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List of 5 plumbing spare parts every DIY guy must have at home

We’ve all been there. Sunday afternoon, relaxing in front of the telly when wifey screams from bathroom- yup, it’s flooded. When you have some water issues in your home, you have two options: To hire a contractor who will ultimately come to do the repairs and; Fix it yourself. The benefit of the first option is that a person will come who has expertise and knowledge in this field. However, the disadvantage of this process is that it will lead to additional charges for something that’s not necessarily the end of the world and you could probably do it yourself. Therefore, the DIY technique will play a very important role in ensuring that costs are reduced. To do these procedures yourself, it would be good to have prior experience with water systems. If you don’t have this experience, you should use quality sources of information such as the internet and and maybe some manuals. If you choose to put on your handyman belt you will definitely need a number of things to help you in this task. This article focuses on a number of things that you should have when repairing your water system. Please note that even with these equipment, you still need a number of skills to ensure that you don’t mess everything up. Hoses Hoses are basically conduit items that are used in water systems. There are a number of types of hoses: cryogenic hoses, flexible metal hoses, polyurethane hose and stainless hoses among others. The use of these hoses is mainly in joints where pipes cannot bend. Rubber gasket In plumbing a rubber gasket is a very important material. Rubber gasket basically is used for joining various parts of the piping system. When doing DIY plumbing procedures, you should ensure that you have a high quality rubber gasket in place to ensure that your joining is made perfect. You should buy high quality rubber gasket of various lengths depending on your current needs. Rubber gaskets usually come in different colors and the choice lies to you as you conduct the repairs.Ball Valves A valve is a very important piece of equipment that you should always have for your DIY plumbing. It is simply a valve with a spherical disc. The unit allows water to flow in a certain direction without the ability of flowing back to the source. When it malfunctions, you should ensure that you are able to repair or replace it. There are five main types of ball valves which have different us: single body, split body, three piece body, top entry and welded.Silicone When dealing with plumbing issues, gaps, joints and crevices are very common. This is simply because various types of pipes cannot be folded. Thus, gaps are very common in them when it comes to the joining. Therefore, in this case, silicone is very important as it ensures that the gaps are properly sealed. Silicone is usually applied to O-rings in brass taps and valves which prevent the lime from sticking to the metal.Duct tape A duct tape is also a very important piece of requirement that one should have when considering DIY techniques for plumbing. A duct tape is simply an adhesive product that is used in joining two parts. Basically, in plumbing, since water is directly involved, it is important to ensure that the joining product used is reliable and durable. There are a number of reasons why the duct tape should be used in plumbing. Some of these are: durability, water resistance, strength and availability. This is simply because when there is a water problem, all you need is to simply cover the area with the duct tape and prevent the water from flowing. This is a temporary measure. Therefore, when you decide to go the DIY way, you need to ensure that you have the above pieces of equipment. However, they are not enough. You should always take your time to learn more about the required procedures. It is also important to ensure that you buy from high quality suppliers.

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SPEC IT... SPEC IT GOOD.

In Australia (likely most western countries) we tend to get a bit lazy on the matter of specifications for our products. We place trust in our current supplier to make the recommendations on material that we should use for all manner of items in our final product. From grade and type of metal, PCB laminate, through to the paper used in our packaging and print material and labelling. Typically we don't know the exact specifications that are being used in this case, often we don't care. "Leave it up to supplier X, they have always supplied to us and we have never had a problem. As long as we continue to buy from them everything will be fine". It's a system that has worked flawlessly for years, even decades for some companies. We come up with the design concept, requirements and the supplier fills in the blanks and Viola! here is this fantastic product in our storeroom ready to send to another batch of satisfied customers. It truly is a utopian world that we are living in. Until.. what happens when supplier X decides to retire, or goes out of business? You ask a new supplier (Y) to make the parts for you. They do so but it is not the same as supplier X, so we then proceed to blame supplier Y for shoddy work practices and being unable to get something as simple as packaging correct. Supplier X has done this for years without a hitch but Supplier Y is apparently incompetent. So then you try several new suppliers.. all apparently equally incompetent. You think somehow all those years ago you managed to find this magical supplier who is the only competent person in the industry and the only one that knew what you needed without being told. Ok lets rewinds the scenario back to when you trialled supplier X. Possibly you were new to the industry an did not know what you wanted, supplier X gave you samples and you decided this looks good so lets go with it. Supplier X had no magical qualities, he was just first. Had you gone with Supplier Y then he would be the highly revered manufacturer in the future..etc etc. The problem is not with the new suppliers, it is with the fact that you have not taken note of what supplier X has been providing and accepted purely based on his recommendation. You don't know what is being supplied, only that it works and looks how you want. Any other supplier will likely have different recommendations and so you receive different products. This is even more illustrated if you decide to manufacture offshore. The amount of times I have heard a customer say that the offshore manufacturer is incapable of delivering quality packaging, or print manuals or labels (these are the worst offenders because most companies don't regard them as needing specifications until they try to manufacture elsewhere). We fall into the same trap of asking the supplier to "just do what he usually does" forgetting that most of his business may be targeted at a different country where there don't care as much about presentation, or most of his packaging is designed to be palletized and packed into a sea container not subject to typical airfreight handling. If you want to continue manufacturing the same product in a time where local factories are going into receivership and cost considerations are pushing a lot of manufacturing offshore, then it is time to become a bit more intimate with your products, know every detail and stop asking for recommendations. Work on specifications only. If it isn't specified then get samples and find the closest match. Make that your specification moving forward. Time is well and truly here to unshackle yourself from an individual supplier and take responsibility for your own products IN EVERY MINUTE DETAIL.

