2017 brings financial uncertainty for many sectors, as post-Brexit exchange rate fluctuations result in price increases that impact upon us all. David Kilby, Jewson Operations Director, discusses what this means for the construction industry, and the steps Jewson is taking this year to make trading easier for customers.
It could be easy to focus too much attention on challenges currently facing the industry, such as the skills gap, falling value of the pound and rising prices. But, it is important to remember that construction is a resilient industry, and our contribution is vital to the growth of the UK economy.
As an industry, we have demonstrated an ability to recover from set-backs time and again, and it will be no different as we move into the New Year and beyond. Jewson understands the current market conditions, and we have focused our 2017 plans on making things easier for our customer base.
As a builders’ merchant, this means ensuring consistent and competitive pricing across our branch network on a product range that is second to none. It also means getting people the products they need, exactly when they need them, and making sure our invoices are right first time, every time for our account customers.
We also continue to invest in ensuring the best possible customer experience. From the simple things like being made feel welcome every time you enter a branch, to providing first class help and support from our dedicated customer experience team based in Coventry. In our branches, respecting our no quibble returns policy and dealing with any queries or complaints as fast as we possibly can also form a part of this experience.
Our rewards programme, Juice, is already a year old, still growing in popularity all the time and helps us give back to loyal customers.
Understanding our customers is step one in delivering a great customer experience, and we’re getting to know them better all the time. We champion young people entering the industry and listen to their views through our Foundation Plus account. We’ve also recently launched our Young Tradesperson of The Year competition to find the industry’s brightest emerging talent.
A business is only as good as its people, so we listen to our colleagues too, implementing their feedback and suggestions to move the business forward. People are what drive the construction industry, and this will remain a constant. I have the privilege to work with great people at Jewson every day.
It’s fair to say that I love working at Jewson, as do many of my colleagues, and in the spirit of Valentine’s, during a recent branch visit I was told a heart-warming tale.
A proud yard foreman had taken his wife into the branch on his day off to give her a grand tour. He showed her everything from how the timber was banded at height, to his landscaping displays. He wanted to share with her the other huge part of his life; I only hope that was not the only romantic gesture he will make this year!
In line with our commitment to going the extra mile for customers, all Jewson branches are available for Valentine’s Day visits. You can be sure of great service and atmosphere, but we can’t guarantee a candle-lit dinner for two!