Service: a year in review

Carl F Groupco’s managing director John Crittenden, explains how the company maintained supply despite the difficulties presented by the pandemic during 2020, and pays tribute to the company’s workforce for their exceptional service and ability to find creative solutions.

We have always had pride in being considerably more than box shifters, and everyone who works at Carl F Groupco has the customer firmly in mind when they are advising, processing an order, or preparing a shipment.

This means that the mind-set of our organisation puts us in an extremely strong position to address the issues faced by the industry due to Covid-19. Primarily, the challenges have come from product sourcing but the commitment of our staff to find solutions has meant we continue to ride the waves of this difficult period.

More than ever, the flexibility that comes from being an independent organisation has come into play giving us the ability to react to the fluctuating business landscape. This independence means we can be pragmatic about routes forward.

We have established processes and procedures that oil the wheels of our operation but, during lockdown, the people working on the front line for us in our warehouses and offices were empowered to do whatever was needed to support our customers.

Communication is key: we have always put this at the centre of our operational model and this has never been more important than during the pandemic. We have constantly liaised with customers and suppliers to discuss needs and find satisfactory solutions. We believe in pre-empting problems and have encouraged our customers to flag any business issues ahead of time so that we can respond accordingly.

Products are the backbone of our offer: with over 7,000 lines, we have a reputation for a comprehensive range of quality hardware. And, despite the challenges of the year, we have continued to develop our catalogue including introducing product lines such as Yale’s affordable and stylish new Quartus Espag handle. Featuring the leading lock manufacturer’s coveted push to unlatch mechanism, the Yale Quartus is available in a new colour range including champagne gold, satin black and enhanced silver for improved consistency in colour matching. Chrome and white finishes are also included ensuring that this new addition will look elegant in every setting. With clean design lines, user-friendly functionality and high-performance security, the Quartus is available in inline and offset options, and is the ideal choice for aluminium and PVCU windows.

I pay tribute to all the departments at Carl F Groupco at both our Peterborough and Cumbernauld distribution centres who have pulled together to put our customers’ hardware supply needs as their top priority.

Our office sales teams have come into their own dealing with unprecedented order volumes. Our regional sales managers have maintained their service via video conferencing and they are also available for essential face-to-face meetings, with due consideration for the safety of themselves and our customers. And the warehouses have also been phenomenal, as have all our other departments who have maintained our operational services.

These are exceptional times but, at Carl F Groupco, we have a truly exceptional workforce. I have no doubt that our staff will rise to whatever challenges we face in 2021 including, sad to say, the potential continuation of the pandemic and Brexit.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish our staff, customers and suppliers good health for Christmas and the new year. Staying safe has to be the primary focus.

Carl F Groupco Limited
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