EVO Group Launch New CSR Initiative, EVOLUTION

The EVO Group of Companies has launched its brand new initiative intending to further establish the companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility guidelines and key areas of focus for ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance).

 

Named EVOLUTION, this new framework incorporates four pillars which the company has set individual and group targets for.

These are:

  • Our People – Wellbeing & Workplace
  • Our Natural Environment – Preserve & Protect
  • Our Communities – Respect & Reputation
  • Our Supply Chain – Trust & Transparency

Whilst setting these pillars, The EVO Group of Companies will be renewing their focus towards a strong commitment towards charity and the wider community.

The company have set an initial target for staff to complete 3,000 hours of charity work outside of regular working hours and are increasing the number of training hours undertaken by current staff in order to further drive engagement and participation in the EVOLUTION initiative.

To track this year’s progress achieved with EVOLUTION, The EVO Group of Companies will be using foundations which were set in 2018 to measure against and will be producing an annual report which adheres to General Reporting Initiative (GRI) internationally recognised standards.

EVOLUTION Group Targets

Throughout the course of 2019, The EVO Group of Companies have set a number of core group targets that they aim to draw clear attention to. Set alongside four categories (Our People, Our Natural Environment, Our Communities and Our Supply Chain), these include:

Our People

  • Increasing the number of training hours by 25%
  • Investing a minimum of £200k in training for staff

Our Natural Environment

  • A reduction of 30% on electricity and gas consumption by 2022
  • Reducing water consumption by 10% by the year 2022.
  • A commitment to reduce the consumption and use of single use plastics by 30% by 2020.
  • Maintaining a stance on zero waste being sent to landfill.
  • An overall reduction of waste by 2022 of 20%
  • Increasing biodiversity across all EVO Group sites
  • Reducing the production of greenhouse gases by 20% by the year 2022

Our Communities

  • A group commitment to donate 3,000 charity hours towards helping not-for-profit organisations during 2019.
  • An overall increase in both monetary and non-monetary donations towards charitable causes by 20% during 2019.

Our Supply Chain

  • Establishing a comprehensive database on the credentials of EVO Group’s entire product range and supplier base by 2021
  • An increase of double on the number of environmental and accredited product ranges that EVO Group offers, also by 2021.

By following new standards set by the EVOLUTION initiative, the EVO Group of Companies will strive to continue evolving the market and driving forward wholesale change.


EVO’S Industry-Leading E-commerce Team Acclaimed a Two Clients Pick Up Prestigious Customer Service Awards

Two clients of the EVO group of companies’ industry-leading e-commerce team have acknowledged its major contribution to the winning of prestigious customer service awards.

Two clients of the EVO group of companies’ industry-leading e-commerce team have acknowledged its major contribution to the winning of prestigious customer service awards.

Online office goods reseller Find My Supplies and retailer Post Office Shop, the Post Office’s UK e-commerce outlet, were honored in the annual Trusted Service Awards made by global feedback engine Feefo. Eligible businesses were Feefo clients who collected at least 50 customer reviews last year.

Find My Supplies won a Gold award, which meant it achieved a Feefo service rating of at least 4.5, while Post Office Shop received a Trusted Service award, for companies scoring between 4.0 and 4.4.

Both the winners’ websites are operated by the e-commerce team at EVO, the UK and Ireland’s largest multi-channel business supplies and service distributor.    

Darren Mack, EVO head of e-commerce, said: “We’re delighted to have played a vital part in securing these awards. Recognition in this unique scheme is a real badge of honour, as it means you’ve been singled-out from a field of over 4,000 businesses, based on feedback from genuine customers, all specifically matched to verified interactions, to avoid fake reviews. The awards are therefore recognised symbols of trust, helping customers to click with confidence.”  

Find My Supplies, which has premises in Sheffield and Wakefield, supplies HP business goods, including printer consumables, its service embracing free next day delivery and a helpdesk. The organisation’s customers range from home users to large businesses.  

