Total Tools Supplier Conference 2015 – Gold Coast
The mateship that has developed between suppliers and Total Tools franchisees, was clearly evident at the recent Total Tools Supplier Conference 2015.
Held at the RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast in early September, the Total Tools Conference kicked off with an action packed day sponsored by platinum sponsor, Bosch,
located at Dreamworld. Delegates then got down to business on the second day of the
conference, which included marketing, franchising, merchandising and operations meetings, an external speaker and concluded with a gold sponsor dinner hosted by Apex, Makita and Hitachi.
The annual golf day commenced on the third day of the conference, after a supplier presentation by Milwaukee, which saw many golf awards up for grabs, including the very popular Loudest Golf Pants Award.
Total Tools Gala Awards dinner
The Gala Awards Dinner proceeded the fun filled golf day, which was kicked off by Total Tools chairman, Warren Jones, who opened the dinner by thanking suppliers and pointing out that the conference would simply not be possible without the support of its suppliers backing the group year in and year out.
“The awards tonight for the suppliers, the stores and the reps, is about awarding top performers and recognising excellence for your efforts and persistence,” Mr Jones said.
The night kicked off with a humorous tongue in cheek award, which awards a group member who minimises effort and believes in a stress free work life balance. There was lots of laughter
as the Milwaukee Lifestyle Achievement Award was awarded to Craig McDonald of Total Tools Epping.
The Rep of the Year Award was awarded to Bill Doohan of Hitachi, who was presented with a $5,000 cheque as part of the award’s grand prize.
The Gala Awards Dinner then moved on to announce the number one prize for suppliers on the night, with the Top Tier – Supplier of the Year Award presented to Techtronic Industries – (Milwaukee). The 2nd Tier – Supplier of the Year was awarded to Tooltechnic Systems – (Festool).
When announcing the awards, Total Tools CEO Tim Cockayne said the growth of Techtronic Industries – Milwaukee, over the past year, had now reached 60 per cent.
“When a supplier grows at this level, you often think the issues must be massive and you wonder how they continue to survive. However, their out of stocks have been minimal and service levels high. This has allowed us to continue to grow and grow. We have developed a great partnership. There is no doubt they are certainly moving forward at a fast rate,” Mr Cockayne said.
On receiving the award, Milwaukee representatives said the company actually plans its strategy, with Total Tools, three years out and works back from this. This plan of action has worked three years in a row, which is something special, according to Milwaukee.
“There’s a whole lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. As we keep growing we keep adding resources to sustain that level. Regardless of what the economy’s doing, or what the politicians lead us to believe or the media, this country is still in great shape and there is still a lot of good things going on,” he said.
Mr Cockayne backed up this ambition by confirming that he did not want to grow slow and despite high ambitions to grow with their suppliers above 20 per cent, Mr Cockayne believed that with the right support, sales could grow faster.
“Yes it might be Milwaukee today, but tomorrow and next year it could easily be you. You just need to jump up and say ‘I want to be the one that grows fastest.’ Because there are great opportunities so please make sure this is you,” Mr Cockayne said.
“I remember how fantastic our suppliers were last year at the 2014 conference. We were at the Barossa and had a tent coming down. In reality that was a difficult time but you as suppliers were fantastic. You made it so easy for us. And when we had to change expo locations, you just treated it like it was any other expo and you said ‘right guys we will just deal with it’ and you did, which was fantastic.
Store of the Year Awards
Mr Cockayne then went onto announce the highly anticipated Store of the Year Awards and reassured attending suppliers and franchisees that they would no doubt be very proud of every award recipient on the night.
“When a new store starts I know everyone shares so much of their information to the new store and that’s such a great thing. There’s not that competitive issue, in the group, of wanting to keep someone down so the next store is better – it’s about how we make everyone better so we are all better together,” Mr Cockayne said.
“The store awards are selected by a number of criteria including growth against the previous year, a mystery shop and other compliance measures where the operations team goes out and marks stores. This includes how the external looks, is it up to date and the right colour. Stores are also marked on the smaller things like if they have the exit blocked, consistency and strength in the brand, attendance to the conference and the overall standards of business,” he said.
The Total Tools store awards are broken into three different groups with the Rookie Store of the Year being the first award announced.
