Corporate Social Responsibility
Our priority is to understand the needs of our customers and offer them solutions in a way in which they would like to be contacted. We aim to provide quality products at a fair price and exceptional customer service. Read our full policy statement here.
We work with many different types of customer, ranging from the home hobby and DIY user to large industrial organisations, and schools and colleges.
We aim to tailor our offering and service to suit each of these customer groups, supporting them in ways they want to be supported, whether online through our website, by email, face-to-face in one of our ggstores, at exhibitions or by a member of our field team visiting them in their workshop or place of work.
Also, we help and work with many charitable organisations including the Furniture Makers' Company, UK Men in Sheds Association, Worshipful Company of Turners, Scouts and Guides at Gilwell Park and many schools, colleges and universities.
By listening to and taking notice of feedback from our customers, we want to market only relevant products to them and at a time when they want this communication. Our ultimate goal is to be the company of choice for quality, service and price in the supply of tools, machinery and accessories. Alan Styles (Managing Director)
We know that if we attract, retain and invest in the best people, we will deliver the best results for our customers. We strive to be a highly inclusive and diverse organisation (read our full Diversity and Social Mobility statement here), creating an engaging environment where our people can develop to their full potential. We do this in a number of ways:
Staff have benefitted from our investment in training and development through internal and external courses. Courses offered range from HR skills to manual handling, forklift truck driving to health and safety, plus management skills and professional qualifications. Staff are encouraged to gain qualifications through their personal development plans.
We want to ensure that all staff share in the success of our business. Each December staff are rewarded with a discretionary payment based on how the company has performed.
We introduced our 'Aspire' programme to develop talented staff and identify managers and team leaders for the future.
A Wellbeing programme is in place promoting a healthy lifestyle and being active with health checks, free fruit Friday, free annual flu jabs, and preferential rates for gym membership and sports massage.
Those who car share, cycle or walk to work receive a small thank-you in their pay packet each month as they are also helping to reduce our carbon footprint. For more information, visit our Careers page.
We are an accredited Living Wage employer which has a positive economic impact on our staff and the surrounding community. We became the Living Wage Champion South West in 2016.
If our people are happy at work they are more likely to be loyal, stay longer and be ambassadors for us, while also taking greater care of our company's resources as well as those of our planet and communities Jane Boulton (Human Resources Director)
We are always looking for ways to improve things and carry out an annual staff survey to keep in touch with how staff feel and think about the way the company is run.
It is important to us that our staff are happy and comfortable in the workplace. We provide a safe, healthy and pleasant working environment for our staff and are certified to BS OHSAS 18001:2007. Read our full Health and Safety Policy Statement and Responsibility Charter here.
Supporting our Communities
We are committed to supporting our local and the wider community through a variety of schemes. Each year our HQ chooses a charity local to the East Devon area to support and raise funds for. Our stores are involved with other charities and the communities local to them.
At the start of 2017, Axminster Tools & Machinery made a commitment to the Men’s Sheds Association to provide training to ‘shedders’ in the best interests of member safety and assistance where possible with the supply of tools and machines to reduce setup costs and help Sheds become self-sustaining.
We support the Sylva Foundation in Oxfordshire which in turn supports education and training in woodworking crafts at the Sylva Wood Centre. The Centre provides a dedicated space and equipment plus facilities to nurture business incubation.
Resources from a pension fund have been utilised to build a new leisure facility which can be used and enjoyed by the local community.
One of our directors is a Liveryman for the Furniture Makers’ Company and three other directors are Corporate Liverymen. The Furniture Makers’ Company is the City of London livery company and charity for the furnishing industry. It fosters the industry by supporting those in need, nurturing skills and expertise and inspiring excellence.
- It provides support and assistance to those in need who are working or have worked in the UK furnishing industry.
- It supports students and young people with grants, training and mentoring in order to foster talent and safeguard the future of the industry.
- It encourages the highest standards and best practice in the design, making, marketing and selling of all kinds of furniture and furnishings throughout the UK, recognising quality through the award of its Guild Marks and Awards.
One of our directors is an ambassador for Devon Delivers, promoting what's great about Devon through events, information distribution, social media and networking, all designed to help businesses thinking of relocating to the area understand what it's really like to be based here.
Links with education
We actively support a number of educational establishments. We have provided Cardiff Racing (Cardiff University) and Newcastle Racing (Newcastle University) with precision engineering machines to assist them with the building of racing cars enabling them to take part in Formula Student racing.
Working with local schools and colleges, we are able to offer apprenticeships, work experience, mentoring and attend career events
Managing our Environmental Impact
We are deeply concerned about the world we live in, greenhouse gases, destruction of the rain forests and what kind of planet we will be leaving to our children and grandchildren. For this reason we want to do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint and the impact we are having on our environment.
In 2017 we bought an electric car which can be used for local journeys, helping to reduce emissions and fossil fuels
Our aim is to reuse, recycle or upcycle as much as we can and we have been operating our main office and distribution centre on a 'zero to landfill' basis since 2014. We recycle paper, magazines, polythene bags and wrappers, polystyrene, metal waste, wood waste, plastics, electrical items, chemicals and oils, batteries and light bulbs, and food waste. Read our full Waste Disposal and Recycling Code of Practice here. We are moving towards LED lighting in all areas and lighting that only comes on when someone enters the area.
In 2016 we introduced a car sharing scheme, incentivising staff to travel together, walk or cycle to work, and in so doing contribute in a small way to reducing the number of cars on the road, fuel being used and level of emissions.
We have reduced the amount of plastic in the packaging of our own products in our warehouse and have replaced this with cardboard. We shred all waste cardboard and use this instead of bubble wrap as protective packaging when we send out parcels.
Our Supply Chain, Ethical Trading and Human Rights
We believe in respecting human rights across every aspect of our operation. To ensure our products are ethically sourced, we make regular (yearly) visits to our suppliers in China, Taiwan and India. We have local agents in China and Taiwan who audit the suppliers we use. We are constantly reviewing our policies and procedures so we can be sure that the workforces in the factories we use in these countries are not subjected to unsafe working conditions, forced labour or human trafficking. Read our full Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Act Statement here.