Locks and Security News: your weekly locks and security industry newsletter
12th February 2020 Issue no. 494
Your industry news - first
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Roto: Have you heard the rumours?
Guess what? Someone told us that negative rumours are more likely to be passed on than positive ones. Have you heard that one too?
Do you know something else? Apparently, as a rumour travels, it "grows shorter, more concise, more easily grasped and told." We have that last one on good authority (actually, it's from a study called Psychology of Rumour, by Allport and Postman, published in 1947).
A bit of gossip
You know, experts have done all sorts of detailed studies on this kind of thing. But it's all obvious really, isn't it? People are more likely to whisper about what they believe to be bad or sensational "news". As they do, the story gets simplified and - very often - ends up being quite untrue.
Still, it makes for a good rumour. And everyone likes a bit of gossip, don't they?
70 per cent
The study we read, which is decades old but still sounds about right, says that 70 per cent of details in a message are lost during the first five or six times it gets passed on by word of mouth. Yes, that does sound fairly accurate. It would explain why you might have heard this one:
"Roto are pulling out of the UK."
"Oh yeah. They've closed their office and warehouse here, and shut down their UK website as well".
"Straight up. They even announced it in the magazines. Anyone who wants to buy the hardware now has to get it from Belgium".
So, is any of that true? And what happened to the 70 per cent of facts that got lost along the way?
We've gathered them together for you.
In November 2012, we issued a press release. The first paragraph says:
"Roto has announced it will be closing its UK hardware warehouse and office in Rugby, Warwickshire at the end of 2012 as it begins to supply all orders from its enhanced Western Europe Logistics Centre."
Now, the second part of that is quite interesting to anyone going on to read the whole article. The logistics centre has been enhanced? How? What does it now offer?
But of course, when you're starting or passing on a rumour, negative is the way to go. So that bit about the office and warehouse closing is perfect. You don't really need anything else to get some gossip going. Just say something is closing. That'll do it.
Of course, closing an office or a warehouse is not exactly the same as withdrawing from a market. Nowhere near, in fact. Roto's UK operation still exists as a British registered company. Our sales and technical team continue to cover the entire UK.
At the time of writing (February 2013) the UK warehouse and office building is up for sale. When the building is sold, we will establish a new office base in the UK.
Banks may need ivory towers as a public display of their status, but in our industry, we need to look at lean processes. We had to ask ourselves a question: Are our customers prepared to pay for buildings that are not needed?
We didn't have any doubts about what the answer would be.
We've modernised our logistics operation, using both our own resources and those of external specialists, all with one aim: to provide you with the best service possible.
Logistics performance isn't just about being quick: it's about delivering exactly the right items too.
Thanks to our distribution partners, we are able to claim the number one position when it comes to both speed and accuracy in supply.
Every company has two basic choices: (1) keep moving, develop and change to suit the market - offer something better than you did before, in order to keep ahead. Or (2), try to remain the same for as long as possible, and see how long you can get away with it.
It would be nice and easy if every company could maintain its position just by staying the same. But that's never been an option for us, and we doubt it's one for you either.
Have we shut down our UK website? Well, at the end of 2012 we did remove content from one of our domain names - www.roto.co.uk. It's still an active address, but it now directs to a UK-specific section of the main group website, www.roto-frank.com
(That places the UK in line with the 21 other countries in which Roto has an established sales and support presence: they all have their own sections on the same group website.)
The UK area of the website now contains information on 43 different product groups in 10 different application categories. Plus all the UK specific news and press releases, as well as news from the Roto Group worldwide.
It also features the blog, which we've been running since the start of 2013.
That's an awful lot more than was ever available before.
You'd think if anyone was going to be worried by changes made at Roto, it would be our distribution partners.
What do they think?
Gary Gleeson, Marketing Manager at VBH says, "To the market in general, it's business as usual. For them, nothing has changed".
Still, there is one thing above all else that proves our commitment to the UK.
And that, of course, is whether we are putting our money where our mouths are, and actually investing.
Here are seven Roto developments, all of which have the UK very much in mind:
1. TSH 30 - Our new hardware system for outward-opening windows. It allows you to make bigger and more secure casements than ever before.
What's the biggest market for the outward-opening format? The UK. Although the popularity of open-out is increasing in Scandinavia, we wouldn't have been able to make such an investment in a new system without the assurance of having the UK as our core market for casement products.
2. Designo II Tilt-First - Coming in 2013, the evolution of the concealed hinge variant of the NT tilt and turn system for PVC, timber and aluminium. It is designed to provide a solution to the challenges created by market trends.
This is the new tilt-first version. That's significant, because the continental market has, of course, traditionally preferred turn-first.
3. Heritage Door Lock - This is a new product designed to help replicate the style of door often found on British homes. It's another example of considerable investment in a product aimed at the UK market.
4. Contra Lock - The system for timber double doors without a floating mullion. That's the kind of timber double doors prominent in the British Isles.
5. DoorLine Solid 150P Hinge - The latest in our DoorLine range of hinges, which, since the 1990s, have been huge sellers for us in the UK. This new hinge has already been adopted across the board by one valued customer and others are following suit.
6. Web Shop - We've launched the Roto Web Shop, which makes a wide range of products available to order directly from us for the first time. This includes hardware components, tools and accessories, promotional items and spare parts. Feedback from the UK market has played a big part in the planning. You can even order in pounds sterling.
7. Hardware Configurator - Roto has a new, simple-to-use application for creating hardware specifications, which you will be able to access online. It enables you to quickly and accurately specify a list of components for given sizes of windows. A version specifically designed for UK configurations will be launched during the summer of this year.
In addition, we are also conducting a new market survey. It will assess our position in relation to our competitors and establish the needs of the UK market in the coming years.
There's a good reason for doing a market survey of course: taking the time to find out what's really going on is one of the most powerful ways to set yourself up for continued success.
Keep up to date with official news from Roto: follow us on Twitter @RotoFrank. Remember to 'Like' us on Facebook too. We are also on LinkedIn.
13th March 2013