Why buy Axminster?
You may have already decided to buy an Axminster machine. You may be in the process of making a decision. You may have just stumbled onto this page by accident. Regardless of your current situation and how you got here, if you’re interested in quality products, passionate people and a drive to create the best, you’re going to want to read on.
We could start and end our argument with a few of our everyday promises that you’ll find on our website…
- Free three year warranty on all Axminster machinery
- Award winning customer service – before and after you purchase
- Free next day delivery on orders over £50
- Over 40 years of experience in the tool and machinery industry
But why stop there? Delve a little deeper, there is so much more…
Products born out of passion
Our drive to bring you the best machinery available is born out of a passion for machinery; their manufacture, their design and their functionality.
Bringing this together is a tough task. What machine do we need? Who is the best manufacturer for this? What will make this machine unique?
We asked Keith Thompson, Senior Innovation and Product Manager, his thoughts. Keith has worked with Axminster Tools and Machinery for over 25 years; most recently overseeing the growth and development of the Axminster machinery range.
Hi Keith, first things first, how do you decide what machine we need?
‘It all starts with product reviews which happen almost continually and assess three main factors.
- If there’s a ‘gap’ in our range. This is where we perceive a new size or quality machine could be added, to allow the customer a bigger variety of machinery.
- The product has gone as far as it can go – If we have had a product for many years and improvements have taken it as far as it can go but we think we can still achieve better.
- Supplier issues – Sometimes suppliers fail to meet our exacting standards or extend lead times beyond sustainable levels, in which case it’s time to move on.
When you’ve highlighted there’s a need for a new machine, what happens then?
‘If we’ve found a need in, say, our Trade Series range, we know the quality of build and specification of the machine we are after. The next step is to find a supplier who has the expertise we would like to work with.’
How do you find the right supplier?
‘Through lots of hard work, I can tell you that! We’ve been working with some of these suppliers for around 25 years now, building relationships and trust. This has led to us knowing what their capabilities are, so unless someone new has come to our attention, if we know the machine and the specification, we will already have an idea of who the best supplier will be.’
Before we go onto the machine and it’s design, let’s talk about these supplier relationships, how have these been built?
‘It’s easy to build relationships these days over email and phone but we tend to find that seeing the supplier, their factories and the staff is a far better way. We have regular factory visits in the subcontinent and Far East visiting suppliers; some new, some old, to look at their processes, make sure we’re happy with the working conditions and see the production quality. It’s easy to see a product in a photo and say that’s great but to see it in the flesh, feel the weight and build gives us absolute certainty.’
Now we know the supplier and the machine how do we make this our own?
‘Firstly a design concept is thought up of, this has probably been done before any of the other steps explained, so that we know that the supplier has the means to create it. Then we go onto any special requests we have…’
‘A most recent example of this is the BS11 bandsaws, where we realised nobody had a bench top bandsaw that could withstand the rigours of a busy trade workshop. We came up with a design for an extremely robust machine and sent this to the supplier which they agreed to create. But what makes this machine really stand out is the ‘INV’ version with an inverter drive on the motor, enabling the customer to cut both metal and wood. This won’t be found on any other bench top bandsaw on the market, and as sales and reviews have shown it’s a very popular model’.
Surely the machines can’t be perfect straight away?
‘No, you will be very lucky to get a machine the way you like it first time. We will usually be sent a sample, which we will test vigorously in our Skill Centre or product room to find any faults. If there are any issues, we send back our findings to the supplier. Once the new amendments have been made, we try to time our factory visits in accordance with the first batch being sent, just so we know that they are all perfect.’
And perfection is what we strive for here, so I think that’s a nice way to finish this interview. Many thanks for your time Keith.