACO, Siegenia and Trojan on its 96 sq metre stand. An innovative hardware selector, which summarises product options, will be displayed for the first time at FIT Show 2017.

 

For more details on the FUHR multitronic 881 lock, please click here.

 

For more information about our range of PN reversible hardware by Roto, please click here.

Both ranges will be on show on our FIT Show stand, to register as our VIP guest click here.
 

Carl F Groupco Limited: Tel: 01733 393330

For more information, contact sales@carlfgroupco.co.uk

Follow Carl F Groupco on Twitter using the handles @Carl_F_Groupco and @_SmartSecure.

Carl F Groupco hardware selector created for FIT Show

Carl F Groupco
FIT Show 2017
Stand E40

John Mitchell, Carl F Groupco’s Technical Manager with example lines from the company’s catalogue of over 7,000 products

John Mitchell, Carl F Groupco’s Technical Manager with example lines from the company’s
catalogue of over 7,000 products

With a focus on high level service, quality lines and practical displays, Carl F Groupco has addressed the challenge of presenting its range of over 7,000 window and door fitting lines with a hardware selector that will be presented for the first time at the FIT Show 2017.

The concept, which was inspired by a desire to simplify the hardware selection process, is an intuitive display supported by product examples, graphics, information points and a touch-screen catalogue.

Carl F Groupco’s purpose-built stand (E40), which can easily be found in Hall 6, presents flagship product lines and new additions to the range. Focus is placed on showing hardware in-situ; ensuring visitors can see at-a-glance how the products can be installed and their functionality. The stand will feature dedicated areas for both SmartSecure, the company’s electronic locking and smart access control systems and Roto/Peder Nielsen (PN) window gearing.

Specialist doors will also be featured, along with tilt and turn windows. Other products on the stand will include ranges from Cotswold, FUHR, Greenwood, Hoppe, Ingenious, Kenrick, MACO, Siegenia and Trojan.

To register for the FIT Show as our VIP, click the link.

Carl F Groupco Limited: Tel: 01733 393330
For more information, contact sales@carlfgroupco.co.uk

Follow Carl F Groupco on Twitter using the handles @Carl_F_Groupco and @_SmartSecure.