News and events happening in and around your local Ideal Community.
- Get things on the right level
Ergonomic experts recommend positioning screens so that the centre of our gaze naturally lands somewhere in the top quarter. Humans are not designed to look up – especially not for sustained lengths of time so, for maximum viewing pleasure, a television should be mounted so that its centre is between three and five feet from the floor, depending on the height of surrounding seating.
- Consider how close
Proximity to an object changes our perception to it, so consider optimal viewing distance when helping a customer design the home theatre of their dreams. Too close to the screen will decrease the perceived quality and too far away will make fine detail difficult to appreciate. Remind them that bigger isn’t always better either – it’s important to pick an appropriate sized TV for the space!
- Leave the light out
Light will impact viewing, so consider the position of items around big windows, as well as where the sun falls in the room to ensure this stays off screens while watching.
- Let the space be lived in
A living room is just that – a space for living – but no one wants people walking back and forth in front of the television constantly. Urge customers to consider the flow of people through a space or rearrange the furniture if foot-traffic is a problem.
- Loud and proud
Some people find speakers unsightly, but it’s important not to let these be tucked away in a cupboard. Sub-woofers placed in cupboards produced muffled and muddy sound, as do speakers if they’re not allowed to produce sound in the direction they should.
- Space for surround
Most assume full surround sound is the only way to go for a home theatre set up, but here your expertise can help customers consider the best option for the size of their space. Remind them that not only do they need to find room for each of the speakers, the satellite components need to be behind viewers, so expensive wireless options or visible cabling across the carpet often result.
- Balanced budgeting
There’s nothing worse than an expensive television or subwoofer paired with the cheapest cabling, amp or sound bar. Find out your customer’s overall budget for a home theatre system and help them to split the spend across the components that matter to ensure the best quality result overall.
- Surge safe
Not only will a home theatre system need power outlets, they’ll need to be protected. Remind your customers of the value of their investment and urge them to use reputable surge protectors for all components.
When Bizline Sales Manager Noëmie Presse arrived in New Zealand she felt at home right way, even though she didn’t speak a word of English.
A French citizen, Noëmie moved down under three years ago on a mission to bring Bizline, Europe’s leading range of tools and commodity electrical supplies, to Kiwi sparkies.
In that time, as well as learning the language, she’s been instrumental in boosting Bizline’s popularity in this country.
She’s put in huge miles, visited Ideal branches up and down the country – from Whangarei to Invercargill – and shown electricians from the Far North to the Deep South how Bizline can benefit their businesses.
“I’ve seen a major evolution in the appreciation for Bizline in this country. It’s immensely popular in Europe and is in fact a preferred choice for many electricians, but the brand was new for the New Zealand market. Now, there’s definitely a growing recognition in New Zealand for Bizline as a manufacturer of high end tools and commodities,” Noëmie said.
All Bizline products are laboratory tested and certified in France before they are launched in New Zealand. The company has its own COFRAC (French Comity of accreditation)-accredited lab which adheres to stringent European quality rules.
The Bizline lab also runs trials against international standards to ensure products sold outside Europe comply with the needs of local countries. In New Zealand all locally available Bizline products conform to IANZ (International Accreditation New Zealand) standards.
“We need to be sure that any Bizline products offered in New Zealand suit the needs of our loyal customer base. I am in close contact with all 47 Ideal branches to ensure the products we’re putting in our stores are what our customers need.”
Most Bizline tools are made in Germany and are guaranteed for the lifetime of the electrician – not the lifetime of the product, as is the case with most competitor products.
This is a very attractive proposition for Kiwi apprentices, said Noëmie.
“Ideal offers apprentice kits containing a great range of equipment to help young apprentices into their trade. Electricians starting out can buy a set of tools which are guaranteed to last them for their entire sparky career.”
If something goes wrong with a German-made Bizline tool, Ideal will replace it – immediately and forever.
“Buying an apprentice kit is a one off thing. That is a leading competitive advantage that we can hang our hat on,” said Noëmie.
Bizline tools are no more expensive than the locally accepted brands, even though they’re manufactured in Europe, under tough quality controls and backed by Ideal’s ‘Sparky-Life’ guarantee.
Bizline is the house brand of Ideal’s parent company Rexel. With worldwide operations, Rexel achieves supply chain efficiencies that make Bizline products more affordable than lesser quality offerings from countries with lower labour costs.
“Ideal is definitely embracing Bizline products not only for of their superior quality, it just makes better business sense,” Noëmie said.
Although a French citizen Noëmie was born and raised in French Guyana, South America. Following high school, she studied international business at university in France and achieved her MBA in Switzerland.
After graduating from university, Noëmie took a year off to travel the world. She arrived in New Zealand as her first stop and hasn’t left since.
“As soon as I arrived in New Zealand I fell I love with the country. It’s amazing. The scenery is great and I love that it’s possible to ski and surf in the same day.”
On arrival she worked for six months at the French Chamber of Commerce in Auckland, helping New Zealand companies do business in France and French companies do business in New Zealand. After that she backpacked around the country before returning to France.
Back home in France, Noëmie was keen to return to New Zealand asap and was chuffed to land a job as a Business Development Manager for Bizline in this country.
