It’s been a hectic year behind the scenes but not necessarily something that can be seen through the website, so I thought i’d take some time to update those who visit us online.
Stock levels have always been an issue in the website due to productivity, this is because we refurbish our tools so they are truly fit for purpose, it’s not just a case of buying and selling old tools as there are many people already doing this, but why Tooltique is different in what we do. The vintage user tools here aren’t just polished to look nice but instead go through a full refurbishment and correction process that would be needed to be done by the buyer if they purchased elsewhere. We simply do all the dirty hard work for you, so that customers can just get on with using them.
Over the past year or so a lot of emphasis has been put into the training my two sons, laying the foundations of this business to ensure there will be a consistent standard to the refurbishment process as we grow further. There has also been an emphasis on more efficiency with all stages of the process that customers experience and we are continually striving to improve our service throughout the year. From April we completed our 2nd well ventilated workshop with a 3rd which is 50% complete at our business premises, this will allow us to refurbish more tools on a weekly basis. It was important that our boys received this training as it does take a lot of time to go and find the tools, which often takes me away from the workshop itself, so in some way we have held back the business until my lads were ready to take on the responsibility, we also needed the extra space in which all those tools restored could be stored and checked prior to photographing them.
The refurbishment quantity had to increase as we still envisage a time we have enough completed stock to travel around the country at events south, east north and west of the UK to meet our customers but as yet couldn’t finish enough to get what stocks we have here ready for sale beyond what is required through the website.
The whole place is has been re-organised to make it easier for us to see exactly what stock we have in-house and to organise what tools should be worked on next, it’s certainly been a worthwhile exercise as there were some real gems we have found hidden underneath the newer purchased stock. That’s why in March and April there has been less new stock than normal being listed online but this will soon change.
Our 2500 sq ft secure unit has now been divided to utilise the space into many defining areas that include places to store new stock, photo area, store listed stock, packing area, 3 fully equipped workshops. We have also added to the equipment needed and finally gained full access to my own vast tool kit which will make life so much easier. Joanne has now got much more shelving in her photo area now, which will certainly help as she photographs the tools, she can actually see whats in, what box now to offer the customers a more wide variety.
Posting will also start to be sent out daily once the structural changes have been completed to the unit and with some luck if the sales continue to grow this year we will be able to negotiate a better courier service at the same reasonable prices but as you can appreciate couriers only seem to be interested when companies have more volume.
The website will undergo further small tweaks & changes over the year to make it more user friendly but the whole feel will remain the same, however we do think that as the stock listed increases we will add more categories to the drop down menu so that customers can view specific types of old tools with one click, so any suggestions you may have are always welcomed.
Antique tools for collectors haven’t as yet been our focus, although we have a few in the store, hopefully this will change when we have increased our stock levels of completed refurbished user tools but as I said earlier we could only do this when the lads were trained and had the work space to work efficiently.
Everything is still work in progress here but once we refine things we hope that this website will become a resource both users and collectors of old tools will be able to explore with page after page of above standard used tools and rare antique tools from a company they can always trust to do things right.
There is lots more to come and many hurdles to jump but things are going in the right direction but as any good builder knows good foundations need to be laid first before building commences.