IBC's Divisional Managers work tirelessly to bring unique benefits to their members, helping them grow their business.
IBC Buying Group offers a number of Member benefits that are unique among independent merchant buying groups. Among these is the appointment of dedicated Divisional Managers to work closely with each Member company, acting as a single point-of-contact with whom Members can work to expand their Supplier base, take advantage of new deals, and seek advice on any issues they may have.
IBC’s team of Divisional Managers expanded significantly one year ago, when Simon Dickinson and Mark Walker joined Ross Travers and the rest of the IBC family.
All IBC’s Divisional Managers have extensive experience working with, and for, suppliers and merchants across the industry, meaning that they are ideally placed to guide and support their Members whenever they are needed.
By working closely with their appointed Divisional Manager, IBC Members effectively have an extra member of staff at hand at all times, through whom they can learn about new technologies coming to market, and can access new products and Suppliers that will be a tangible boost for their business.
Walker explains: “Our role is to be there for our members whenever they need us, whether that’s through regular visits, by phone, or e-mail. We keep them up to date with market conditions on a weekly and often daily basis, and are also able to help them source the product they need whenever there are shortages in the market.”
Dickinson agrees, adding: “We regularly review our Members’ businesses to make sure we understand exactly what they need, and then we can suggest new opportunities for them to move into, and introduce them to new Suppliers. We’re always looking for new opportunities where our members can add value to their customers with new product and point-of-sale, for example, to make sure they get everything they need to be able to trade effectively and positively.”
Independent merchants traditionally spend a lot of time buying product and negotiating deals with Suppliers, but belonging to IBC Buying Group can save them the one day a week, on average, that they previously spent doing this work – freeing them up to concentrate on developing the rest of their business.
On a personal level, Walker and Dickinson have found the past year since they joined IBC both challenging and fulfilling, as the entire industry dealt with the issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, they both say they have enjoyed their time with IBC, and particularly how involved they are able to be with their Members.
“Our Members all have different needs, and I have really enjoyed the challenge of finding out about their companies and the different ways they operate,” Walker explains. “I have also enjoyed the team spirit within IBC.”
Dickinson says: “I have really enjoyed being involved in such a friendly group over the past 12 months, both on the Member side and also internally. Working with the rest of the IBC team has been very enjoyable, with a great rapport built between us all. The closeness and drive to ensure that IBC progresses and grows is the IBC team’s single goal, and it is great to work with a team who are all on the same hymn sheet.”
The advantages that IBC’s Divisional Managers add to their Members’ business is clear from the testimonials and feedback that our Members regularly give in recognition of their achievements.
Silviu Motac of Motacus Builders’ Merchants says: “IBC gives us great support in finding the right suppliers, and their constant communications help our business grow. They are dedicated to continuously searching for new suppliers and greater deals for all of their members, and we’re delighted to be an IBC member.”
Dickinson is responsible for the Midlands, Wales, North and Scotland regions, while Walker works with all IBC Members across the South of England. Travers is responsible for the Inner London region.