Reliability is something we all depend upon in our daily lives, whether it be in the products and services we use or the people that we interact with. It is no surprise then that a good reliable product teamed with quality service and one-to-one relationships can really make an impact and set a brand apart from the others.
These can, in turn, help manufacturers towards developing great working relationships with those who buy their products. In taking the time to speak to your customer base, you can gain an appreciation and insight into the demands and pain points of your market, and you soon learn that golden nuggets of knowledge are held within the experiences of those people who use your products on a daily basis.
That is exactly why Paslode strive to build good, strong relationships with on-site contractors like Gary Outram, Contracts Manager for C&M Carpentry. We went down to visit him on site in Faversham, Kent, on a very warm May day to have a chat about his experiences working on house building sites on carpentry applications, and the strong relationship his team has built with Paslode.
GARY OUTRAM – CONTRACTS MANAGER, C&M CARPENTRY
Gary has worked as a carpenter since leaving school at the age of 15. He began by working in the trade for a general carpentry firm doing basic jobs, until around 15 years ago when he decided to step out on site on his own. It was around this time that Gary began using Paslode tools regularly.
As Contracts Manager for C&M Carpentry, based in the South of England, Gary’s job involves working on new build sites for large housebuilding companies like Barratts, Redrow and Bellways looking after all elements of structural carpentry, on both first fix and second fix applications.
Currently Gary’s firm have a full range of Paslode tools in their fleet, from the IM360Ci and IM350+ Lithium tools for first fix applications to the IM65A brad nailer for second fix. The guys also use the more specialist tools, like the PPN35Ci for fixing metal work to timber, and have recently taken on the IM45 GN tool for their cladding jobs on site, which they have been particularly impressed with. In Gary’s own words;
“there isn’t a (Paslode) tool that we haven’t got in the company.”
We asked Gary to explain the main reasons why Paslode are his number one choice for wood to wood fixing.
“If we have any problems with a paslode tool we know we can make a call and someone will be able to help us.”
Building sites can sometimes be quite remote. If you experience a problem with any of the products that you are working with on-site, it isn’t always easy to get it resolved quickly and efficiently, particularly if the site is some distance from your nearest trade counter.
For a building contractors’ firm like Gary’s, a good relationship with their suppliers is extremely important. The team are reliant on them for the products and services that keep the site ticking over day to day. Manufacturer and dealer sales reps visit Gary and his team regularly on site, but the support Paslode have been able to provide has really made an impact on Gary.
It was during one such visit around eight years ago that Gary met his Paslode contact, Danny Palmer, and a strong working relationship has followed. He has since insisted that only Paslode is used on his sites and has made this known when competitor manufactures have come to visit him on site. He told us a little about the help and support that Paslode, and Danny in particular, have provided him with over the years;
“The help and support that Danny and the rest of the Paslode team have given us has been brilliant. If we have any problems with a Paslode tool we know we can make a call and someone will be able to help us, either over the phone or by coming out to visit us on site.”
Gary goes on to explain that the relationship with Paslode works two-ways;
“Because Danny and the Paslode product team have supported us so much with the tools, we have been able to help them out in return. For example, a couple of years ago I was invited to speak at one of the Paslode sales meetings, to share my experiences using the Paslode tools, and the guys and I are often asked to help test out new products on site and give feedback on what they are like to use.”
The tools testing is something that Gary enjoys doing, as it gives him and his team the opportunity to explain their personal pain points, which in turn helps Paslode with the research and innovation of future technologies and tools. During a recent tool trial, Gary was given the opportunity to try out the new look, improved IM360Ci tool, which has just come on to the market here in the UK. He says;
“we really liked the new tool. It feels sturdy and good quality. It’s also lighter which is a real benefit for any overhead work.”
“The (Paslode) nails and gas are superior to anything else out there.”
Another consideration for Gary is the accessories and consumables available for use with his tool. Battery life is critically important, as we all know having to charge a battery multiple times in one day is massively inconvenient. Often, with several tools at work on site at any given time which require the same battery, the length of time a tool lasts between charges becomes even more crucial.
For Gary, the Paslode battery gets a big thumbs up. He describes the battery life as “phenomenal”, explaining that in his experience it can go for 2-3 days sometimes without needing a charge, which means much less down time for his team.
We then moved on to discuss the newer ‘gas-free’ nailers available on the market, which are powered purely by battery with no need for the use of a fuel cell. While they have their plus points, Gary is a firm believer that the reliance on just the battery can prove to be somewhat of a disadvantage;
“There are so many mechanical elements in those tools, the battery is having to work extra hard to power everything, therefore it runs out quicker. You can get through several batteries per day, and the tool only comes with one so then you need to buy two more batteries to last you through the day. Before you know it that’s an extra £100 spent”.
Nails and gas are also important. There is a huge selection of nail packs available at trade counters, many if which come at a very economical price. It is easy to see how, in an attempt to saves costs, contractors can be encouraged to use these as an alternative to the premium Paslode product.
Gary sees the benefits in investing in the full Paslode system of tool, fuel and nails in order to guarantee a top-quality finish. He went on to say;
“the (Paslode) nails and gas are superior to anything else out there. We have tried them all but Paslode are a better quality in all aspects.”
The system is tried and tested together, which means there are no issues with incompatibility between the tool and consumables, which can sometimes occur when using a mix of brands.
In using Paslode first fix nails you also have the peace of mind of knowing that they are all classified according to Eurocode 5 Service Classes 1, 2 and 3, providing you with a suitable nail for every application.
“Over the years we have tried and tested everything, but we all come back to Paslode.”
Any tradesman is at the mercy of their tool fleet when it comes to productivity. Your tools are ultimately your bread and butter and down time quickly adds up to lost income. As Gary explains, a good tool earns you money in the long run;
“If your tool breaks down, you think about how much money it has made you for the last few years and start to think about how much money you are losing for every day that it is down.”
Over the years Gary and his team have used many different nailing tools, trying out most of the top brands on the market. Although many of them have been cheaper, in his experience it is Paslode that outperforms in terms of reliability;
“Over the years we have tried and tested everything, but we all come back to Paslode. We expect our tools to go wrong every now and again – we use them a lot and expect a lot from them. However, compared to other competitor tools, the Paslode tools do last a lot longer.”
He went on to say that he has owned his IM360Ci tool around for six years and it has only broken down once, making it one of the best Paslode tools that he has ever used.
GARY’S WORDS OF ADVICE
As we wrapped up our conversation, I asked Gary what advice he would give a young apprentice or someone just starting out in carpentry when it comes to choosing a nailer;
“The best advice I can give is to ask around before you buy. If you are already working on-site you’ll see so many different models and brands – ask people how they find them to use on a daily basis. Also, ask about the longevity of the tool. I’ve had tools that are great to start with but have broken down after six months of use.”
“Personally, I would always recommend Paslode. They are better quality in all aspects, reliable and you know you’ll get a great service.”
“If you come across a problem, the Paslode support network will be at hand to solve it. If they weren’t tools that we relied on and trusted we wouldn’t buy them, we wouldn’t keep coming back.”