Beesley & Fildes and Marshalls discuss merchant-supplier partnerships

Beesley & Fildes and Marshalls discuss merchant-supplier partnerships

Beesley & Fildes’ Mark Stanton and Marshalls’ Andrew Miller discuss the positive impact of their evolving partnership.

As Beesley & Fildes’ sole supplier of concrete paving and kerbs for civils projects, Marshalls has forged a strong relationship with the independent builders’ merchant. Indeed, for more than two decades, the businesses have been working together to bolster their offer for customers, create a reliable supply chain and drive sales.

In 2016, Marshalls decided to grow its business with independent builders’ merchants, creating further benefits for both companies and their customers. Andrew Miller, the supplier’s Head of Sales for Independent Builders’ Merchants, explained: “We wanted to work more closely with independents to further strengthen our supply chain. To achieve this, Marshalls launched an independent Merchant Trading Channel in 2016.

“The team, which included both external and internal sales teams in addition to a dedicated trade marketing resource, are solely focused on supporting merchant growth through their award-winning Marshalls and Stonemarket brand propositions.”

Expanding offers

As part of this strategy, Marshalls’ pre-existing partnership with Beesley & Fildes has continued to strengthen and evolve. Most recently, this has seen the merchant bring the manufacturer’s landscaping products into its branches, including Indian stone and block paving.

The range is centred on more premium, higher priced products, with the strength of the Marshalls brand helping to attract contractors and consumers into branch. This has also enabled Beesley & Fildes to broaden its existing landscaping offer with customers now able to choose from a much wider variety of paving that can meet all budgets, which also provides opportunities for upselling in branch.

“Within the last two years, the merchant’s sales of the brand have increased from £250,000 to £1.6m and are expected to rise to £2.2m by the end of the next financial year.”

Mark Stanton, the merchant’s Group Civils Manager, said: “We have a really strong brand alignment with Marshalls and that’s been key to the development of our partnership. We share the same values in terms of safety and quality, and focus on more than just the price of products. To attract customers, we consider our whole proposition, including the quality of our service.”

Beesley & Fildes says that its extensive branch network and the strength of is people are additional factors in the in the partnership’s evolution. Moreover, with 11 large branches across the North West, the merchant has the space to stock Marshalls’ broad product range, and the resources to deliver direct to site, helping to attract contractors.

In addition, as a family business, Beesley & Fildes provides a personal service and has strong expertise in branch delivered by long-standing staff members, further strengthening Marshalls’ offer to customers.

Ensuring supply certainty

An effective salesforce combined with a strong brand is helping to drive demand for Marshalls’ products at Beesley & Fildes, which is bolstered by initiatives such as the Marshalls Register of Accredited Landscape Contractors and Driveway Installers.

Independent, professional installers that wish to join the scheme are thoroughly assessed to ensure installation standards are maintained. In turn, end users are offered a Hard Landscape Guarantee covering failure of the product for 10 years and the workmanship for five years.

Approved installers benefit from sales referrals and other rewards that help to strengthen their relationship with Marshalls whilst local stockists are proactively promoted, helping to drive footfall and sales.

“Ensuring products continue to sell well in-branch is essential for both parties,” says Mark. “The trade marketing support we receive is key to this and we also work closely with Marshalls to develop our sales plans.”

As demand grows, so does the need to maintain high stock levels. Mark explains: “To enable us to compete successfully, certainty of supply is far more important than price. Our customers expect an independent merchant to provide a reliable and agile service, so it’s essential that our suppliers have consistently high stock availability.

“The good stock levels Marshalls can provide enables us to meet customer expectations regarding supply. This is crucial to prevent site delays.”

Beesley & Fildes’ Mark Stanton and Marshalls’ Andrew Miller discuss the positive impact of their evolving partnership.

Boosting sales

The success of this collaborative approach has seen Beesley & Fildes become a significant stockist of Marshalls products and, within the last two years, the merchant’s sales of the brand have increased from £250,000 to £1.6m and are expected to rise to £2.2m by the end of the next financial year.

For Marshalls, the strategic move to focus on the independent builders’ merchant market has achieved strong growth — over the last six years, sales through independent merchants have increased by more than 180%.

Andrew reflects: “The profile of independent builders’ merchants has never been higher, driven by a strong appetite for more than just products. Every month, we seek feedback from circa 1,200 registered installers and on average, 73% want to do more business with the independents because of the service they provide, broad product range and the expertise in branch.

“That’s why we’ll continue to focus on developing relationships with independents like Beesley & Fildes which have a strong reputation in their region.”

Concludes Mark: “An understanding of the strengths of both of our businesses coupled with some strategic support has not only kept sales strong but enabled us to manage the expectations of our customers in challenging times — and deliver the best possible service.”

Click here for further information Marshalls’ range of products and support services for merchants.

A version of this article appeared in the September edition of PBM. Click here to read the full digital issue online at the PBM website.

Marshalls plc has committed to adopting CarbonCure Technologies’ carbon mineralisation technology, helping to reduce and remove carbon dioxide across the concrete manufacturing process. The tech works by injecting CO2 directly into concrete as it is being mixed where it then reacts with the cement in the mix and mineralises to create calcium carbonate (CaCO3).

Once the CO2 is mineralised, it is permanently locked into the concrete for millennia — never to be released into the atmosphere, even if the concrete is demolished.

Initially, Marshalls will apply CarbonCure at its brick manufacturing site in Grove, using waste CO2 from the fertiliser industry. It is estimated that the pilot project will permanently remove approximately 30,000kg of CO2 every year.

Marshalls plc has committed to adopting CarbonCure Technologies’ carbon mineralisation technology

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