Post Office Shop sells a wide variety of items, ranging from envelopes and tapes, through stationery and office supplies, to commemorative stamps and coins.

Kath Samuels, HP Supplies’ online business development manager, stated: “We see this as very much a joint award for EVO and ourselves. The organisation’s e-commerce team launched the site in 2007, achieving HP gold partner status in 2010 and becoming a platinum partner for HP in 2017. We’re constantly impressed at the way they action and resolve queries from our customers very quickly and deliver high levels of professionalism in all aspects of their service for us.”

EVO worked with Post Office to create and launch its online shop in 2012 and has continued to manage and fulfill the site since, developing this with its client into a multi-million-pound operation, serving consumers and businesses.

Keith Maple, head of mail and retail propositions, Post Office, confirmed: “We have worked with the Evo team for some time now and come such a long way from when we launched the site. The continuing effectiveness of our partnership is indicated by the facts that we recorded business growth of over 20 per cent last year and more than 250,000 orders have now been processed and despatched on our behalf.  

“EVO’s current contribution includes that it operates a 24-hour service level agreement for queries from our customers on business days, ensuring fast turnaround and priority handling. We’re also continuing to work with its e-commerce team on other fronts, as we invest and develop our customer offerings further, so we remain a market leader for the products we sell.”

The EVO group of companies’ e-commerce team continues to drive their significant expertise online search and marketing, covering areas such as search engine optimisation, pay-per-click, content marketing and social media development. The unit contains professionals such as user experience and user interface developers and aims to deliver competitive edges by, for example, providing valuable insights into search trends and buying patterns. Since its formation six years ago, the team has enabled EVO to nurture and develop relationships with partners such as Moorside Office and HP, while developing its own e-commerce capabilities.


Banner Strengthens Growing Market Presence By Acquiring Leading Re-Seller

Major workplace supplies and services provider Banner has acquired leading West Yorkshire-based reseller Ventura Office Supplies.

The purchase represents the latest strengthening of its market coverage by Banner, one of the EVO group of companies, as it broadens its business beyond its traditional base of mainly large contract customers in the public and private sectors, including major banks, government departments and local authorities.

Banner’s acquisition of Ventura follows its absorption of another reseller, Manchester-based WA Office Needs, for similar reasons, last July.

Established 12 years, Bingley-based Ventura is one of the UK’s leading independent office product dealers, It has a particular expertise in educational supplies, computer hardware and office furniture that will add both scale and expertise to Banner’s already broad business supplies offering.

All six Ventura staff will be retained following the acquisition and the company, which had a turnover of £1.4m in the last full financial year, will continue to operate from its present site and trade under its current name.

Andrea Eli, the director and previous owner of Ventura with her partner Hari Athwal, will join the Banner sales leadership team as sales director and Her wider remit will include managing Banner’s Loughborough, Manchester, Stoke-on-Trent and Swindon offices, as well as the Bingley site. Hari will now operate as Ventura’s sales manager.  

Explaining the reasons for the sale, Andrea said: “We’re extremely proud of the success we’ve achieved with Ventura but this is absolutely the right time for us to become part of Banner. There are significant and increasing restrictions on smaller dealers’ ability to grow their customer bases, product ranges, incomes and resourcing in the current market, without them spending serious money, and this deal releases all those chains we felt were holding us back.

“We’re also certain this is a very exciting time to be joining Banner. We are excited by Banner’s vision of the future and its very strong position in the market. It has a very bright future indeed. We’ve been greatly impressed by the expertise, enthusiasm and excitement about the years ahead among Banner’s people from the moment they first approached us.     

Summarising the reasons for the Ventura acquisition, Craig Varey, managing director, Banner, said: “The purchase will bring us incremental sales and expand our market coverage on behalf of our suppliers. It has also allowed us to add some outstanding experience and expertise in servicing growth categories to our team.

“Importantly, our partnership with Ventura makes additional sense because of our shared values. It was obvious when we were talking to Andrea and Hari that our two organisations were compatible for many reasons, such as our intense mutual focus on delivering the highest possible customer service standards.”

