Bosch Power Tool Accessories - Sneak Peak

Toolstop caught up with Malcolm Kilpatrick a few weeks ago. Malcolm is one of 6 representatives who travel the UK promoting the professional range of Bosch power tool accessories.

So settled down in the Toolstop office without a cup of tea because Mark didn't offer him one we embarked on a quick fire questioning session.

Here's an excerpt from the interview:

Toolstop: How did you end up working at Bosch?

Malcolm: I previously worked for another power tool manufacturer (It's OK Malc we won't mention what yellow brand it was!) and before that I worked in engineering, but I found myself spending all my money on power tools as I was doing up an old flat. So I thought it would be better to go and work in the power tool industry to get myself some better kit.

T: What, freebies?

M: Well, "car stock" which works quite well for me! (It's OK Malc, our lips are sealed)

T: So, as well as working in the industry, you actually use power tools as well?

M: Yes, well I've done up quite a few houses now and one of my ambitions in life is to get myself a wood turning lathe and grow a big beard to catch the shavings in. (Send us the photos!)

T: You were with Toolstop at the recent woodworking and power tool event in Harrogate, did you get the chance to check out the wood turning?

M: I had a wee look, much excitement for me!

At this point Malcolm was getting a bit too excited so we had to take a time-out. Here's what happened when Malcolm came back from the gents 5 minutes later:

T: So what's your role at Bosch?

M: My role is in accessory development so I'm tasked with finding new business within existing accounts or through new accounts

T: What accessories do you deal with?

M: Bosch have a full range of very good quality accessories. Bosch also have a very good stockholding and we "own manufacture" almost all of the accessories we sell. We have a fantastic jigsaw blade factory in the mountains (Alps) of Switzerland where a huge percentage of the worlds jigsaw and sabre (reciprocating) saw blades are made. We also have a good range of holesaws as well as a good range of SDS drill bits (plus and max) which are manufactured in Germany. Bosch have also been on the acquisition trail recently and purchased another couple of good manufacturers, one in the circular saw blade side of the business and another in the coated abrasives (sandpaper) side.

T: So what's a typical working day like for you?

M: The nice thing about my job is that no two days are the same. I can be talking to end users one day about their issues in terms of their consumables, I can be looking at new accounts and be trying to get them to swith to the Bosch range of products. I can be merchandising, attending shows, internal and external meetings discussing the ongoing business and how to move it forward. (We thought it involved skiving but it sounds like you're actually quite busy)

T: Do you ever deal with the end user customers on site?

M: Yes, that's something I'm getting more and more involved in. Actually going out and finding end users using tools and trying to solve their problems. There are a lot of people out there who aren't necessarily aware of the products that are available and they'd maybe be better off using, so that's good fun (Yes, it sounds like it!). You also get to see a good cross section of industry and manufacturing.

T: So, what you're saying is you can advise end users about better accessories or even a brand new style of accessory for the job?

M: Yes, I had an end user only last week whom I was visiting to talk about their holesaw needs, but when I got there I realised they were using inferior quality drill bits, I showed them Bosch's top of the range X5L SDS+ drill bits with solid tungsten carbide head, it last a lot longer and drill a lot faster and now he has switched over. Because he was drilling in granite, a very hard material, so, he was pleased that I had come in.

T: Where do you see yourself fitting in with helping businesses who use power tools be as cost effective as possible?

M: The drill bits we offer come in different qualities so its a case of highlighting the right one for the application. I has one particular user who was doing a particular job and was using 30 to 40 drill bits in a morning, he took the better quality drill bits and reduced it to 2 or 3, so he has less down time and less cost.

T: So although the premium Bosch product may seem like a bigger outlay to start with you will save money in the long run?

M: Like all things in life, you get what you pay for, there's no point in trying to cut corners all the time. Sometimes there are people who will only buy on price and Bosch can compete in that market too but we do pride ourselves in dealing with quality and helping people trade up to the right tool for the application.

T: Tell us a bit about Bosch in the UK

M: Bosch worldwide employ approx 240k people, so its a big organisation. Thats spread across many sectors. The automotive side, the white goods and the power tools side as well as other chunks of business which are less well known. I don't genuinely know how many employees we have on the power tools side but I would guess there are probably about a couple of hundred in the UK, a large sales force, a marketing team to back them up and then all the guys in Denham, our head office where they have things like credit control, finance, warehousing and the like. So, it's a very good team and in terms of my role there are 6 people across the UK and we get together once a month for a meeting to discuss the ongoing business.

T: OK, a question we always ask, have you any insider info you can exclusively reveal to Toolstop about brand new Bosch products?

M: Well, there's one new product, hot off the press, just launched, is our new SDS MAX range. This range is called "Speed X", it's manufactured in Germany and has several great new features which make it the fastest drilling bit in concrete and reinforced concrete. It's got an optimum centering point so it doesn't wander when you start to drill. It's a new design of main tungsten carbide cutter on the top which gives it a really hard hitting force - "Unrivalled Destructive Power" as we call it. But, one of the best things about it is that it has side cutters which is not uncommon but this one has an inclined side cutter so they hit a lot harder in to the concrete thus allowing it to drill a lot faster. They also have wear indicators on the outside which is an exclusive for Bosch.

T: What sort of things do you get up to in your spare time?

M: I'm married and I have 2 young kids, so like many parents I seem to spend my life ferrying them around events. But, when I do get a bit of time to myself I enjoy cycling (mountain biking in particular). I like skiing and I also try to get to the gym regularly. Being out on the road and staying in hotels it's a battale to keep the middle age spread off.

T: Whats is yout all time favoutite power tool?

M: At the moment it is the Bosch SDS 2 kilo hammer (the GBH2-26DFR). It will drill almost anything and do all the jobs around the house you really need it to do.

Well, thanks Malcolm for those insights. We'll catch up with more Bosch Power Tool experts very soon.

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