Setting the bar high for hardware distribution

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An article written for Glass & Glazing Magazine, April 2020



At Carl F Groupco, staff pull together to focus on the hardware distribution company’s mission of providing On Time In Full (OTIF) shipments. In this article, Managing Director John Crittenden details the organisation’s commitment to delivery schedules and explains how a service is provided that extends way beyond simply picking and despatching fittings.

“We set the bar high both in terms of our delivery service for order fulfilment and the support offered to customers to help select the most appropriate hardware solutions.

At Carl F Groupco we are considerably more than just a “pick and ship” operation. However, picking and shipping is of course important and this is where our OTIF objective comes in. Knowing the frustration that would come from not receiving all the required components, we have robust procedures to check orders before they are despatched. Our focus on OTIF deliveries means that members of the warehouse team literally go the extra mile to hit shipment deadlines.

The teamwork at Carl F Groupco, and drive to maintain service, is clearly demonstrated when we conduct our annual stock audit, which is in addition to weekly stock checks throughout the year. With over 7,000 product lines featured in our carefully curated catalogue, stock checks are no mean feat but on one weekend of the year for our major annual audit, every member of staff, including me, rolls their sleeves up and plays their part. We know this is an essential job and we also recognise that it has to be done over a weekend to avoid impacting deliveries, so we pull together. This is one of the many aspects of our operation that is carried out behind the scenes to ensure that we maintain our extremely high service standards.

Consultancy Service

Technical advice that extends to a consultancy service is another key way that we differentiate ourselves from straightforward shippers. We work closely with our manufacturer partners to fully understand their products and we keep up to date with industry advancements in association with organisations such as CAB to provide solution led advice.

Reinforcing the fact that our service is so much more than merely a despatch operation, Carl F Groupco has a longstanding reputation associated with product innovation – this includes working with our manufacturing partners to provide R&D input and own brand initiatives.

Intuitive Solutions

Our most significant Carl F Groupco development has been SmartSecure which is at the forefront of new generation electronic door locking and access control solutions for the UK’s door industry.   We provide intuitive hardware solutions and this philosophy was a strong influencing factor in the development of SmartSecure which combines style with simplicity. Options include SmartConnect - designed for easy door opening using a Smartphone, this intelligent, WLAN-based system offers keyless operation and monitoring. SmartTouch is a second variant - activated by movement and operating just like Smart car technology, all that is needed is a small transponder in the vicinity of the door: fitted into a sensor or pull handle, access control is hidden with this discrete and stylish solution. Radio-based access control systems are also available including a radio keypad, transponder and fingerprint scanner for keyless biometric access control.

In conclusion, at the heart of all the features that make us a service focussed operation are our people. Every member of our staff understands that we offer complete support and responsive service sets us apart. Customers can talk to our in-house sales team, their Regional Sales Manager, our Technical Manager or any other member of our workforce and they will ensure the required support is given. Our staff will work with their colleagues as required, both within our organisation and externally with relevant industry associations and manufacturing partners, to ensure whatever your question or however detailed your brief, we will provide answers to meet your timeframe. As mentioned at the beginning of this report, the bar at Carl F Groupco is high and we are committed to keeping it there.”