Craig added that Banner’s strategy meant it would continue to develop and grow by adding to its products, brands, categories and sectors. He said it will accelerate this process through strategically aligned acquisitions, where these will deliver benefits such as adding important expertise in key expansion areas.  

Andrea last month won the SME Emerging Business Leader category of the annual national awards organised by Forward Ladies, the UK’s largest support network for women in business.


VOW Appoints Experienced Specialist As It Expands Highly Successful Furniture Range

VOW has boosted a rapidly-growing area of its business by appointing Jenny Hipkiss to the newly-created role of furniture business development manager for the south of England.

The UK and Ireland’s largest business products and facilities supplies wholesaler, part of the EVO group of companies, has recruited Jenny as a new selection of steel items becomes available within its First range of office furniture.  

Jenny, who has over 10 years’ industry experience, has joined VOW from business furniture manufacturer Senator. She previously worked for office furniture manufacturer Lee & Plumpton, ergonomic furniture and equipment specialist Posturite, and office supplies and solutions distributor Lyreco.  

In her new role, Jenny will work with resellers, assisting them to grow their furniture sales with VOW. She has joined the company’s furniture experts, who include northern furniture business development manager Matt Allaby, plus internal sales, commercial support, product marketing, customer service and technical support specialists.

Reacting to her appointment, Jenny said: “I couldn’t see a better time to join VOW’s growing furniture team and I’m excited to now be part of it. Over the last 12 months, the company has invested heavily in this area and is clearly very serious about offering its resellers an unbeatable proposition. 

“This is backed up by the largest furniture stock holding in the wholesale market and an extremely reliable next day service, with a uniquely late 4.30pm cut-off time. First range, in particular, which provides an unequalled combination of quality and value, presents a massive opportunity for our resellers to increase their sales.” 

Explaining Jenny’s arrival, Vanessa Warne, VOW’s furniture category director, said growing sales and interest in the range meant an additional specialist of her type was essential.

Vanessa said: “Jenny’s history set her apart as a candidate for this role. She brings excellent understanding of the reseller market and great experience of working with end-users, from design brief to installation. She’s delivered projects in excess of £100,000, most recently a seven-storey office block at Bristol Law School.

“She’s incredibly passionate and enthusiastic about interiors and her personality makes her a great fit with our business.”    

The new Talos range of steel products under the First range umbrella includes tambours, cupboards, pedestals and filing cabinets available in various colours and come with integral locking to ensure personal security and component warranties between five to seven years.

Vanessa said: “We previewed the new steel items at First range’s southern launch and our Green Light event late last year and the feedback from the resellers attending was fantastic. The items offer great quality and price points that provide resellers with genuine competitive advantages over the rest of the market.”   

VOW announced in November that First range had recorded month-on-month sales growth averaging 25 per cent since its launch six months earlier. With the arrival of the steel items, First range now contains over 200 products and includes storage and seating suitable for multiple office environments, plus furniture for reception, bistro and breakout areas.

VOW’s overall next day furniture offering now contains over 1,400 items.

First range’s expansion comes as VOW launches its latest, extended quarterly Mega Deals furniture mailer. This is available free to resellers – who can customise it with their own pricing and branding – via MyMarketing, the company’s portal offering them an innovative email marketing solution and a comprehensive print module.


The EVO Group Of Companies Sets The Course For The Future

The EVO group of companies has signalled its determination to implement its long-term plans by appointing Lorna Mendelsöhn to the newly-created role of strategy and transaction director.

Lorna, a qualified solicitor, has been general counsel and corporate services director with the organisation, the UK and Ireland’s largest multi-channel business supplies and services distributor, for the last two years.

The EVO group of companies provides sourcing, storage and fulfilment services to over 50,000 resellers, corporate clients and public-sector organisations. It has two main trading businesses: leading business products and facilities supplies wholesaler VOW, which has a network of over 2,000 resellers, and Banner, a major workplace supplies and service provider to the private and public sectors. This is underpinned by Truline, the group’s transport company, which manages deliveries on behalf of Banner and VOW.   

