National Buying Group Partner Bell Plumbing Supplies has gone from strength to strength opening new branches, developing its online offering and forging new partnerships with market leading suppliers.
PBM considers how these developments are helping shape the supply chain and relationships with existing and future generations of plumbing and heating engineers.
Bell Plumbing Supplies was founded in 2007 and has since become one of the fastest growing plumbing and heating merchants in the West Midlands. After the recent opening of a new branch in Stafford, the NBG Partner now operates out of eight locations with branches also in Kings Norton, Aston, Wolverhampton, Stourbridge, Kidderminster, Redditch and Brownhills.
The latest branch — a 7,000 sq ft addition — was officially opened to the trade in January and carries a wide range of products. The dedicated, knowledgeable and experienced staff are already providing the highest level of customer service and technical support.
In addition to the opening of the new branch, Bell Plumbing recently launched a new website, promotional video and a partnership with local training centre, Elements Training and Assessment.
Director of Elements, Matthew Stonehouse, along with Ian Stonehouse, has built the training centre from scratch, now offering all the necessary and bespoke training courses to everyone from aspiring apprentices to experienced plumbing and gas engineers working in both domestic and commercial sectors. Highly trained BPEC certified staff offer constantly updated training, keeping engineers one step ahead in our ever-evolving industry.
“We opened in March 2017 and are on schedule to have trained and passed over 1,000 accredited installers within our first two years” says Matt. “We operate out of three learning suites as well as practical assessment bays and have had such a variety of people pass through our doors. We have tried to create a relaxed and professional environment, where engineers feel comfortable to express and demonstrate their knowledge and experience.”
“We accept everyone from new starters on their three-year route to a qualification to industry professionals that come to us for their five-yearly reassessment. Elements is now affiliated with one of the top energy suppliers, E.ON, and has links to popular leading manufacturers and brands including Honeywell and Worcester Bosch.”
Elements Training and Assessment is passionate about supporting the wider plumbing and heating industry and has already fostered a number of local success stories. “We’ve had the opportunity to watch a number of new engineers grow,” says Matt. “One apprentice in particular came to us with only plumbing experience and wanted to become a gas engineer. He completed his Gas Foundation Course and is now working for himself, fully booked for months in advance.”
Spencer Bell, MD of Bell Plumbing and an advocate of the working partnership with Elements Training Centre, reflects on the relationship by saying: “We’re extremely proud to be involved with somewhere that is not only helping young apprentices get started in the industry, but also experienced engineers to get reassessed and carry on working.”
He added: “Since joining NBG as a partner in 2014, we’ve been part of some fantastic initiatives and partnerships with our suppliers, allowing us to reinvest in new technologies, digital communications, training and new branches. It’s been a fantastic couple of years for Bell Plumbing Supplies and we’re looking forward to seeing what 2019 has in store.”