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Step, pivot, repeat

There are many, many cliche terms thrown around start-up businesses. Some of them are obvious in their meaning, others not so. At the same time, while some are simply rhetoric, others should form a vital part of the start-up business mindset. One of those key elements is one of the most often maligned - the pivot. At its core, pivoting is what start-ups are all about. The ability to quickly change direction based on new ideas, information and feedback is what makes them valuable (and hopefully successful). There is a fine line to walk in order to be effective and able to pivot. There are many times when focusing on a goal and working towards a specific outcome is crucial to a project getting anywhere at all. Being too focused on changing direction if it is needed can take away the energy which should be directed at creating the product. A structured approach to the development stages of a project will allow for both outcomes and results to fit comfortably side by side. The three step process keeps focus where it needs to be and ensures a high level of involvement from everyone through the entire process. Step This is the seemingly obvious one, right? Strangely enough it’s often left out as people “develop”. Whatever your business and product is, you need to be taking steps to actually creating it. It could mean scoping, designing, paperwork and records, protecting IP or prototyping, but there needs to be something happening. As part of this stage it is important to set the outcomes of the step, to provide an end point.  At the end of the step the progress needs to be analyzed to provide the direction for the next step. Pivot This is the key - where the information from the step just completed is used to decide the way forward. Your pivot should be about doing something better, whether product or market based, it should be about driving towards the vision for your product. The pivot is a way to better align your concept, team, the market and product to help reach the point where it is generating revenue. Effective pivoting should be focused on helping reduce the cost and time to market. Repeat When we achieve something it’s easy to sit back and watch it, forgetting to keep moving forward. Development should be a constant activity for the business, stagnating becomes a risk. Following the pivot, the process should be repeated - outline the next step and start working on it. The start-up model is about producing in a way and a timeframe not possible in a traditionally structured business. Usually the size of the project at the start though is on a scale which is hard to achieve as a small entity with limited funding. Breaking each step of the development down and learning from it, then changing the way you move forward will let the start-up produce a result others can’t. So as much as it is cliche, set yourself up to pivot. It keeps your idea fresh and you one step ahead.

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Why your product has to fit your business

A strange thing happens when a business adds to its products or services. Often by trying to expand and diversify they add a “complimentary” service they fall in to the trap of moving beyond what they’re known for. A great idea for a product (or service) isn’t enough reason to create it and sell it. There are some key areas a new product or service should satisfy before it is considered and developed further. The impact, positive or negative, goes far beyond the financial - succeed or fail, your new offering could become what you’re known for, so you have to get it right. Who needs it? This is more than identifying the market for the product. You should be identifying what the product is, what it does and why that is important to someone who might buy it.  If there isn’t a clear market for your product, one which will purchase in quantities to make the endeavour worthwhile, entering into the space will be a risk for the business. If you are producing something without a perceivable need the market may see it as a negative, solely profit driven move, and you may find yourself damaging your brand. What does it add? This one has two parts. What does this project add to the customer, that they can’t get from your competitors and their offering? If what you are aiming to present doesn’t innovate or revolutionise an element of what the customer can already purchase, it needs work, or it isn’t a great idea. The other part is what does your business get from producing it? You should be thinking beyond the financial - there should be a strategic gain to come out of what you’re doing. Building a strong business stems from what you offer. If you don’t  Why are we doing it? The answer to this one shouldn’t be only profit. Any new endeavour should have a sound strategic goal as well as financial ones. The new product should have a link back to the way you have done business in the past. Diversifying your offering is great, but you should be sticking to your strong suits. Your business will become confused and costly to run if you start to provide services outside of your core organisational knowledge. Do we know how to do it? This is probably the most important point. You need to be able to deliver what you’re promising as a business. This means having the strategic and physical resources as well as the capacity to do so. Learning new skills or buying them is expensive, but it is possible. The fundamental step many businesses miss when they are expanding their offering is acknowledging the parts they don’t know how to deliver. Identifying early in the process what the additional costs over your normal product or service development and delivery is important to being able to make an educated and accurate estimate regarding your financial position. It is common for costly delays and revisions to stem from needing to revisit parts of a project the business didn’t know how to do. Identifying these potential issues early is vital to accurately weighing up the viability of the new product. What is the message? I’m not saying your business shouldn’t go for something new, not by any means. I am saying it is really important you carefully examine the way a new product fits in to your business before you get to the point where you are offering it to the market. If something truly has merit and is viable there should always be a way to make the most of it. It might be a matter of setting up a new or subsidiary company to do it, or partnering with another business to protect both the new and the existing part of your business. The best way I have found to make sure you have a fit is to be ruthless with yourself and your business, and to let others be ruthless with your business and ideas. If you can break it right down and emerge on the other side with a way forward you will be much stronger and ready to capitalise. The Coaster Group approach is focused on getting the best version of an idea in to the hands of the consumer. Visit our website to find out more or email me - if you have some thing on the boil, I'd love to hear about it!

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