Rookie Store of the Year
A few years ago these awards were all about the store of the year, according to Mr Cockayne, however with so many new stores coming in, new awards needed to be introduced.
“If it was all about the growth then all of the new stores would win Store of the Year because the growth they can achieve is so good. This is an award for those stores who have been in action up to three years. I remember going out to tonight’s Rookie Store of the Year when it opened and I thought this is a good store, not the greatest position but a good store. Then all of a sudden these guys have taken this store to another level. Today it sits at number 10 on our total sales level.
I know these guys will drive this so hard that it will be in the top five by the end of the year. Please put your hands together for Total Tools Albion Park,” Mr Cockayne said.
Total Tools Albion Park owners, Glenn Scott and Tim Veitch, said opening the store had been an amazing experience and the business had been built on a great relationship.
“I also want to thank our staff because they are the ones that drive the business. Thanks everyone for all the phone calls and emails from other stores offering help. Really proud to take this award away tonight. As a team and good mates we will go onto bigger and better things,” owner Glenn Scott said.
Most Improved Franchise Store of the Year
When announcing the most improved franchise, Mr Cockayne said he believed that a lot of stores could be contenders for the award, however he was particularly thrilled to present the award to Total Tools Maroochydore.
“I remember sitting with these people in the early days of franchising and there were a lot of tears because it was really hard and things just weren’t going the way they thought it would. I remember going back to the board and saying I just wasn’t sure about how this store would go. These people are real salt of the earth people. People who have worked hard because they decided that they were going to make it and they pushed harder than anyone I know. And if there’s an award I am so pleased to hand out today it’s this one,” Mr Cockayne said.
“It is just so exciting to see a business grow and get to where they are now and I think everyone in Total Tools is extremely proud of what you have achieved Margy and Trev so congratulations to you well done,” he said.
Franchise Store of the Year
The Total Tools Franchise Store of the Year Award is certainly a prize everyone chases and the most important award of the year for all of our franchisees, Mr Cockayne said.
“To win this really is a great achievement. And I certainly congratulate all of the previous winners of this award. Tonight’s store of the year is one of the very first stores that opened after the business went into franchise, and a couple of the guys decided that they would open the store and they created a partnership that you don’t see very often. A partnership where two of them would work in sync,” Mr Cockayne said.
“They have grown this business and really made it shine, it continues to develop and develop and is always in the top five or six stores in the group. So it’s a ride up the highway to get there but it has just continued to grow. Please join me in congratulating Franchise Store of the Year, Total Tools Geelong,” he said.
Shouk Asaad, Allan Down and Warren Jones said it was a huge shock and not expected.
“You can’t have success without good people around you and we are fortunate in Geelong to have good people beside us, including staff and suppliers and I think everyone works really well together and when everyone works in the one direction this is what happens,” they said.
The annual Total Tools Showcase Expo once again did not disappoint with an abundance of suppliers showing off their latest innovations and current best sellers to franchisees on the final day of the conference. At the conclusion of the showcase, suppliers said that the day had been a great success with many franchisees closing deals on specials provided specifically for the conference.
The suppliers that were a part of the Total Tools show case included: AIRCO FASTENERS, APEX TOOLS, ASSOCIATED PROJECTS, BEAVER BRANDS, BOSCH, BROMIC (BERNZOMATIC), CIGWELD, CYCLONE TOOLS, FESTOOL, GORILLA LADDERS, HITACHI POWER TOOLS AUSTRALIA, HUSQVARNA, IMPACT TOOLS, INDUSTRIAL TOOL & MACHINERY (ITMS), INTECH TOOLS, IRWIN TOOLS, JOSCO, KARCHER, MAKITA, METABO, MILWAUKEE, OX GROUP INTERNATIONAL, PARAMOUNT SAFETY, PASLODE, POSITION PARTNERS (TOP CON), SNAE (BAHCO), SPOT ON LASER & TOOL COMPANY, STANLEY BLACK & DECKER, SUTTON TOOLS, TOOL TECHNIC (FESTOOL), TRIDON, UNITEC DIAMOND, WELDING GUNS AUSTRALIA (UNIMIG), WERNER & CO (BAILEY) and WHITE INTERNATIONAL.