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Is your fabricator your supplier or your partner?

Times are tough out there. It’s probably getting as boring to read that as it is to write it, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Getting new business is hard and if that wasn’t enough, the upcoming legislation changes are no doubt adding to the pressure. It’s always true to say that you need all the support you can get, especially so in this climate. So where do you turn? In my opinion, the answer should be your fabrication partner. They’ll be equipped with information on practical and legislative changes affecting the industry and they’ve got a vested interest in ensuring that the sales and marketing you do is of the highest quality.

That’s certainly how we see things at Modplan. We don’t see our customers as customers. We see them as partners. We think of them as independent and unique extensions of our own business. We believe it’s in our best interests to do everything we can to support our partners not least because, as a trade only supplier, our success literally depends on their success.

We produce the highest quality products from our 75,000ft2 manufacturing facility in South Wales, and couple this together with a strong customer service package so you can rely on us. But that’s really only what you’ve got a right to expect from your supplier: that the products will be good and the service proactive and helpful. Our belief in supporting our partners goes further than that, which is why we’ve invested so much time and effort in developing our marketing, sales, business support and training packages so they genuinely add value to our customers’ businesses.

We’ve just launched our enhanced sales and marketing package which is focused to meet the needs of our customers in this current market. Leading the many innovations on offer are three new pieces of homeowner-focused literature that can be overprinted with your details to help you in the selling process. The first is a brochure showcasing all our products together with information on CE marking and MTCs so homeowners know what to look for. The second is a guide to our Vertex tiled effect conservatory roofs, while the third is a product maintenance guide to use in your aftersales strategy. Add to this literature is the support of your Business Support Manager and our network of industry experts who can work with you on personalised leaflets, flyers, product promotions and websites.

You can also set up a showroom agreement with us to enable you to get all the benefits of a high quality, professionally designed showroom with a tailored payment plan designed to help your business’s cash flow. Attention has been focused too on a new suite of samples that will allow you to show homeowners the quality of the products whether you’re in a showroom or at a home appointment. If conservatories are a key part of your portfolio, you might be interested in our unique Vertex tile effect conservatory roof dealerships. Becoming a Vertex dealer gives you an exclusive sales territory and a unique selling point when it comes to conservatories. You’ll also receive marketing support in the form of advertising templates, plus the benefit of leads generated as a result of our national marketing campaigns and dedicated consumer website.

We’re equally proud of our business to business support. We offer training days on everything from products to marketing, of course. You can also work with your Business Support Manager and our network of experts to develop your sales and marketing strategy and look at the development of your business. But perhaps most importantly at the moment, we are on hand to help with the CE Marking legislation. If you buy in complete products from us, you’re already compliant. If you manufacture products or buy in sealed units, you need to make sure your products are compliant. But we’re on hand to help: we have a dedicated CE Marking Champion who can guide you through the options open to you to gain compliance. And as members of Network Veka, we can also give you access to Assure, the Network Veka scheme that helps you with everything from MTCs and IBGs to CPSs.

When you think about your relationship with your supplier, remember that their success depends on your success and think about the level of support you receive from them. When your supplier is giving you all the support your business needs, you’ve got a true partnership. When they aren’t, you’ve got a supplier-customer relationship. And that’s a very different thing.