Explaining her new role, Lorna said: “Our organisation dates back to the 2014 amalgamation of business supplies groups Vasanta and Office2Office. Following a period of post-merger stabilisation and Steve Haworth being appointed Chief Executive in 2016, we determined our new strategy last year, and my responsibilities now include implementing this blueprint across our group of companies.

“My role also features managing all types of transaction – an area in which I have significant experience – as suitable acquisitions are a key part of the new strategy but by no means its sole element. I’ll also be implementing our corporate and business simplification process.

“In addition, I’m now responsible for our corporate communications and brand building, for our group of companies overall.”

Lorna will be assisted in her new post by Adrian Vaughan, acquisition manager, previously EVO’s credit control manager, who brings financial expertise to her team.

After attending law school, Lorna spent seven years with giant US law firm Sidley Austin, where she was a trainee solicitor and an associate in the corporate reorganisation team. She then joined Vasanta as legal counsel in 2012, assuming her previous role in 2016.

Describing her reaction on being asked to assume her new role, Lorna said: “I’m excited about not being a full-time lawyer anymore and am looking forward to making things happen and putting our plans into action.”    

News of Lorna’s appointment follows the announcement that Banner has furthered its key strategic goal of broadening its business beyond its traditional base of mainly large contract customers into the mid-market, by acquiring leading reseller Ventura Office Supplies, based in Bingley, West Yorkshire. The acquisition followed Banner’s purchase of Manchester-based WA Office Needs six months earlier, for similar reasons.   

Steve Haworth told the hundreds of resellers and suppliers attending VOW’s annual Green Light event in Birmingham last month that the EVO group of companies had been through significant change in the last three-to-five years, but now had a long-term management-led strategy, with sensible goals. He said the organisation was being supported on this journey by leading private equity investors Endless.

He said the EVO group of companies’ strategy meant it will continue to develop its range of products, brands, categories and sectors. It will accelerate this process through mergers and acquisitions, where they further its plans by taking it towards critical mass or adding important expertise in key expansion areas.


UK And Ireland's Largest Multi Channel Business Supplies And Services Distributors Strengthens Board

EVO Business Supplies Limited, the holding company of the EVO group of companies, the UK and Ireland’s largest multi-channel distributor of business supplies and services, has strengthened its board by appointing Ken Williamson a non-executive director.

Mr Williamson has significant successful senior level experience of merger and acquisition and financing work, as well as of general commercial affairs.  

He is currently chairman of Stoke-on-Trent based DW3 Products Group, a strategic investor in innovative, high growth manufacturing companies in the fenestration sector. The group is backed by north and midlands-based private equity specialists NorthEdge Capital.  

Earlier in his career, Mr Williamson was transactions director of energy recruitment specialists Air Energi, a consultant and acting chief finance officer for a Montagu Private Equity-backed management buy-out and a partner with Big Four accountancy practice Ernst & Young.

While at Air Energi, Mr Williamson led negotiations and structuring in the company’s merger with Swift Worldwide Resources. The pair in 2016 formed Airswift Holdings, an almost £1bn operator in over 50 countries, serving the technical manpower needs of energy supermajors.

Prior to that, Mr Williamson worked at Montagu Private Equity on their acquisition and subsequent carve out from banking group UBS of CEFS International, a business using cloud technologies to administer employee share participation programmes and related trading. The merged business was subsequently renamed Equatex.  

That experience followed Mr Williamson’s almost 17 years as a partner at Ernst & Young, where he built a leading reputation as a corporate finance advisor and sat on the management board for the transactions business as head of corporate finance for UK and Ireland.

Commenting on his appointment at EVO, Mr Williamson said: “I’m joining the board at a really interesting time. The EVO group of companies are a leading player, strategically well placed and performing strongly in a sector offering exciting opportunities through channel shift and ongoing consolidation.

“An important part of my role will involve supporting the management team as they look at a range of merger and acquisition and financing opportunities.”      

