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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Great quality low cost ways to promote your business

Whether you want to promote your company, service, product or event, promotional products and clothing act as a powerful advertising tool -  and everyone loves a freebie.  To chat about what products might fit your marketing needs just give our resident expert Sam Johnson a ring on 01332 614607 or email her at Alternatively you might like to click the link and visit our dedicated website where you can browse and get a few ideas about the products available. Here are a handful of ideas to help get you thinking. 


Saturday, 27 April 2013

The Origins of Scotch, Sellotape and 3M and a what's your colour quiz

Richard Gurley Drew (June 22, 1899 – December 14, 1980) was an American inventor who worked for Johnson and Johnson, Permacel Co., and 3M in St.Paul, Minnesota, where he invented masking tape and cellophane tape.

When Drew joined 3M in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1924, it was a modest manufacturer of sandpaper. While testing their new Wet or dry sandpaper at auto shops, Drew was intrigued to learn that the two-tone auto paintjobs so popular in the Roaring Twenties were difficult to manage at the border between the two colours. In response, after two years of work in 3M's labs, Drew invented the first masking tape (1923), a two-inch-wide tan paper strip backed with a light, pressure sensitive adhesive.
The first tape that had adhesive along its edges but not in the middle. In its first trial run, it fell off the car and the frustrated auto painter growled at Drew, "Take this tape back to those Scotch bosses of yours and tell them to shove it!"[2] (By "Scotch," he meant "thrifty".) The nickname stuck, both to Drew's improved masking tape, and to his 1930 invention, Scotch Brand cellulose tape.
In 1930 he came up with the world's first transparent cellophane adhesive tape (called sellotape in the UK and Scotch tape in the United States). In the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash of 1929, people began using tape to repair items rather than replace them. This was the beginning of 3M’s diversification into all manner of marketplaces and helped them to flourish in spite of the Great Depression.
Drew died in 1980 in Santa Barbara, California.

Have you ever wondered about the origin of the company name 3M?  3M, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation, originally known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
3M Company, formerly known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, is anAmerican multinational conglomerate corporation based in MaplewoodMinnesota, a suburb of St. Paul.
With over 79,000 employees, they produce over 55,000 products, including: adhesives, abrasives,laminates, passive fire protection, dental products, electronic materials, medical products, car care products (such as sun films, polish, wax, car shampoo, treatment for the exterior, interior and the under chassis rust protection), electronic circuits and optical films. 3M has operations in more than 60 countries – 29 international companies with manufacturing operations, and 35 with laboratories. 3M products are available for purchase through distributors and retailers in more than 200 countries, and many 3M products are available online directly from the company.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Confessions of a Stationery Addict

Click here to see the original article, written by Chris Leonard-Morgan as part of National Stationery Week

Parker Pen 20130312_151043
I became a stationery addict fairly late in life as a result of launching the London Stationery Show and Stationery Magazine – National Stationery Day/Week came later. At least, that’s when I officially recognised my ‘addiction’. I realise now that my interest in stationery probably took root many years before when I was a boy and my mother gave me a Parker 51 for passing an important exam. I don’t remember much about the exam, but I’ll never forget the excitement of receiving that pen.
Since then, stationery and pens have played a big and useful part in my life. Day in, day out, at home, at work, in between home and work… they are always there, the dependable unsung heroes of my professional and private life.
When I sold my last business, it was to my trusty 51 that I turned for signing the contract. So many of life’s milestones and defining moments in history are marked with pens and stationery.
I’ve moved on since signing that contract, as have stationery products themselves, many of which are now as fashionable as they are functional. The injection of fashion-led style has  contributed massively to giving even more pleasure to the user of the notebook or holder of the pen. A recent visit to the Paperchase preview of S/S13 was a riot of colour and pattern, with products that can’t fail to seduce even the most dedicated follower of fashion.
I have now also become something of a stationery spotter, always looking to see whose products are being used in lifestyle consumer ads like the recent ones from Boden and Patek Philippe, and which products are being written about in consumer magazines, used in films and TV programmes, and wielded by authors and well-known public figures. It’s hard to walk past a stationery store without going inside.
And I’m sure I’m not alone in wondering which pen Barack Obama reaches for when he signs all those documents! And the Queen, for that matter.
My interest in stationery is also now taking on a more serious side as I reflect on some of the issues which will affect its future use and sales such as:
I’d be interested to hear other people’s views because these issues affect us all.
The more I think about it, the more I come back to the vital role that stationery plays in  our lives – it simply isn’t going to become redundant anytime soon. Nor is it a question of choosing one over the other. Stationery or technology – they are completely complementary to one another.
I’m looking forward to seeing the next generation of stationery products and pens at next month’s London Stationery Show (trade only) and taking part in the big conversation during National Stationery Week from 22 to 28  April, when we aim to get more of Britain writing!