“It was challenging to come and promote the benefits of Bizline here, especially when my English wasn’t great. But it’s been very, very satisfying to see the enthusiasm for these products grow,” she said.
“I am proud to work for Ideal. I have been made to feel very welcome and really enjoy spending time with my colleagues and our loyal customers all over the country,” said Noëmie.
For more information on Bizline visit www.bizline.nz
Wireless audio: Wifi versus Bluetooth explained
As you will well know, when it comes to music – and most electronics actually – the world’s going wireless. Any discussion of wireless audio is really a comparison of two main technologies: Bluetooth and WiFi. So how do you easily explain the differences in formats? And how do you help your customers find the solution that will work best for them?
Why (or why not) WiFi?
Decisions surrounding wireless formats come down to how and where your customers want to be able to listen to, and access, their music. For starters, WiFi enabled devices usually require AC power, but they typically have better range than Bluetooth devices; with some planning it can be possible to cover an entire house with WiFi. WiFi devices can also be linked together and controlled remotely as part of a coordinated, multi-room audio system.
Because they connect to a network, WiFi enables connectivity with multiple devices at once, allowing them to directly sync with cloud-based music sources and internet radio stations, like Spotify. Furthermore, for the true audiophiles, the fact that audio signals can be conveyed via WiFi using a lossless codec will come into play – as with this method there is no loss of audio fidelity as the signal travels. Able to support audio, as well as video and images (compared with just audio for Bluetooth), WiFi has a higher bandwidth than Bluetooth that supports the transmission of large files.
But what about Bluetooth?
Bluetooth devices, on the other hand, don’t connect to a network – instead connecting directly to a music-playing device, one at a time. Because of this, their range of transmission is far more limited; typically a device must stay within about 10 metres of a Bluetooth receiver and while a “line of sight” is not essential, walls tend to decrease the possible range further.
On the plus side, Bluetooth technology is universally compatible and the devices are usually battery-powered, compact and portable – so wherever you are, you can keep the tunes blasting. Not all Bluetooth technology is created equal and some chips will provide better range and less sensitivity to interference from things like microwaves, cordless phones or baby monitors.
When it comes to wireless audio, it doesn’t have to be a case of one or the other. Both have their place and you could create a killer WiFi-based, multi-room audio system that also has Bluetooth enabled speakers for flexibility. Look for wireless speakers that support both technologies.
After a 20 year break Ideal Sales Representative Paul Taylor is back behind the wheel and proving he’s still got what it takes to test the best in competitive motor-sport.
Paul, who joined Ideal in 1995 and services major civil works and network customers in the greater Wellington area, retired from rallying in the mid-90s due to family commitments.
Before his two decade hiatus Paul was a competitive rally driver who scored wins against top ranked drivers on stages of the New Zealand rally championships.
“I raced for 10 years in my younger days and got to quite a high level. Then I had kids. Competitive racing keeps your pockets light and it’s a huge time commitment. With kids, racing took a back seat,” Paul explained.
Despite Paul’s long break from the sport, the desire to compete never left him.
“The last 10 years I’ve been frothing at the bit to race again. Pretty much as soon as the kids left the house I was back into it again,” he said.
With his new found freedom, Paul went looking for the perfect car. Soon he was the proud owner of ‘Helga’ a 1990 5 Series BMW, fitted out with a 5 Litre 7 Series V12 engine. A ‘heavy-duty’ rallying machine.
“I wasn’t expecting to buy a car this big. It’s challenging to drive but that’s what I enjoy about it. You can’t throw it too far sideways. It’s 1.8 tons and, if you do, it just keeps going!”
Paul reckons he’s put the car into a few paddocks since he started racing again but, luckily, there’s been no major damage.
“The car has kicked me a few times but I say, ‘if you’re not going off the road you’re not learning!’”
Jokes aside, getting back into racing after 20 years has required a bit of a learning curve but Paul says it’s a bit like riding a bike – you don’t forget.
“It comes back pretty quickly. I did notice my fitness wasn’t quite there at first. You’ve got to have a reasonable level of fitness, and I still need to work on that, but if you’re a competent driver it comes back soon enough.”
As a member of the Wellington Car Club, Paul attends meetings around the North Island competing in gravel and tarmac sprints in the two-litre vehicle class.
In his first year back he has performed better than he expected. He finished seventh overall in the Hawkes Bay Rally Sprint Series out of 23 competitors, fourth in the two-wheel drive category and second in the over two-litre vehicle class. In the Hawkes Bay Tarmac Sprint Series he finished 22nd out of 41 overall and sixth in the over two-litre vehicle class.
In the Wellington Motorsport Association Gravel Sprint series, while outside commitments meant he could only do three of seven round in the series, he finished 21st out of 45 overall and fourth in his class. His plan for 2017 is to compete in more rounds and go for an even higher ranking.
As Paul points out, motor-sport isn’t the cheapest hobby but he’s grateful for Ideal’s support. The company contributes to Paul’s running costs and helps him get to events around the North Island.
“Ideal is a great support and has a track record of backing motor-sport. The only expectation is that I do as well as I can and continue to perform well. They follow my results and it’s great that they recognise my passion and are prepared to help me develop that,” he said.
Waste Management are offering a great service – free disposal of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs).
Check out the details on the poster or call 0800 PCB WASTE for more info.