An intro to The Guild of Valuers & Jewellers
Q. How long has the company been going?
The concept was born back in 1991 where Christopher Milton Stevens came up with the idea of creating a valuation software program to assist valuers to complete their valuations to the highest standards.
He worked closely with the late Michael Norman, one of the founding members of the Registered Valuers scheme, and between them, the software was developed and the standard of valuations across the board was raised. No longer were one-line descriptions accepted by Insurers and the valuing world evolved.
The Guild has grown since then and now offers a Total Valuation Solution to the jewellery trade. We operate a Valuation Centre in Bath and work through an extensive network of jewellers nationwide to offer our valuation services. We also work directly in stores to offer In House Valuation events and directly with consumers offering a postal service and Home Valuation service for clients with high value collections.
Q. What makes your service different from others on the market?
The Guild of Valuers & Jewellers have been supplying valuation software to jewellery valuers for the last 28 years and have developed the business to encompass a Total Valuation Solution for jewellery businesses around the country. Six years ago, GuildPro Valuation Software was completely re-written and is now an on-line tool that can be accessed from anywhere via PC or laptop with internet access. Busy valuers need tools that simplify their workload, with easy access and functionality GuildPro has been developed to speed up the process and produce a consistent format document that can be printed or emailed to the end user. Everything is stored in the cloud including working notes time stamped on completion and can be accessed easily as
required. The software uses HTTPS:// protocol, the same as accessing on-line banking and no names and addresses are stored on the central database for added security.
Customers can access the database to view their valuation portfolio, giving them a permanent record of what they own, along with the option to remind them to have their items re-valued. They can give their Insurers permission to view their valuation online for underwriting purposes and can also report items as lost or stolen in the unfortunate event of a loss.
We currently have over £2.5billion worth of jewellery registered to the database, and more than 350,000 customers have a Guild Valuation.
Q. What other services do you offer?
Our Total Valuation Solution includes a direct postal valuation service through our Valuation Centre in Bath. We operate a 10-working turnaround on valuations with 15 items or less and work with an extensive network of jewellers nationwide that offer our services through their stores.
We also offer In House Valuation events, whereby one of our valuers will visit the store to complete the work onsite, along with Home Valuations for clients with larger collections.
Q. What main problem do you feel the brand solves for its customers?
The Guild of Valuers & Jewellers is a brand that customers have come to love and trust. The consistent high standards that we deliver to our clients, ensures customers feel they are getting the best service.
We pride ourselves on delivering first class valuation services and invest in our valuers to have the highest industry qualifications. They are all currently FIRV, MRV, FJVA or MJVA with a wealth of other qualifications and experience between them.
Insurers are more often now insisting on valuations being completed by registered valuers, and customers are becoming much more aware of the importance of valuers having these qualifications. We get lots of repeat business with customers insisting on a Guild Valuation. They love the detailed output and the fact their valuation is registered to the database.
Q. When you look at the next 5 years + what big industry trends are coming?
I can see more Insurers coming on board and understanding the importance of valuations at the point of underwriting, and ensuring they are carried out by fully qualified valuers.
We have many connections with the insurance industry and are working hard to get this message across.
Insurers can access their clients’ valuations online which is perfect for them to add items to a client’s policy and allows for a seamless claim process should they lose or have their items stolen.
The database also has much more to offer. I would like to see it become a searchable loss register for Jewellers, Pawnbrokers and the public that are presented with items for sale.
Our valuation software GuildPro is accessed online and can be operated from any PC or laptop anywhere in the world. It will be great to launch it in other countries – the world is our Oyster!
Q. Being a technology based company what changes have you seen in the trade that have helped you develop?
We live in a digital era and any business that can operate digitally is one step ahead of the game.
Back when our valuation software was launched, the biggest hurdle to the company was selling to it to valuers.
They were very much used to handwriting and typing their valuations, and most didn’t have a computer – let alone know how to use one!
Thankfully, we’ve moved on a long way and valuers and customers have too.
We now offer e-Valuations which are emailed directly to clients, imagine that back in the 90’s!