30th August 2013
David Pochin, chairman of the Plumbing Heating Group (PHG), has expressed his delight at the buying group’s progression, having passed the halfway point of its first year in business.
The specialist plumbing and heating buying group was born out of 17 former CBA and Cemco members wanting to come together to create something unique in the industry in terms of specialism, expertise and ethos, including three Merlin customers – Beggs & Partners, Duftons and Stuart Plumbing and Heating(Stuart Elliot, Managing Director pictured above). It was quickly joined by independent builders’ merchant MKM and two former NBG members to make the group 20 members strong.
Mr Pochin explained: “The four strands of the group all came together with different operating cultures which we thought would take us at least a year to get the group operating in anything like a cohesive fashion.
“How wrong we were – a robust operating structure was soon implemented around our plumbing, heating and bathrooms committees and the group just hit the ground running, getting straight down to business and quickly agreeing common purchasing terms to the advantage of all.
“Not only that but under our own-brand committee chairman, John Dicken of Ridgeons, we have launched a collection of bathroom products that every member has supported and thus we have already delivered really exciting numbers to the suppliers involved.”
Mr Dicken added: “Our Instinct label own-brand offering has really hit the spot in a market craving value. We have sourced these products almost exclusively from our incumbent suppliers who have been delighted to get agreements that are supported by every single PHG member.“
We started out with shower doors and enclosures and we have already added shower mixers, bathroom taps, Doc M packs and bathroom furniture to the bathroom collection.
“Coming soon we will have kitchen taps and a much more comprehensive bathroom offering with baths and sanitaryware joining the portfolio.”
Mr Pochin concluded: “It speaks volumes for the abilities of the people that sit around the PHG table that we have achieved so much in such a short time, but it is still early days and there is a lot more to come from the group in the near future. In the short term though, we shall concentrate on our negotiations for 2014 where we shall be offering our suppliers the opportunity to enjoy further growth with us.”
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