When it comes to selecting your new local heating supplies company, there’s a multitude of things to bear in mind. If you’re anywhere near a city, or even a bigger town, there’s a high chance you’re going to be in range of at least ten different plumbing, DIY and heating supplies companies.
There’ll be a huge variance in value, price, quality and range between all these different suppliers, and each one will have individual pros and cons that will be very helpful in making your mind up. For instance, big franchise supplier, or smaller family run company? With a bigger company you might be looking at less knowledgeable and helpful staff, and the hassles that can cause, but you can probably expect lower prices overall and a bigger range of more unusual parts and pieces.
On the other hand, a smaller family run supplier might have much more useful and helpful staff that know much more about the trade in question, but they’re prices will be higher, and generally have a smaller range. Supporting smaller local businesses is also great for communities, and keeping wealth within smaller areas, which can be great for local economies. Everyone wants to help smaller businesses within their communities but are the slightly higher prices worth it to you?
There’s a number of other key things to bear in mind too.
How reliable and convenient are they?
Your convenience and delivery needs come down to what kind of heating systems you are primarily sorting. If you’re mainly fitting entirely new systems, and working in a commercial arena, then your time-frames are likely to be looser than if you’re fixing and repairing people’s homes. People want their heating back on as quickly as possible generally, and your parts suppliers’ delivery protocol should reflect that.
However, if you’re not on such a tight schedule, you can make use of potentially cheaper, and more expansive heating suppliers that might be slower when it comes to delivery or collection. Alternatively, you could you a combination of both, and tailor your ordering system in accordance with demand, which is probably the best of both worlds in terms of cost, speed and convenience. Either way, when looking at the different local heating suppliers, you need to evaluate in terms of delivery times and convenience, and then compare. You also don’t want to be driving too far to your supplier. Having somewhere within an hour’s away drive is crucial if you don’t want too much time to be wasted just driving over to the supplier.
Utilising more reliable, convenient and speedier suppliers will allow you to deliver much more accurate quotes to your customers, which can help you price jobs more accurately and avoid wasted time and money, which is always in everyone’s interests.
Value and cheapness, or expertise?
The sad fact is, many ofthe bigger suppliers, who can offer literally every part you might need, and at an ideal price, tend to know less about their products. They might have a vast range, but when it comes to helping you identify the right part, they’ll struggle compared to smaller, more costly suppliers. It’s an unavoidable trade-off really, where you have to choose whether you want to risk potentially incorrect parts, for the saving, or guarantee the correct parts at a steeper cost. The best option is probably going to be a combination. As easy as it would be, you can’t just use one heating spares supplier, you’ve got to allocate your supply sources according to your heating repair needs and requirements.
You could use a bigger, cheaper, general supplier for the more common parts, and then a smaller, more focused supplier for the specialist, more awkward parts. This could be seen as a bit of a hassle, but that little bit of hassle could end up saving you a bundle of cash and time that would otherwise be wasted.
Thanks to BBS Plumb in Bristol and Bath for this interview, a locally based plumbing supplies company offering over 6,000 products in stock at any one time.