Welcoming Mr Williamson to the EVO board, Steve Haworth, Group Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted to have a senior and experienced professional with Ken’s background and expertise on the board. He’s certain to be a major and positive influence on our organisation as we continue to exploit current opportunities and take advantage of new openings in the years ahead.”

The Sheffield-based EVO group of companies was formed in 2014 through a merger of two business supplies groups, Vasanta and office2office. The EVO group of companies provides sourcing, storage and fulfilment services to over 50,000 resellers, corporate clients and public- sector organisations through its two main trading companies: VOW, the leading business products and facilities supplies wholesaler, with a network of over 2,000 resellers, and Banner, a major workplace supplies and service provider to the private and public sectors.  


Leading Wholesaler VOW And Dealer Group Integra Present Major Charity With £3,000

Leading business products and facilities supplies wholesaler VOW and dealer group Integra Business Solutions have presented major charity Cancer Research UK with £3,000.

VOW, part of the EVO Group, raised funds during a six-month campaign promoting its exclusive brands to Integra members, marking the dealer group’s 20th anniversary, whilst    Integra organised a charity raffle and auction.   

The wholesaler’s campaign included raising funds at its exhibition stand during Integra’s national conference, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon. There, Integra’s gala dinner saw the charity raffle bring-in an additional £2,000 and former England footballer and manager Kevin Keegan auctioning a signed shirt, raising £550.

Andrew Tsierkezou, VOW dealer group director, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Integra’s big-hearted members and key partners, who have given so generously to a great cause.”

Providing Integra’s reaction to the fundraising, Aidan McDonough, chief executive officer, said: “I would like to personally thank all of our members and key partners who attended our national conference and who donated to this fantastic cause. Thank-you also to VOW for organising its campaign to help support us in our 20th year and helping us to support Cancer Research UK.”

Cancer Research UK is the world’s largest independent research charity for the disease. It conducts investigations into the illness’s prevention, diagnosis and treatment in institutes, universities and hospitals across the UK. These are undertaken both by its own employees and grant-funded researchers.

The organisation also provides information about cancer and runs campaigns aimed at raising awareness of the disease and influencing public policy. Cancer Research UK’s work is almost entirely funded by the public. It raises money through donations, legacies, community fundraising, events, and retail or corporate partnerships. The charity has about 4,000 employees and over 40,000 regular volunteers.     

VOW now has 10 exclusive brands, containing products for workplaces and spanning all its product categories. These cover cleaning supplies, secure packaging and mailing solutions, till and machine rolls, catering essentials, office furniture, technology essentials, drywipe markers and highlighters, notebooks, storage solutions and ergonomic products.

The brands, year-on-year sales of which rose by 40 per cent in the first six months of 2017, comprise not only offerings unavailable from other wholesalers but for which there is often no real alternative elsewhere in VOW’s product range too.         


VOW Reports 25 Per Cent Average Monthly Sales Growth Of First Furniture Range

VOW is reporting 25 per cent average month-on-month growth in sales of its exclusive First furniture range during the half-year following its launch in May.  

The UK’s largest business products and facilities supplies wholesaler, a member of the EVO Group, says the figure was achieved thanks to bumper sales during September and October.

First range, intended to provide an unsurpassed combination of quality and value, now contains more than 170 products. Elements include desking, storage and seating suitable for multiple office environments, plus items for reception, bistro and breakout areas.

The range will be further boosted in January, with the launch of a selection of steel products, including tambours, cupboards, pedestals and filing cabinets.

Those steel products: are available in various colours, such as cupboards in grey or white and filing cabinets in grey, white, black, or coffee and cream; are suitable for both A4 and foolscap filing; have 100 per cent drawer extension, to ensure maximum usability; are fitted with an anti-tilt mechanism to ensure product and user safety; and come with component warranties lasting seven years on tambours, cupboards and filing cabinets, and five years on pedestals.

The steel items will be displayed to resellers attending VOW’s flagship annual Green Light event, which takes place on 7 December at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel. Registrations so far indicate a record attendance at this year’s event, where VOW Interiors, the service providing resellers with furniture solutions, will take centre stage in the exhibition.

