The Pain is Over!

It’s like giving birth to an elephant. Worlddidac Basle is a large, unwieldy, expensive, foreign, logistical nightmare but at least it is only biannual. The show this year saw Gratnells with one of the largest stands in the hall and we certainly got everyone’s attention. We wanted to show off our new Callero range and SmartCase which went down extremely well. Some customers had already started packing kits in the Smartcase, so thank you to Sumit Jain at Eisco.

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Winner of the most interesting product had to go to LeXsolar with their electric go-kart. Ronnie from the German kit company was seen whizzing round the hall after hours with a big grin on his face. He may have the pace but can he beat my 14 year old son? Challenge for Worlddidac 2016?

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SmartCase Raspberry Pi cases for STEM ambassadors

We were delighted to supply Explore STEM – a leading STEM Ambassador program – with a set of 30 SmartCases which were specially designed to hold their classroom Raspberry Pi kits.

Explore STEM manages the Schools STEM Advisory Network and STEM Ambassadors Programme across Essex, Southend and Thurrock. They keep schools informed about high-quality activities they can access to enrich and enhance the STEM curriculum and enable them to use a range of STEM Ambassadors. Working with local experts, they provide tailored advice and assistance quickly and easily to schools and colleges across Essex by helping the delivery of enrichment and enhancement activities, providing STEM Ambassadors and helping Schools develop and provide after-school STEM clubs.

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This Raspberry Pi project was funded by the IET (institute of Engineering and Technology); a body which aims to promote the teaching of Science and Technology subjects in schools. Explore STEM approached us to create a customised STEM Ambassador SmartCase which could hold a complete Raspberry Pi kit. The kits were created with a special foam insert that can hold a whole Raspberry Pi starter kit for each pupil and the lid has a wallet that contains a keyboard so everything needed to set up one student is in a handy case. The initial feedback has been very positive with a lot of positive comments on twitter from the first picture!

 

Getting ready for Worlddidac next week

So this week we are dashing round with final preparations for our stand at the Worlddidac Education Trade exhibition in Basel next week. Stand designs have been signed off, products have been shipped, brochures have gone to the printers and most importantly the tea and coffee machines have been safely packed away with the rest of the materials being shipped to Basel in Swizerland.

We are very excited to be showcasing our two most significant launches of the last decade: the SmartCase and the new Callero range. SmartCase has just been launched and Callero units will be available in 2015.

Don’t forget if you visit our stand you could be the lucky winner of a Kindle Paperwhite. The show runs in Basel, Swizerland from October 29 to 31 So please join me on the Gratnells stands D100 and D105. I look forward to seeing you there.

You can read more about our show plans here.

If you will not be attending the Worlddidac show but would like the latest information on our new launches you can see the new Callero and SmartCase brochures on the trade section of our website.

 

Yet another TV appearance!

We spotted some more Gratnells trays on the TV this week.  The team from Salvage Hunters were at Kimbolton School in Cambridgeshire and spent some time in the Science Lab. Celebrity antiques dealer Drew Pritchard spotted an old collectors’ cabinet that he considered an antique. In the background is a bank of tray storage units (clearly the real treasure!)

 

 

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Salvage Hunters is broadcast on Quest TV in the UK and follows Drew Pritchard as he criss-crosses the country to search for derelict gems that can be given a new lease of life back at his antiques yard with the help of wife Rebecca, sidekick Tee and his team of renovators, wood carvers, upholsterers and guilders.

You can watch the episode on catch-up here and you can read more about the show here.

Kimbolton School which is featured on the show wrote about the experience on their blog where you can see some behind the scenes photographs.

 

 

Conversation spotted on twitter

We were delighted to spot this conversation on Twitter this week. ‘You know you’re a teacher when finding unused Gratnells trays and drawers at school is a personal highlight’ Actually we are the ones feeling like the proud parent!

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Educating the East End

We’re enjoying the latest ‘Educating’ Series. Educating the East End follows the day to day challenges of Jenny Smith and her staff at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow.  As always we spend as much time spotting Gratnells trays in the background as we do watching the stories unfold.

Starring Gratnells Trays!
Starring Gratnells Trays!

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You can find more information about the show here.

Times article on Wooden Furnitiure Manufacturer, Ambic

Although this article ran a while ago in the Times we have only just spotted it.  It’s a very interesting article about School Furniture Manufacturer Ambic Ltd who were facing problems with cash flow as their business is very seasonally biased to the summer holidays (as is ours).  Schools place orders at the end of the school year and then want their new products delivered in time for the new term in September. So additional resources need to be employed to meet the temporarily heightened demand. Ambic used a funding circle instead of a more traditional expensive bank overdraft to raise the funds for increased production.  An inspiring story and you can read the full article here 

It could almost be a Gratnells picture!
It could almost be a Gratnells picture!

Gearing up for Worlddidac

We are heading into a busy time here at Gratnells HQ – not least gearing up for the biannual challenge that is our Worlddidac stand.  Plans are afoot and we are having a double stand where we will be showcasing our new SmartCase and Callero junior range. Hopefully you will be familiar with these two launches already:

 

  • Callero is a range of stylish classroom storage specially designed for early years and junior education. This modular storage solution boasts a whole range of storage and shelving units. Callero’s sleek new design and colour scheme gives any classroom a modern, stylish look.
  • The SmartCase is our newest addition to the tray family – but it isn’t just a tray, it’s also a carry case. The answer to super-tough storage on the go, SmartCase is designed to safely store and transport all kinds of classroom items, from tablets and laptops to data logging equipment and school kits.

 

As with previous years we are offering our customers a free ticket to Worlddidac – and we are running a competition on our stand. This year we giving away a brand new Kindle Paperwhite in our on-stand competition. And you could be the lucky winner! Most of you will be receiving a letter or an email this week with more details but if not please do email me for a free ticket or more information.   You can find more information at http://tinyurl.com/worlddidac

 


I’ve already posted you a voucher which gives you a free ticket to Worlddidac Basel when you register online. The show runs in Basel, Swizerland from October 29 to 31 So please join me on the Gratnells stands D100 and D105. I look forward to seeing you there.

 

 

Gratnells joins the Made in Britain initiative

We are pleased to have signed up to the Made in Britain initiative.

Research has shown that many UK consumers want to buy British made goods –  but are confused about the origin of products sold in stores. In January 2011 cooker manufacturer Stoves commissioned independent market research which showed that half of those surveyed admitted confusion about which brands could still claim to be made in Britain, with international takeovers and moves towards Far Eastern production all contributing to an increasingly puzzled landscape. Two-thirds wanted an official seal of approval to show products made in Britain, while half thought British brands should bring manufacturing back to the UK. More than a third of those questioned stated they would actively buy British goods if it was easier to identify authentic made in Britain products.

In July 2011 and companies making products in the UK were invited to apply to use the logo and in November 2012 a committee was formed to oversee the marque and assist with the ongoing promotion of the campaign. In June 2013 the committee commissioned design agency The Partners to re-design the logo and establish a membership scheme for users of the logo.

 

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Any UK based manufacturer who would like to use the marque can apply at the Made in Britain Campaign website. Applicants will go through a verification process to confirm that their products are made in the UK and then will pay a small membership fee to be able to use the marque.