This blog item was posted on Tuesday, March 12th, 2013.
- See more at:

Water water everywhere

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Irongate Group is Recruiting

Customer Services Advisor

37 ½ hours per week
£12,070 per annum (Increase in salary subject to performance)
Based at the Derby Office, Kingsway Park Close

We are currently seeking a professional and motivated individual to join our dedicated Customer Services team.

As the successful candidate you will interact with customers on a daily basis, promptly responding to all enquiries in a courteous and efficient manner, encouraging the sale of Company products at every opportunity and applying exemplary customer relationship skills to promote a superior Company image.

You will have customer service and liaison experience, and possess an NVQ 2 in Customer Services (or be willing to work towards).  You will have excellent telephone and communication skills and be an effective team player.

For further information and an application form please email:
Closing date: 5.00pm on Tuesday 7 May 2013 

Sharpie Pro? Ask Irongate

Monday, 22 April 2013

3M brand channel in YouTube top 25

Work is biggest cause of stress in life

According to Mind

Original article published by PA Life Features
15 April, 2013

Work is biggest cause of stress in life
Research commissioned by mental health charity Mind has found that work is the most stressful factor in people’s lives.
One in three people (34%) said their work life was either “very or quite stressful”, more so than debt or financial problems (30%) or health (17%).
The survey of more than 2,000 people found the top cause for workplace stress was frustration with poor management, with one in three (32%) describing this as either “very stressful or quite stressful”. Excessive workload was the second most stressful factor for one in four (26%) of those surveyed, followed by not enough support from managers (25%) and unrealistic targets (25%).
Mind is urging managers and HR professionals to sign up to their free webinars and resources that will focus on creating mentally healthy workplaces in tough economic times and supporting staff who are stressed or have mental health problems. A culture of fear and silence about mental health problems is still prevalent and costly to employers, with other key findings revealing:
· One in five people (19%) takes a day off sick because of stress, but 90% of those people cited a different reason for their absence.
· One in ten (9%) has resigned from a job due to stress and one in four (25%) has considered resigning due to work pressure.
· One in five (19%) felt they couldn’t tell their boss if they were overly stressed.
· Of the 22 per cent of those surveyed who have a diagnosed mental health problem, less than half (10%) had actually told their boss about their diagnosis.
The survey reveals that line managers would like to do more to improve staff mental wellbeing but more than half (56%) said they needed more training and/ or guidance and nearly half (46%) said it is not a priority in their organisation. However, employees don’t believe that managers are actively tackling causes of stress in the workplace, with only one in five people saying they felt their line manager took active steps to help staff manage stress (22%) or mental health conditions (19%)

Don't let simple non-core business issues like business products or services stress you out. ask Irongate instead.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Something for the weekend sir?

Just for fun ... see how long this takes you.  (It took me 10 minutes.)

Shredder playing up? Trade it in for a new one!

This bunny rabbit didn't think he needed a shredder ...

Until a cunning pussy cat stole his identity

Although the term "identity theft" was first coined in 1964, ironically it is the digital age that has perhaps made this form of fraud a bigger problem today than it was say 20 years ago. Identity theft involves a person pretending to be someone else in order to access resources or credit.  Organisations as well as individuals can have their identity "stolen" and can fall victims to this potentially very damaging and costly crime.  There is more than one type of identity theft:

  • Criminal identity theft (posing as another person when apprehended for a crime)
  • Financial identity theft (using another's identity to obtain credit, goods and services)
  • Identity cloning (using another's information to assume his or her identity in daily life)
  • Medical identity theft (using another's identity to obtain medical care or drugs)
  • Child identity theft.

