As the return to work gathers pace, Mila’s National Sales Manager, Julie Holmes, is appealing to fabricators to talk to their suppliers as much as they can so that they can deliver the kind of support which will make the biggest difference.
She says: “Mila has been phoning and emailing customers regularly to find out exactly what they need from us in terms of stock, lead times, deliveries and sales and marketing support to help them through the crisis.
“The feedback we are getting is helping us to manage our resource in house so that we can make sure we have the right number of staff available and can work out where to focus our efforts. We’ve been encouraged at how quickly the demand has increased from such a standing start and we’re grateful to customers for keeping us up to date, because it’s meant we’ve been able to get people back in our sales office quickly to keep orders on track.
“We’ve also reduced our minimum order value directly in response to customers who asked for our help in completing orders from before the lockdown, and we’ve switched to 48-hour deliveries because that is what customers have told is the most appropriate option for now.
“As things move forward though, we are planning new digital solutions across sales and marketing, and we want customers to tell us how useful they would be so that we can tailor our approach.”
She adds: “The Coronavirus crisis has shown us all just how interdependent we are in this industry and the mantra throughout has been that ‘we are all in this together’. The vast majority of suppliers really do want to help, and I think if fabricators talk openly and share their experiences and expectations with us, then they will undoubtedly see the benefits.”
Mila plans to survey customers over the coming weeks to gauge the level of demand across the whole market so that it can ensure optimum stock availability moving forward, and will be sharing those results with customers so that they can gear up their own businesses to match the shape of the likely recovery.
Julie adds: “Customers rightly have very high expectations of Mila and I’d like to think we’ve lived up to those throughout this crisis so far. We’ve done all we can in terms of offering useful advice and practical support and we’ve been praised for that, but we know the most challenging times are still to come. We are determined to continue delivering market leading product availability and customer service and I hope our customers will help us to do that.”