Providing a range of sales and technical support is key to developing an excellent relationship with suppliers. Mhairi McDougall, Country Magnager GBI at Dakea, looks at how working closely with Stormspell has helped drive sales and benefit both the merchant and the brand.
Established in 1999, Stormspell supplies top quality roofing supplies and materials to its large customer base — a mixture of both the trade and the general public — from its branches in Southport and the Maghull area of Liverpool.
An important part of Dakea’s strategy is to ensure that its merchant partners such as Stormspell are consistently kept updated with the most recent marketing and point of sale materials. Indeed, Branch Manager Gareth Hughes commented that the merchant has received plenty of attention not just from its client base but also from other manufacturers’ representatives, praising the Dakea merchandising and how it has been laid out in the branches.
Gareth said: “Dakea has always provided us with quirky, eye-catching marketing materials, outside of the norm. For example, the team sent us branded signs that read ‘Took ages to hang this sign. Luckily Dakea windows are quick to install’ — things like that make our customers laugh and take notice of the product and the brand.”
Keeping in regular contact with its merchants is one of Dakea’s top priorities, to ensure that promotional material is constantly up to date and branches have everything they need to display Dakea merchandise. Gareth noted the regularity of the visits the branch receives from its local area sales manager and also added that the merchandise was always really easy to display with Dakea’s guidance — which is important for a busy merchant branch.
For Stormspell, it is clear that the merchandising has led to more enquiries about the Dakea brand and products — and this, according to Gareth, regularly results in a sale. At Stormspell its best-selling window is the Better Safe window, which provides excellent energy conservation performance, safety and comfort making it popular amongst customers.
Another element of the support provided by the supplier is its product training. Stormspell’s customers regularly ask for advice so making sure his team has extensive product knowledge is important to Gareth. He said: “Dakea has provided us with flexible online product training which allows our staff to fit it in around the normal operation of the branch. In addition, we were also able to receive hands-on training on the Dakea demonstration truck during its roadshow across the UK.”
Gareth added that Dakea’s technical team is always available to help with customer queries, highlighting a past project where it was necessary for them to source a flashing kit for an unusual tile. He explained: “This level of support, the impressive merchandising and the quality of the Dakea products, has made a positive impact and we are happy to observe a continuous growth in sales.”
Christopher Phillips, Stormspell’s local Dakea Area Sales Manager, commented: “We value our merchants, as they are the first point of contact for the majority of our client base. Stormspell is a reputable merchant and we supply a package of support and technical know-how to ensure the team there can confidently talk about the products.
“Once the product is sold, our support does not end there — we offer comprehensive customer support throughout the supply chain, to give merchants and end users complete peace of mind.”
To view Dakea’s latest product catalogue, click here.