Deputy Editor Tom Hogarth spoke to Lyndon Johnson, Commercial Director at Buildbase, to find out what the company’s new Plumbingbase division is offering its customers.
Buildbase operates behind the idea that it wants to be the ultimate one stop shop for its customers, and the launch of Plumbingbase last year is just the latest part of that strategy.
Lyndon said: “When I say ‘one stop shop’, I mean a genuine one stop shop. And, what I mean by that is that some of our peers have the same offerings as we do, but we genuinely have it as you walk through one door. So, Hirebase, Electricbase, Buildbase, our showroom offer etc. You walk through one door and it’s there.”
It isn’t blindly led either. Buildbase cares about what its customer wants, and it uses data analysis to make sure it knows what that is. According to customer insight conducted ahead of the Plumbingbase launch, there was the opportunity to reach 15,000 customers that trade with Buildbase and could buy plumbing and heating but don’t.
The company used that data to target the 44 branches where it launched Plumbingbase, and will continue to use in-depth data analysis to make sure it is providing the right products for those customers in the right amounts and in the right places across the country.
An interesting example of this is in Buildbase’s contract with a housing provider in London.
Lyndon elaborated: “An example of that would be Clarion Housing in London, who are now Europe’s largest social housing provider. They’ve got 128,000 properties across the UK and Europe and we’ve picked up a five-year deal with them for a significant number of their properties, to manage the repairs and maintenance through a managed van stocks solution.
"Part of that process is plumbing and heating, because they’ll go to properties and need lots of ball valves and fittings and that kind of stuff. So we’ve decided to put a Plumbingbase in Kingston, which is the centre point of a lot of their properties. So that can dictate geography as well for us.”
The 600 plumbing and heating product lines now available to customers are managed by a new dedicated category manager, and expert members of staff are available in every Plumbingbase location to assist customers with anything they need, a key part of the one stop shop mentality for the company.
Lyndon said: “If you don’t have people that know one end of a condensing boiler from the other end of a thermistor then you’re going to struggle.”
When HVP spoke to Lyndon, the Plumbingbase division had been up and running for over three months and, in the plumbing and heating product areas, the company saw an incredible 17% rise in sales.
This can only rise as the customer base dictates the product offering through their purchasing habits.
For instance, Buildbase already plans to answer the calls of many of its customers to introduce a boiler spares offering within Plumbingbase, especially during a time when so many low-quality and untrustworthy spare parts are flooding the market.
The company hopes to solve that issue for their customers by making it easy for them to source high quality, reliable boiler spares when they need them.
Buildbase believes it has achieved the one stop shop offering for their customers, and will continue to adapt and develop this offering with constant improvements based on what their customers are doing, as well as what they’re asking for.
The next piece in that puzzle is continuing to develop its online component to make sure customers can get the assistance they need as well as ordering products on the go.
Live chat and expert appointment functions are just the tip of that iceberg as Buildbase strives toward being the ultimate one stop shop.