By developing a strong relationship with key manufacturers, merchants can take advantage of access to resources, tools and in-depth product training for their teams. Importantly this can have a significant impact on customer satisfaction and in turn the profitability of the business as a whole.
Despite technological advances driving a rapid expansion in both the volume and availability of product information, the relationships between the customer, merchant, and manufacturer have never been more important. Merchants are ideally placed to offer the best possible advice to customers looking to meet a particular project requirement. By ensuring that staff are well informed and knowledgeable about the product range merchants can provide superior customer service and create a point of competitive advantage. One of the best ways to establish a strong base of product knowledge is by forming a collaborative relationship with product manufacturers.
The positive partnership that Builders’ merchant Beesley and Fildes has built with leading roof window manufacturer Dakea provides an excellent example of the benefits of such an approach. The merchant has been able to develop its business growth and enhance staff product awareness. Beesley and Fildes have nine branches across the UK’s North West with its head office located in Huyton near Liverpool. Ian Carr, the merchant’s Roofing Products Manager was intent on finding more partners presenting a cost-effective and innovative product range suited to his business offering. With more than 75 years’ experience in roof window design, manufacturing and innovation, Ian felt partnering with Dakea – part of the world’s largest roof windows manufacturing company, VKR Group – would present a natural progression for his business.
Ian said: “I am delighted with the support we’ve received from Dakea. This is particularly thanks to the company’s area sales manager Chris Phillips who in a short time period, has delivered staff training, developed the team’s knowledge on tiles and roof windows, and provided a various informative point of sales materials and price guides.”
Receiving product comparison and price overview tuition from Chris, Beesley and Fildes team members have been able to gain a simple yet wide-ranging sales training platform, which will prove valuable for each of the merchant’s offices and individual colleagues.
Chris said: “The training allows merchant staff to become well informed on our product range and then impart this crucial knowledge to customers.”
In addition, Beesley and Fildes benefit from the Dakea Online Toolkit, which provides vital sales support. This features downloadable Dakea product graphics, including logos, pictures, and banners, tailored to increasing brand awareness, which can be hosted on the merchant’s website. In addition, the Dakea Online Toolkit also contains various electronic product pricing sheets, alongside guidance on how to optimize content and generate traffic to both Dakea and the merchant’s own websites, to help drive sales.
Ian commented on the Dakea products, adding: “With an impressive 20-year guarantee, free installation accessories such as the insulation foam collar and the underfelt foil collar, we’re really excited about selling Dakea products. As part of its comfort accessories range, we’ve also been able to utilize Dakea Venetian blinds to accompany Ultima roof windows.”
One of the key products in Dakea’s range is its Ultima roof window. Utilising innovative technology, it can reduce external noise 50% more effectively than standard roof windows. Ultima significantly mutes impact sounds such as rain or hail and external sounds including traffic. Featuring comfort glass technology, the unit also shields against ultraviolet (UV) light and is capable of reflecting 95% of harmful UV rays. Thanks to two low emission double-action layers, Ultima is also engineered to ensure properties remain cool during the summer and retain warmth during winter time - reducing household energy bills as well as protect furniture and interiors from fading. In addition, its Titan Glass glazing also makes it maintenance-free and provides a higher level of protection against heavy impact or glass breakage than that of a standard window.
Ian continued: “We’ve had a lot of the Ultima roof windows in stock and since stocking the range, we’ve had a 15-20 per cent increase in sales of roof windows. With a quick next day delivery time alongside its series of innovative noise and structural benefits, Ultima has so many great attributes that it’s an easy sell to customers across all our branches.” Furthermore, with forthcoming technical training scheduled for Beesley and Fildes staff - including using online training tools such as the Dakea Academy - Ian remains highly optimistic his staff members will continue to build on their incredibly positive relationship with Dakea and its impressive product range to enable further business growth. A strong collaboration between merchant and manufacturer has benefits for all parties. A well-informed merchant team will be better placed to recommend the right product, installers receive the best advice based on full and in-depth knowledge and this in turn improves the satisfaction of the merchant’s customer base and helps grow the business.