VOW’s full furniture range of over 1,400 products is reinforced by the company’s service. This includes a uniquely late deadline of 4.30pm by which customers can place orders for next day delivery to the vast majority of UK locations.

In addition, training and support is available from Matt Allaby, the company’s furniture business development manager, and the delivery and installation service – provided by trained, specialist fitters – includes full packaging removal, product cleaning and tutoring on the furniture’s functionality, if required.   

Vanessa Warne, VOW category director for furniture, said: “The excellent sales figures aren’t surprising as they match the typical feedback we receive when speaking with our resellers.   

“The majority of those that have engaged with the new First range have sales growth figures with VOW which far surpass current market growth.”

Vanessa said resellers were increasingly recognising VOW was investing time and money into offering an improved and extremely competitive proposition, which met their customers’ needs.

She said: “Our feedback indicates most resellers now see us as almost unrecognisable, in aspects such as products, price and service, from 12 to 18 months ago and understand queries about our deliveries today are rare. They also apparently appreciate that in First range we’ve unveiled a winning package and they can trust us with more of their furniture business in the future.”


Vernon Kay To Appear At VOW Green Light Event, Which Will Be 'Biggest And Best Yet'

Top TV presenter and radio DJ Vernon Kay is to appear at this year’s VOW Green Light event, which the company says will be “the biggest and best yet.”

The UK and Ireland’s largest business products and facilities supplies wholesaler, part of the EVO Group, will stage the gathering, the annual high point of its events calendar, on 7 December in Birmingham’s Hilton Metropole hotel.

Vernon – a former model best known for hosting ITV shows Family Fortunes, Beat the Star and Splash! – will present awards recognising outstanding suppliers, products and resellers at Green Light’s gala dinner. He will also compère a game, based on Family Fortunes, involving teams of resellers, and deliver a DJ set at the after-show party.      

The gathering will additionally include a conference and an exhibition of suppliers’ products.

VOW says reseller registrations to attend this year’s Green Light already equal 90 per cent of last year’s total, with the event still two weeks away. Over 400 reseller representatives and 70 exhibitors are expected to attend.

Adrian Butler, VOW managing director, explained: “The conference will have the theme Expect More and will outline ways in which we’ll enhance our service to resellers in 2018. Green Light will also cover key initiatives we’ve undertaken this year, in areas such as delivering innovation, creating opportunities for resellers and improving their experience of dealing with us, as we’ve progressed towards our aim of becoming a world class wholesaler.”     

The gathering will also be addressed by external speakers Nigel Risner and Geoff Ramm.

Nigel is the sole motivational orator in Europe to have been awarded the Speaker of the Year accolade by business leader development specialists The Academy for Chief Executives, the Executive Committee and Vistage, plus commercial execution software experts Footdown. He is one of only six UK-based recipients of the Award of Excellence from the Professional Speaking Association.

Adrian said: “Nigel’s Green Light address, entitled How to Create Impact for You and Your Team, will challenge attendees to expand their horizons, embrace opportunities that await them and aim to have them dreaming of achievements which may have seemed impossible before.”   

Geoff is the creator of business concepts Celebrity Service and OMG Marketing. He has been acclaimed as an expert in devising highly successful marketing ideas and designing memorable customer experiences. In addition to providing entertainment, his presentations aim to make audiences engaged and leave inspired.

Adrian said: “Geoff will ask the audience whether, when their competition goes in one direction, they follow or head the other way.

“Making the point that, to become memorable, they must stand out from the competition, he’ll tell the audience how to market their businesses, so customers think of them not only the next time they’re looking to order but in 30 days, 30 months or even 30 years.”

Adrian said places at this year’s Green Light were being taken fast, so potential attendees should register now, to ensure they avoided missing a memorable experience.

He added: “There’s no doubt this year’s event will be the biggest and best yet and we can’t wait for it to come around.”   

Resellers interested in attending should visit www.greenlightevent.com.   