When you think about it it quickly becomes apparent that wherever data exists - whether on paper or electronically on hard drives or CD-ROMS - their is an opportunity for the crook. The criminal that probably springs to mind first is the rubbish bin rummager, followed by the stealer of debit/credit cards and identification documentation such as passports and driving licences. But their are others, from the opportunist to the organised criminal. Business espionage is real.

All businesses as well as private individuals have the occasion to throw out confidential data. If in doubt, SHRED IT".  Business have an additional burden of responsibility - complying with data protection regulations.  Do you print cost-price lists or quotations?  Ever stopped to think how valuable these would be to you competitor or how damaging it could be to trade if your customer somehow got hold of them?  What about that salesman who just left.  Has he made off with a briefcase stuffed with customer quotations?  Does he have cost price lists? Customer and supplier lists?  What does he have on that USB stick?  He's not going to a competitor of yours?  Frightening eh?

Financial records, payroll records, personnel files, legal documents, cancelled cheques, account ledgers/records, competitor information, computer print outs, medical records, advertising misprints, lottery tickets, maps and blue prints, new product proposals, inventory lists, confidential correspondence, customer lists, tax records, supplier lists, outdated business records, microfilm and fiche, invoices, price lists. 

Too much confidential material to shred in house?

You need Irongate Shred 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Happiness among office workers remains consistent

According to research by Office Angels reports PA Life

PA Life Features
15 April, 2013

Happiness among office workers remains consistent
Over four in ten (42%) UK workers are happy in their current job, mirroring this time last year when 41% of people described themselves as happy, according to new research from Office Angels.
Despite the absence of nationwide events – The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, London 2012 Olympics and the Paralympic Games – which created excitement in 2012, the recruiter’s Happiness at Work tracker suggests morale and job satisfaction remain constant.
Happiness is highest in Edinburgh, where nearly half (46%) of workers report they are happy.
In stark contrast, happiness levels dip in Nottingham and across Wales where over a third (35%) of workers claim to be unhappy, 8% more than the national average.
Nationally, generation Y workers are more likely to say they are not satisfied, with over a quarter (27%) of 25-34 year olds unhappy in their current job, compared to just a fifth (20%) of those aged over 55.
Happiness fluctuates between different industry sectors as well, with a significant proportion of people working in the arts (67%), professional services (53%) and education (47%) claiming to be happy.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Careers at Irongate

Irongate Group is the largest independent office services provider in the Midlands with a turnover exceeding £17 million. Our head office is based in Derby and we have a regional office in Birmingham.

We employ over 80 employees and we recognise that our success depends on our people. We are always interested in recruiting new talent into a variety of jobs. We look for talented and driven individuals who are team players and looking to progress in their chosen field.

Business Development Managers

We are currently recruiting Business Development Managers to be field based in the Midlands. In return for your motivation, enthusiasm and achievement we offer a competitive salary and commission structure, company car, mobile phone and laptop, along with relevant training and on-going personal development throughout your career.

The main duties of the Business Development Manager include: generating new business leads via a variety of methods, maintaining existing accounts, presenting to clients, negotiating rates and converting the business.

The essential qualities of the Business Development Manager include: a proven track record within Sales, Business to Business experience, a forward thinking, target driven individual with a passion for achieving.

Closing date for applications is: Thursday 9 May 2013 at 5.00pm
If you think your skills match the above then please contact Sarah Wilson – HR Manager at: for an application pack.

Ask Irongate?

Over the next few days we will be posting further extracts from our Spring "ask" Irongate customer magazine.  It's packed with useful information, products and offers and the posts will give non-customers a taste of some of the offers available from Irongate Group.  Please subscribe to this blog or stop by and take a look. Thank you!

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