As John Crittenden celebrates thirty years as Managing Director of Carl F Groupco, it is a timely opportunity for him to provide an overview of the core values and the extensive catalogue that will continue to be his focus for the organisation’s expansion and development.
“While many things have changed since the late 1980s, the values at the heart of our operation remain the same, and this is key to how we have charted a course through the occasionally choppy waters of the UK’s hardware distribution industry.
Before detailing our brand values I would like to stress that people are at the heart of any organisation and, without a management team and workforce all totally committed to our objectives, mission statements and metrics are meaningless.
First and foremost I would like to pay tribute to all the Carl F Groupco team at our distribution centres in Peterborough and Cumbernauld, and the external team “on the road” who are the invaluable face of Carl F Groupco. It is with the support of this extremely hardworking group of people that, since taking the position of Managing Director, we have grown our catalogue from 1,000 to over 7,000 products; introduced Carl F direct – our e-commerce business supplying tools for fabricators and fitters; partnered with leading manufacturers and launched SmartSecure.
It is because of our team work that customers like the Sovereign Group say that our level of support has never wavered and that we are one of their most reliable suppliers.
Our brand values are focussed on customer service, product knowledge, quality and market leadership.
Under the banner of customer service, we put considerable effort into our On Time In Full service commitment – we recognise that customers need prompt delivery and we also realise the frustration of incomplete orders. Everyone in the Carl F Groupco organisation works extremely hard to fulfil our OTIF objective. We also pride ourselves in being proactive and in providing solutions – we are very much a can do operation with a team that thrives on being the best in the business going the extra mile to assist. Our team instinctively develops personal relationships – while we have CRM systems and advanced software, we never squash personalities… people buy from people.
Aligned to service is product knowledge. We have one of the largest window and door hardware ranges and, as our portfolio grows, we work hard to ensure that our expertise in the lines that we offer isn’t diluted. We have always been more than a delivery and despatch organisation – we invest heavily in product training to ensure that we can advise our customers, offering solutions and providing peace of mind.
Quality can be somewhat ambiguous as a brand value but we look for this in our products, packaging, people and customer experience. With regards to products, quality means the highest production standards. When it comes to packaging we look for robust, sustainable solutions. Quality in our personnel means people that are committed to our brand values who are individuals that stamp their own mark on the service they provide, while working well with other team members and customers.
With regards to market leadership, we look to achieve this through new product developments and innovation. The launch of SmartSecure in 2016, our electronic door locking and access control brand, put Carl F Groupco firmly on the map as a leader in Smart Tech for the glazing industry and as a pioneering company spearheading major new advancements.
Our catalogue has been at the heart of our success in hardware distribution and it will continue to be essential to our position in the industry. With over 7,000 lines it is no mean feat to maintain, but credit goes to our product, technical and marketing teams who ensure that we provide high quality, complementary fittings that cater for all requirements. We have a strong online, social media and web presence but we also continue to believe in investing in a hardback catalogue – it is invaluable to be able to peruse all available products with at-a-glance specification details.
With the support of a dedicated workforce, I look forward to continuing to take Carl F Groupco forward with continued innovation, but I can reassure readers that we won’t veer away from our brand values as we continue to develop our organisation.”