The Overall Supplier of the Year award was won by Meyer Group. L-r: Stewart Ellis, sales manager at Meyer Group with Angela Rushforth MD at Ridgeons.

Ridgeons meets the merchant event a big hit with suppliers

Published:  06 March, 2015

Ridgeons recently held a ‘Meet the Merchant’ event at its Pampisford site on 25 February.

Over 50 suppliers were invited to the annual event to showcase the latest products on offer to Ridgeons’ sales teams, branch managers and senior staff.

The morning saw a trade show style set up, where suppliers of lightside products including ironmongery, hand tools, painting and decorating supplies, as well as heating and plumbing products, offered Ridgeons staff a chance to view and test the latest kit.

In the afternoon, 297 meetings took place between suppliers of heavyside products and Ridgeons team members in a speed-dating style event. Each supplier of building materials and products had 11, 15-minute sessions with Ridgeons staff to pitch their products.

Bob Butler, purchasing executive - merchants, at Ridgeons, said: “There was a fantastic turn out to this year’s Meet the Merchant event and a great reception from Ridgeons staff and suppliers. At Ridgeons, suppliers are more than just companies we purchase stock from, they are partners in our business and we place great importance on maintaining positive relationships with them.

“The Meet the Merchant event is not only a brilliant way for Ridgeons staff to seek out new products and reignite relationships, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity for suppliers to train our sales teams on the benefits of each product – invaluable information we can pass onto our customer base, further enhancing our in-depth knowledge.”

Iain Hastings, general manager for Ridgeons’ Saffron Walden branch, said: “Dedicating a whole day to meeting with multiple suppliers face-to-face is brilliant as it allows us to take advantage of the hottest deal brands on offer and gives us an opportunity to get dates in the diary for future meetings. Maintaining positive trading relationships is key in our business and industry.”

Jim Houten, sales director at Dale Hardware, added: “We’ve been working with Ridgeons since 2007 and seen the account grow year-on-year. The Meet the Merchant event has been a great opportunity for us to highlight the benefits and features of our products to the sales team, as well as cement new and existing relationships. Ridgeons definitely treats you as a partner and not simply as a supplier, and that is important to us as a business.”

Simon Spanton, regional branch manager at Tool Bank, said: “Receiving feedback – whether that be positive or negative - directly from the Ridgeons team is really helpful for our business development. Ridgeons is a really influential independent merchant and we truly value the partnership we share with them. It’s great to work with a business that shares our ethos and values for great service and quality products.”

Finishing the day on a high, Ridgeons presented its ‘Supplier of the Year’ awards, with Meyer Group taking the title for the second year running. The awards are voted on by branch and sales representatives across Ridgeons, and are judged on relationships with internal sales and technical team representatives, level of product and service quality, stock management, marketing support and after sales support.

The winners were:

Hardware and Decorating Supplier of the Year: Tool Bank

Lightside Supplier of the Year: Symphony Group

Heavyside Supplier of the Year: Agg Bag

Timber and Sheets Supplier of the Year: Meyer Group

Commerical Team of the Year: Calder Industrial Materials

Sales Rep of the Year: Simon Barron, JELD-WEN

Overall Supplier of the Year: Meyer Group

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