Thirty years in
John Crittenden has celebrated 30 years with the ‘Carl F’ hardware distribution organisation.
On November 1, 1989, he joined Carl F Petersen as managing director, going on to oversee the business through various changes in group structure including managing the European hardware business for Carl F International and D Line.
In 2010, he managed the merger that saw the formation of the current company, Carl F Groupco.
Since joining the organisation, John has overseen the company’s expansion from three people to over 40 members of staff. During his 30 years at the helm he has also seen an increase from 1,000 products to over 7,000 hardware lines featured in the Carl F Groupco hardware catalogue.
“In 2005 we expanded our offer and introduced Carl F direct – this sister company to our hardware operation is an e-commerce business supplying tools for the fabrication and fitting sector,” John said. “Five years later, we successfully merged with Groupco. This was a major landmark in the history of the organisation: by combining forces, we considerably strengthened our position in the industry to become a major player in the UK’s hardware distribution market.
“Over the years, we have played to our strengths of technical support and otif delivery targets. Excellent relations with leading manufacturers have also put us in a strong position to give input into new product development and to launch our own brand ranges, most significantly, SmartSecure in 2016.
“Customers keep less stock now, which means that we need to be ever more efficient in stock planning, provision and delivery. At the start of my career, the lead time for a brass window handle was 32 weeks, now 32 hours is simply too late: we recognise this and we focus on delivery.”