During these unprecedented times, partner dealer groups Nemo and Office Club have been epitomising the ‘together we’re stronger’ ethos as they adapt and develop ongoing support packages to work closely with members and vendor suppliers.
Tim Beaumont, MD for both groups said, “the past weeks have been both challenging and rewarding, putting our sole focus across the two groups on supporting the members with whatever they need now, and helping them to be in a strong position when we emerge out the other side.
“The requirements from dealers have temporarily changed, and we have adapted to meet those changes – some of which will no doubt carry through as part of the new normal. For dealers to not feel alone or isolated we are hosting regular online video meetings where we discuss face-to-face the current issues which have included helping members through the legalities and process of furlough, grant and loan applications, cashflow management and facilitating the ever-changing sourcing of PPE amongst other things.
“Between the two groups, we have developed an excellent network of sourcing interaction, in particular with regards to, although not exclusively, PPE, and this has led to the creation of a new dealer-to-dealer trading portal available to members to sell to each other; managing their own products, stock levels and transactions.
“We have undoubtedly benefitted from our loyalty and relationships with our 100+ vendors over many years which enables us to keep the supply chain open to our members giving them access to the product on a direct basis if they are encountering any issues with their regular source. The team at Office Club and Nemo are constantly communicating product availability and new product sources to members and listening to their requirements to bridge any gaps in the existing offering.
“These are obviously terrible times, but I personally have been heartened by the collaborative spirit, determination and innovation of the members and am proud that Office Club and Nemo have been able to play a part in not only helping member businesses to survive but in some instances actually thrive; be that introducing new product categories, enhancing online presence or just providing the guidance and support needed to adapt to the current situation."
This view is shared amongst the members, with Amar Tanna, MD of Tannas in London saying, “it is when times are hard that people truly show true grit, and the Office Club/Nemo team have truly shown zeal, drive and a real passion to help the dealer community. These guys have done a tremendous amount of work, to help bring our community together and make us stronger together, so when we come out of this on the other side, we come out fighting. I can’t say what other dealer groups are doing, but I am glad to be a part of this one and thankful for their efforts.”
Michael Knight, MD of Don Ruffles, Horley said, "I've been extremely impressed with the ongoing support for our online business provided by Office Club in recent weeks. There have undoubtedly been some challenging times, but knowing there is support available and a community within which we can share ideas and work together through the crisis has been important to our business and will help to see us come out of this in a good position for moving forward."
Tim added, “the move towards supporting local businesses has accelerated, which is in line with much of our marketing focus for this year already, and we are now stepping up our plans hugely in this area to drive the demand for keeping it local. More of that will come to light in the coming weeks.
“With our comprehensive marketing and purchasing support packages in place, I am confident that we, along with our members and supporting vendors, will come out of this situation stronger, better prepared and ready to return to business not just as usual, but beyond usual.”