• This month we discuss

    • The gender gap in the construction industry
    • Why is uncomfortable furniture popular?
    • How will customer care change in 2017?
    • Find out about Premiere Visibility
    • Cooling hard hats being used in hot climates
    • Did you know you can get instant quotes?
    • Premiere expand its team
    • The benefits of a two metre hanging bracket
  • How serious is gender segregation in the construction industry, and what can be done?
  • gender in the construction industry
  • The construction industry tends to be a male dominated sector, and traditionally has one of the lowest percentage of female workers of any sector.

    So, considering the opportunities for a long term career and the variety of roles and responsibilites available, why isn't it more popular with female workers?

    One of the problems is thought to be flexibility. Working in the construction industry usually involves incredibly long hours, which, when combined with potentially quite arduous conditions and manual labour, may put some women off.

    There's also a degree of inflexibility when it comes to working from home. Admittedly, lots of the work on the site itself cannot be done from home, but other aspects of the industry - like planning and logistics - could be done more remotely.

    So, what can be done to encourage and support a more mixed workforce?

    For a start more needs to be done to make women feel as though they aren’t isolated, and crucially given special treatment on site. This tends to make them feel as though they are outsiders, which in turn is more likely to make them leave the construction industry earlier.

    Another problem is that some women feel that sexist attitudes towards them in the workplace will limit the progress they can make within the industry. Overcoming the attitude that women aren’t physically strong enough to do construction work is another challenge.

    To allay these fears, and encourage more women to get involved in the industry, a zero-tolerance policy to sexism on-site is vital.

    Through education and access to opportunities, the gender gap in the industry will shift, but it will take time and effort.

  • Why do people like and pay more for furniture that looks uncomfortable?

  • furniture for student housing
  • Traditionally, the luxury furniture market has been the embodiment of comfort. But over the past year, designers have been striving to change the way we think about high-end chairs and tables.

    Pieces made of glass, stone and metal are becoming the go-to option in terms of luxury furniture, and yet they appear too uncomfortable to sit on. Many luxury brands are beginning to prioritise engineering and innovation over comfort.

    This is not to say that comfort has been discarded from the equation. Designers study ergonomics in an effort to take un-upholstered, hard materials and make them comfortable. Design innovation is the key factor, but the furniture still has to be useable. The clear focus however, is on the beauty of the pieces.

    The reason for this is because people are more willing to treat high-end furniture as a work of art, rather than simply something functional. Designers are blurring the line between furniture and sculpture, which means that comfort sometimes plays second fiddle to aesthetics.

    Traditionally, transparent materials haven’t been used for luxury furniture, because psychologically we don’t associate things like glass and plastic with strength when it comes to furniture. But designers are finding new ways to showcase the potential of transparent materials in high-end furniture.

    As with the fashion industry, top end design tends to trickle down to the high street, albeit in a more watered down form. So, is this trend going to feed into high street and contract furniture?

  • How will customer care change in 2017?
  • customer service
  • Customer care in our industry has undergone some important developments in 2016, and this will only continue into the next twelve months.

    So, what is likely to happen in 2017? There are many predictions from a range of experts, and it can become confusing. To make it simpler, we have compiled a list of assumptions about how the customer care industry will advance over the coming year:

    • Companies will really strive to deliver a connected digital experience. This means that you can troubleshoot and solve your customer’s problems before they become serious. The result? Your customers praise your business. Seeing your company from the perspective of your customers is vital in terms of understanding how best to cater to their needs.
    • More and more digital officers will become involved in customer care decision making processes. Customer care is arguably one of the most important aspects when it comes to differentiating your company from your rivals. A dedicated digital officer is a very helpful asset to have.
    • The cloud will become more and more of a factor in customer care. If you can securely integrate cross channel communications then your will find that customer interactions are easier, and that your company has the means to deal with any problems.
    • Customer care will no longer be confined to the contact centre. Traditional contact centres won’t be the be all and end all of customer service. The advent of automated bots can provide an effective alternative.
    • Contact centre suppliers will be reassessed more regularly. Waiting too long to migrate to more trustworthy vendors can cost more in the long run.

    • Construction workers could get potentially life-saving equipment

    • Conditions in Qatar for construction workers can be incredibly dangerous. During the summer, the searing heat can become unbearable. This can cause huge issues for people working outside all day in the heat and sun. The traditional hard hat, if anything, amplifies this problem, protecting from direct sunlight, but heating up itself.

      To help alleviate this issue, researchers at Qatar University have designed a helmet that they say can cool down workers by as much as 10 degrees, which could be lifesaving.
      hot climate
    • The developers say that the hats can cool workers for up to four hours.

      This isn’t the first time the technology has been implemented. In the US, sports teams use body cooling equipment when training in warmer climates, but it hasn’t been used in the construction industry before.

      The potential for this technology is great, especially in hot parts of the world, but how long will it be before UK companies are employing it during the summer months? The more comfortable a workforce is, the more efficient it will be.

      Obviously the main goal has to be health related, but in the UK, where the direct sun is less of a problem, it may be that comfort that moves some businesses to employ the technology.

      The extreme heat has claimed the lives of workers in the run up to the 2022 World Cup, and this new technology might be able to protect people from further loss of life.

      If the helmets are successful in Qatar, the technology can be expanded throughout the entire construction industry. The researchers hope that it can become part of the legacy of the tournament, which has previously been marred by reports of human rights violations by the governments when it comes to workers, especially those who come from overseas.

    • Premiere Visibility – your online partner for all your project updates
    • As a Premiere customer, you have 24 hour access to place orders at a time to suit your requirements, track and view progress of your projects from order placement to delivery, add new users within your team, and so much more*.

      Using Visibility, Premiere’s user friendly online customer portal, you can easily manage your orders from surveys and quotes to deliveries and invoices, whenever and wherever you want. So if you need to check project details outside of office hours, or even on the move, it’s easy – you have the power at your fingertips.
      premiere visibility
    • One of the most common enquiries we have is ‘How do I add a new user?’ This is simple, and can be found in your existing user manual. If you don’t have that to hand, and would like a simple guide to add a new user, just give our Customer Care team a call on 01452 886 100 and we’ll send it over to you.

      If you don’t yet have access to Visibility, or would like a copy of the Visibility User Manual, please let us know. We’ll have you set up and running in no time.

      *Visibility is available to customers that have surveyed kitchens with QB references.

    • Did you know you can get instant quotes?
    • Premiere customers can access instant prices for standard products, quicker than more complex quotations that can take several working days.

      If you want a price for a door, unit or worktop etc, we can provide you with a price list to streamline this process, so you can look up the price of the item and order right away.

      If you don’t have your price list, just ask your Business Development Manager, or contact Customer Care and we’ll send it to you.
      instant quotes
    • Premiere expand its team
    • In response to increasing demand at Premiere, we have recently bolstered the team, and continue to do so.

      Our production and engineering teams have grown, along with the customer facing team at our Head Office, which will enable us to provide elevated levels of product quality and customer service.

      We look forward to serving you in 2017.

      team image
    • The benefits of a two metre hanging bracket
    • Two metre hanging brackets are provided for some of our kitchen unit installations for very good reasons. Using a long bracket ensures that when hung to the wall the units hang straight, and makes hanging units on stud walls easy.

      It's not always needed, or specified, but it does become important in older properties, where perhaps the walls are uneven.

    • When using with stud walls, the bracket can be securely fixed to the wall at intervals to suit the wall structure. As standard we supply 2 small hanging brackets per unit which are perfect for new installations, and short runs.

      This is an extremely simple and 'straight forward' feature, but we believe that it's one which sets us apart from our competition.

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