Dec/Jan 2020

make a huge difference.

For example, with tumble dryer heat pump technology, back in the old days a vented dryer could cost you about 20 to 25 per cent of your electric bill, because it was an electricity guzzler. With heat pump it’s the absolute opposite – so much more efficient. But some people just don’t know that things have moved on.

Q: So how does Beko’s training programme help towards this education of consumers? TA: Well, first of all, our training team is multi- award winning! And it was absolutely amazing to win the Training Provider Award at the ERT Awards – it’s really encouraging us to continue investing in this crucial part of our business. When I came into the business about eight years ago, we had a more random approach for training and in-store engagement, but now we are more consistent. Beko is a big believer in the independent sector – indies provide a great local service in the market and are passionate about their customers because it is their own business. We respect that.

Through our systematic training and a reinforced message in ERT magazine, I feel we’ve really helped keep the independent trade alive and kicking.

The training that we provide really makes a

difference for the store staff to be able to inform consumers about product benefits, and we fundamentally know that the investment we’ve made over the last few years has helped to improve overall sales and loyalty.

For example, when we first started working with the Blomberg brand, talking to indies about exclusivity, they were sceptical at first but they soon realised the benefits and that the appliances are great quality and value for money. Through our systematic training and a

reinforced message in ERT magazine, I feel we’ve really helped keep the independent trade alive and kicking. Training isn’t just a nice thing to do, it’s a must-do in terms of investment and it’s amazing to see an award for training, whether it’s for Kay [Ainsworth, Training Development Manager at Beko] individually or her whole team. We are always looking to evolve our training

programmes, too; we know that a lot more content is require d online in order to better reach our retail partners across the country, and certainly the younger generation are so used to getting all kinds of content online. So we’re working with Euronics to make sure the content we provide is up to speed and easy to understand.

The voice of the UK appliance industry

Teresa Arbuckle has been the Chair of AMDEA [The Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances] since February 2018 and her focus has been on driving increased awareness amongst consumers about the safety of the home appliance industry. She explains to ERT that she feels the industry hasn’t done enough to make people feel good about appliances and she talks through the goals that she set out to achieve with the team at AMDEA.


“The first thing is to improve the standard and the quality reputation of the appliance industry,” she begins. “The latest fire statistics show that fires associated with appliances keep going down every year, and given some of the press around this lately, you would think that we’ve got a lot of issues. We don’t. But we need to be better at showing off our statistics so that people see the industry in a good light.” The second goal is about protecting consumers. The Register My Appliance initiative was launched about five years ago with a whole host of manufacturers involved. The mission is to make sure that every consumer in the UK that has an appliance up to 12 years old is included in the registration scheme. With all the recent news it’s never been more important to look after appliances. Why? Because, let’s face it, sometimes a manufacturer needs to make contact with consumers, and product registration is absolutely crucial,” continues Ms Arbuckle. The third point relates to the energy relabelling

programme that’s coming in this year and stretching through to 2021.

She adds: “Some might look at it as a bad thing if their appliances drop from a ‘AAA+’ down to a ‘D’, but it’s about continuing to raise the bar and showing consumers that the industry continues to come up with more energy efficient products. “This could all be very confusing for consumers, or we can try and make it easy to understand and it’s part of my job to make sure that happens.”

A new direction Some other recent changes at AMDEA include the introduction of Paul Hide as the Association’s new Chief Executive (taking over from Douglas Herbison, who retired from the post after 13 years).

Mr Hide joined at the beginning of December. Prior to this he was Director of Marketing & Membership at techUK, the UK’s leading technology trade body, and he has spent over 20 years working for consumer electronics brands, including Sharp Electronics and Sony UK. Ms Arbuckle continues: “Paul has great experience and a skill set which will be vital in advancing AMDEA’s aims and building on its current reputation. “He brings real experience about what it means to take a trade organisation and really develop it with the current times. So it’s a real game changer for us to have him on board and his credentials are fantastic – he really understands how to work with government officials and regulation, which has huge impact on industry.

“He came to us at the right time and it was a unanimous decision to vote Paul into this role and it’s going to be very helpful, in a time of great change, whenever Brexit happens, however it happens. “We’re so, so grateful for the 13 years that Douglas Herbison gave as the previous CEO; he’s been a long-standing member of the Association and was very well known.”

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