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Open Letter – James Diamond, Managing Director

We have come a long way since Stonehealth was first established in the mid-1980s. Our mission back then, which remains true to this day, is to ‘provide a sensitive/ethical approach to the cleaning and preservation of our built heritage’, in short, to clean buildings without knocking decades of history off them!

Before specialist systems like the Jos, TORC and DOFF, cleans were carried out with industrial chemicals and/or blasting which in the wrong hands caused irreversible damage to the fabric of our buildings all across the UK.

In theory our mission was simple, but in reality, it has taken many years and considerable investment to come up with the solutions Stonehealth provides today. This investment and knowledge we have built up over the years have led to our involvement in a vast amount of building conservation and restoration projects. We hold great pride in the fact that our products and methods have been used on the majority of the UK’s most notable buildings.

Naturally, Stonehealth has evolved over the years, never remaining stagnant we have grown from existing as suppliers of specialist equipment and products to much more. We are a manufacturer, consultants, supplier and training provider to the masonry cleaning industry and our client base has grown and evolved with us.

During my 7 years with Stonehealth, I have been fortunate enough to have played a major role in the development of the business. I have travelled far and wide across the UK and overseas, visiting sites and contractors to discuss our products, our trade and industry. I feel in my new position as Managing Director we can further evolve together. Even though we are a commercial entity we are wholeheartedly dedicated to adding to the growth of the industry as a whole. Stonehealth will continue to offer well thought out, useful products across a number of key segments while adding to the pool of knowledge through our consultancy and support services.

Very few like change, it can be daunting and we acknowledge that. But stagnation and fear have killed far more than change ever has. It is okay to feel uncomfortable in the pursuit of ‘better’. I believe it is our duty not to rest on our laurels but to embrace that restless spirit that allows us to stay at the forefront.

As we have grown, our client base has widened. From building restoration companies, conservationist, stone and memorial masons. We also provide our products and services to facility management companies, this includes building contractors and commercial cleaning contractors of all sizes from all across the country.

Increasingly, our products and services have proved useful to facility management companies; including building contractors and commercial cleaning contractors of all sizes across the country. This has to be viewed as a positive, we believe it is.

With this widening of our clientele and trade segments came our evolution into what we are and what we offer today. The biggest change in recent years has been our Rosette referral scheme which ensures everyone that owns our systems are trained to a standard that ensures consistent results time and time again.

We endeavour to provide great service to all customers. Along with continued product development, we also hold weekly seminars to both trade and architects. Furthermore, we are constantly developing new marketing strategies that champion both our business, our customers and their work.

The past few years have seen a huge rise in social media marketing at Stonehealth and the freedom of speech that comes with this has been an eye-opener! A far majority of our feedback has been positive and for the most part we are pleased with what we see read about our business both on and offline.

However, we also want to take on and address the ‘not-so-good’ feedback which has been constructive. So today, I write this open letter to our customers and to acknowledge some of your concerns.

We understand and realise that each of our customers has their own views and opinions of our business. Hopefully, most see that for us integrity and transparency is paramount. It is for this reason I want to be transparent about the changes here at Stonehealth.

"Very few like change, it can be daunting and we acknowledge that. But stagnation and fear have killed far more than change ever has. It is okay to feel uncomfortable in the pursuit of ‘better’. I believe it is our duty not to rest on our laurels but to embrace that restless spirit that allows us to stay at the forefront of what we do."

"Very few like change, it can be daunting and we acknowledge that. But stagnation and fear have killed far more than change ever has. It is okay to feel uncomfortable in the pursuit of ‘better’. I believe it is our duty not to rest on our laurels but to embrace that restless spirit that allows us to stay at the forefront of what we do."

We are aware of a couple of concerns that some have regarding our business. One of which is eCommerce. Some of our customers feel that publishing our prices online can disparage both our brand and the specialist work carried out with our products. We take this seriously. We are of course nothing if we don’t have the support of our customers.

Integrity and transparency are at the core of everything we do. We believe we can either choose to hide behind our pricing or we can choose to be transparent about it.

With that being said, we believe we can be clearer on our product offering. We have not grown our business over several decades by ‘shifting as many units as possible’, we would like to reassure our customers and the trade as a whole that we still maintain our integrity. We are not selling our souls anytime soon.

Instead, we have scratched our heads, iterated upon and then scratched some more, and have finally come to what I personally believe is an ideal solution.

At Stonehealth we have offered our services to the building conservation and restoration market for years but with little conscious separation between the two. Traditionally customers look to us for products, services and consultancy on building conservation while increasingly more and more organisations have looked to us for products, services and consultancy on building restoration.

Whether the project involves a beautiful century old Cathedral or a 1960’s apartment block, we feel we must consciously address both segments appropriately, preserving the same care and integrity the Stonehealth brand has been built on.

And this is where the change comes…

As we progress through 2019 you will begin to see a segmentation of our identity, ultimately leading to a clear definition between Conservation and Restoration. This will be a series of careful deliberate adjustments which will ultimately lead to much clearer definitions between Conservation and Restoration markets.

Primarily, this change will be reflected online and across our marketing collateral. Some of our products will naturally fall into both the Conservation and Restoration categories but these changes will enable us to offer a greater range of products in both areas while maintaining the clear, sought after separation between the two. This, in turn, will enable us to market to and communicate with each segment in different, exciting and appropriate ways without affecting what the Stonehealth brand, our products and services means to individuals in both markets, maintaining respect for the work carried out with our products.

This will not only apply to Stonehealth branded products but also selected products from other manufacturers that we feel fit with our ethos, service and quality of products. Ultimately, we believe this change will bring additional convenience and value to our customers. Reflecting what the Stonehealth brand fundamentally means to them. Giving the brand greater strength and ensuring sustainability for the future.

This is the clear path for Stonehealth and the future of our online side of the business, however, your opinions of course matter to us and will help shape this change as we implement it. As always, your thoughts and feedback are welcome, you can leave a comment on one of our social media channels or you’re welcome to leave a comment in the comments section below.

This is an exciting time at Stonehealth and we already have some great things lined up for 2019 which is also our 30th anniversary year. Thank you for taking the time to read this and your continued support over the years, we hope to keep providing the best products and services to our industry and our customers for many more years to come.

James Diamond

Managing Director

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