This year’s gathering will be sponsored by backers including office product manufacturer Acco Brands, consumer goods maker BIC, multinational conglomerate 3M, filing products manufacturer ExaClair, speciality packaging and envelope provider Bong and transnational food and drink supplier Nestlé and many more.


VOW Reports Many Positive Re-Seller Reactions To Southern Furniture Range Launch

VOW is reporting many positive reactions from resellers who attended the southern launch of its exclusive First office furniture range.

The UK’s largest business products and facilities supplies wholesaler, part of the EVO Group, staged the event at Allianz Park, Hendon, north London, the home of Saracens rugby union club. The day included a new sub-range of steel furniture being unveiled.  

Forty-five resellers in the VOW Venture enhanced partner accreditation programme attended the interactive event.  

Intended to provide an unsurpassed combination of quality and value, First range contains more than 170 products, covering 85 per cent of all furniture enquiries VOW receives from resellers. Elements include desking, storage and seating suitable for multiple office environments, plus items for reception, bistro and breakout areas.

The range encompasses both established VOW offerings, which have had their prices reduced to fit its affordability principle, and new products, including a selection of steel tambours, cupboards, pedestals and filing cabinets.

Those steel products: are available in various colours, such as cupboards in grey or white and filing cabinets in grey, white, black, or coffee and cream; are suitable for both A4 and foolscap filing; have 100 per cent drawer extension, to ensure maximum usability; are fitted with an anti-tilt mechanism, to ensure product and user safety; and come with component warranties lasting seven years on tambours, cupboards and filing cabinets, and five years on pedestals.

Reacting to the southern launch, attendee Paddy Dobbin, of Suffolk based Compleat Office Solutions said: The event was more than I anticipated. The format worked really well, with the interactive sessions, and it was great to see the quality of the products, discuss with the specialists and receive feedback directly. 

“Overall, it was an excellent day and my colleague and I feel well informed of what is available in terms of VOW’s service and offering.  What’s more, the event provided a great networking opportunity with other dealers.

“VOW is now an unrecognisable company, in terms of price and service for the furniture range, compared to 12 to 18 months ago.  I very rarely receive queries regarding our deliveries today.” 

Jamie Bloomer, of Northampton-based Halcyon Office Solutions, said the VOW team clearly understood the challenges of supplying furniture to a multi-channel customer base and have unveiled a winning package.

He said: “The event was informative and delivered with passion. We now look forward to working with a great and enthusiastic team.”

Dana Whitehouse, of BOS Sales (Office Equipment), based in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, said: “It’s great to know that VOW is investing time and money into offering us an improved and extremely competitive furniture proposition. I feel increasing confidence after meeting the team that I could trust VOW with more of my furniture business in the future.”

First range, all of whose elements have guarantees, ranging from two to five years, and on which bundle and volume deals are available, is reinforced by VOW’s service. This includes a uniquely late deadline of 4.30pm by which customers can place orders for next day delivery to the vast majority of UK locations, and free carriage for orders worth over £250.

In addition, training and support is available from Matt Allaby, VOW’s furniture business development manager, and the delivery and installation service – provided by trained, specialist furniture fitters – includes full packaging removal, product cleaning and tutoring on the furniture’s functionality, if required.   

Resellers attending the southern launch, who could touch and feel First range’s elements, heard presentations from VOW furniture category director Vanessa Warne and Matt Allaby. The event also featured a market update from Dan Wooler, managing director of Bristol-based furniture reseller TC Group, which operates the outsourcing service for VOW and online resellers.

The schedule additionally included presentations from two VOW suppliers: business machine, record storage and office accessory manufacturer Fellowes; and science-based technology company 3M.  

Summarising the event, Vanessa Warne said: “It was a great day. First range, including our new steel lines, was extremely well received and resellers were impressed by the high quality of the products, underpinned by our range of services and next day delivery as standard.

“Resellers reported that they walked away with some new ideas that would immediately benefit them when speaking with their customers. We’re now planning many more interactive events over the coming months.”