A note of support for our fantastic suppliers.
As any entrepreneur will tell you, running a business is hard! As you might expect we spend a lot of management time working on activities designed to grow awareness with potential customers, drive sales and reduce cost. But, equally, we focus a lot of time ensuring we deliver on the promises we make to customers – all of whom are spending what they can afford (and, for some, their life savings) on a new kitchen to deliver a vision of how it’ll improve their lives afterwards. It’s why we love the job we do.
We’re reliant on not just our own brilliant staff – who have been recruited because they understand and share the company’s values – but a whole raft of suppliers and tradespeople (see our blog To DIY or not to DIY your new kitchen) to make sure we deliver what we say we will. Ensuring everybody in the supply chain from beginning to end understands our brand proposition is critical if we’re to deliver on the promises we make to our customers.
Which is why we try to source as many of them as locally as possible (see our blog Being truly local). And this issue has truly been brought home to me this week. On Tuesday we visited our cabinet supplier – a fantastic company called …. (forgive us for not sharing one of our best kept secrets!) We met with the owner, Mark, who like us, has had more years in the kitchen industry than he cares to count – including having been a retailer himself. We were keen to not only accentuate the positives – their superb quality, reliability and ease to deal with – but also to provide some constructive feedback about some minor issues we’d been experiencing recently.
For example, we’ve been lucky enough to expand our trading area into the West Sussex area recently. Because of the distance this usually means the delivery’s the last one and we were seeing a marginally higher rate of damages on arrival. Not once have ‘they’ quibbled about replacing any damaged unit with 48 hours (ensuring no project is ever delayed) but we were delighted to find that they’ve just invested in a polythene wrapping machine that will cut the level of damages to near zero. And it’s this type of commitment and close working relationship that help us deliver on our customer promise, grow our business and, in turn, grow theirs.
But, in our internal debrief after the meeting, the thing that really stood out for us was that ‘they’ really understood what it means to be a supplier to a customer like us and the impact this has on our customers and, ultimately, the Nicholas Hythe brand.
And, thankfully, they’re by no means the only fantastic supplier we have. Yes, we’ve made mistakes in supplier selection since we started – show me a new business that hasn’t – but we’ve been brave enough to recognise and correct these mistakes quickly before, hopefully, any damage to our reputation was sustained
So whilst improving sales and reducing cost will still remain the key focus of the company – without both there would be no Nicholas Hythe Kitchen Design Studio – ensuring we continue to focus on our suppliers and ensuring they’re doing a quality job for a fair price that truly reflects the type of company we’re trying to build is never very far from our minds.
For hundreds of pictures of kitchens we’ve installed for delighted clients please go to www.facebook.com/NicholasHytheKitchenDesignStudio