Page 1: Introduction
In the modern business world, organisations must deal with rapid change. These include new technologies, e-business, and new and different types of competition. Organisations also have to handle customers' requirements. In many industries these are becoming increasingly sophisticated. To flourish in this changing world, intelligent organisations monitor their changing business environment. They also recognise the need to invest in their workforce, so that employees are able to adapt and respond to changing requirements.
Business organisations need customers. Customers look for good customer service. It's not enough, for example, to be known as a supplier. A business must supply all that is asked for, courteously, on time, in the right quantities, and in prime condition. Customer service, however, is not something that simply happens. It is a complex process. It involves developing and managing customer relationships before, during and after a transaction. Good service will do more than meet customer needs. It will also provide the organisation with a distinct competitive advantage in the market place.
This Case Study illustrates how an organisation can put customer service at the centre of its staff development programme to establish a culture that provides a foundation for growth. It shows how Travis Perkins has managed to balance its own strategic objectives with its customers' needs for good service.
The business name 'Travis Perkins' is relatively new, but the company has evolved within the building trade over a long period. It was in 1988 that Travis & Arnold and Sandell Perkins, two building merchant public companies, merged to create Travis Perkins. Ernest Travis founded Travis & Arnold in London in 1899. The business eventually moved to Northampton. It sold timber and other wood products before diversifying into other building materials. Sandell Perkins had origins stretching back to 1797. The business originally traded as joiners and carpenters and then moved into selling and trading in hardwoods. It became a public company in 1986.
Today the Travis Perkins Group is one of the UK's largest distributors of building materials. Its business objective is to provide a high level of service that exceeds customer expectations. At the same time, it looks to use customer service to build a strong basis for growth. Travis Perkins trades under a number of brand identities, recognising the importance that customers place on an established reputation and identity within the overall market place.
Travis Perkins - trading in general Building Materials, Timber, Forest Products, Toolhire.
Keyline - greater focus on Heavy Building Materials and Civil Engineering
City Plumbing - proven brand within the plumbing and heating market
CCF - specialising in insulation products, partitioning, ceilings.