At a time of sustained industry challenges, E.Tupling says its growth in recent years can be seen as a real success story. The leading distributor to independent merchants tells PBM how continuous progression in all aspects of the business is providing its merchant customers with “unrivalled supply and service”.
Established in 1966, E.Tupling is an independently-owned family business and a leading distributor of both Plumbing & Building Plastics and Underfloor Heating & Renewable Systems. Over 56 years of distribution experience coupled with a loyal and growing customer base, a first-class reputation and ongoing investment are all said to be providing a platform to take the business to a new level.
An “energised offering, a refreshed brand-identity, and product portfolio enhancements” are described as having accelerated the firm’s ability to supply even more choice. Furthermore, longer operational hours as well as increased office, warehouse and driving teams are all intended to enhance the company’s service proposition whilst an expanded fleet of delivery vehicles meet “ever-growing demand” and have extended the company’s geographical reach across the UK.
Head of Marketing Claire Briars explains: “We are passionate about providing expansive choice and value-added products to our merchant partners through our friendly, unrivalled, and seamless customer service. We are a modern and forward-thinking company, yet our traditional values and customer-centric philosophy remain at the heart of everything that we do.”
E.Tupling states that it understands how challenging the market has been for trade counters over the last couple of years — dealing with manufacturers’ long lead times, reduced product availability as well as a spate of price increases have created a siege of obstacles.
“Complexities within the supply chain have been somewhat intensified in recent times,” outlines Director Ross Duncanson. “We fully recognise the critical importance of these areas to merchants, and we take great pride in supporting them to successfully overcome such barriers. We are a specialist distributor and solutions provider that our customers can rely on and trust.”
The firm’s 25,000sq.ft. Warrington distribution centre holds an in-depth range of plumbing and building plastics from 13 manufacturers, including Polypipe, FloPlast, Pipelife, Brett Martin and Flexseal. Ross says: “The market is constantly changing with new challenges emerging, therefore as an energetic and ambitious business we strive to continually evolve to improve our levels of service and offering beyond our customers’ expectations.”
To its merchant partners, E.Tupling strives to be seen as an “extension to their warehouse”, providing additional sales opportunities that do not impact their stock holding. As well as offering a merchant-only, same-day Click & Collect service the company can deliver direct to site on its merchants’ behalf via its specialist vehicle fleet.
Customer service and technical support is provided across all stocked product ranges whilst it also offers a bespoke marketing support service incorporating unique POS, wall displays, videos and much more to help merchants maximise their sales opportunities.
Peter Jones, Director of merchant customer C&W Berry notes: “Staff are highly efficient, friendly, and provide a great service. With an expansive stock range, product choice and availability are always plentiful. It processes orders with speed and has a superb delivery service — I would highly recommend E.Tupling.”
UFH and renewables
The second side to the business sees it fulfil the role of consultant in the supply of underfloor heating and renewable solutions, including air source heat pumps, mechanical ventilation, pre-insulated pipes and water treatments.
Claire said: “We are wholly impartial and, after researching the entire market, benefit from agreements with 11 of the leading manufacturers including Polypipe, Grant, Fastwarm, Maincor, Heatmiser, CircofloPro and Pipelife. We adopt a completely unbiased approach and for all of these reasons we can pinpoint the best underfloor heating system for each and every individual project.”
On receipt of the project detail, plans and measurements, the distributor’s award-winning UFH technical team carefully consider the project’s individual requirements in relation to house type, heat source, floor build-up and covering, before providing the merchant with system options that are most suitable to each specific job.
A full schedule of materials, itemised quotation and pipe layout design are all provided as standard. E.Tupling also provides full technical guidance and support to installers and end-users on the merchants’ behalf, should they ever require any assistance.
The distributor has also recently launched a “first-to-market” Underfloor Heating and Air Source Heat Pump App. Ross revealed: “Understanding our customers and recognising how busy it can be on trade counters underpins our expertise. We know that enquires for Underfloor Heating and Air Source Heat Pumps are more time consuming and technical than most for merchants. Our app is an invaluable tool that will support merchants quickly and easily through all UFH and renewables sales enquiries.”
He adds: “Our experience and passion for underfloor heating together with our technical knowledge, attention to detail and market leading pricing means we can support merchants to secure more profitable orders in what is a rapidly growing product sector.”
Steve Carr, Regional Director of Markovitz, offers a merchant customer’s perspective. He reports: “We have dealt with E.Tupling for several years. Its customer service and product knowledge on underfloor heating systems is second to none. Its attention to detail is faultless and its attitude is almost a bygone era, when customer care actually meant something.”
Above and beyond
Described as providing a unique, annual opportunity for merchants nationwide, E.Tupling hosts a spectacular event each year to give merchants a platform to see some of the latest industry products and innovations. Its outdoor Plumbing, Heating & Building products event took place in May and attracted a tremendous turnout with merchants from as far afield as Kent, South Wales and Scotland.
In total, more than 150 key industry personnel joined in on what as a hugely successful day. Customer Oliver Wilson, General Manager at Plumbing For Less, said: “The whole day was incredible from start to finish, actually seeing the behind-the-scenes operations and the sheer scale of E.Tupling’s huge growth in such a short space of time was staggering. It executed the event in the same unique way it runs its entire business — I call it the Tupling way; 100% personalised, thorough and always surpassing our expectations!”
Click here for more information on E.Tupling’s product range and support service for merchants.
A version of this article appeared in the July/August edition of PBM. Click here to read the full digital issue.