- On 31/10/2019
By Andy Moore, Head of Finance, Vinyl Solutions
I joined the Vinyl Solutions team in the summer, and wanted to give my first impressions of Vinyl Solutions, the Holiday Park and decking industries and the great opportunities that lie ahead for the business.
Since joining the team I have been very impressed by the strength of the Vinyl Solutions brand in the industry. We have been operating in the holiday park industry for nearly 20 years and have an established reputation but what has become most evident to me is how Ben Hart and the team are really living by the brand values.
Another thing that has become very evident in my short time in the business is the dedication from the whole team, operating with professionalism and integrity. These are often values that are taken for granted – but in such a competitive industry this is such a key part of Vinyl Solutions’ success and something that our holiday park operator partners appreciate.
Customers need to be ‘wowed’
The holiday park industry is very competitive with many operators and suppliers attempting to provide the best possible experience and products for their customers. In some ways, it’s not that different to many industries – the need to supply great products and customer service.
The holiday park industry is all about consumers needing and expecting to be wowed and delighted. As they are spending their hard-earned money on a lifestyle and leisure choice, these expectations are even higher. This appears to drive customer service to an even greater level or expectation than can be seen in some other industries.
The current level of consolidation and inward investment by venture capitalists and private equity houses is undoubtedly a good thing for driving growth and a superior product in the industry. What is important is to ensure that this doesn’t potentially drive the supply-side market to become all about bottom-line, at the detriment of service levels and product quality.
The decking market specifically is very competitive, which inevitably leads to price-pressures. Whilst this is healthy, there is always a risk that pricing becomes crazy and service levels and quality starts slipping…giving the entire desking industry a bad name! This is something we’re determined to prevent because, whilst price is of course still a key factor, it’s not the only purchasing decider – with quality and service levels becoming even more important.
The challenge and opportunity for all operators within our industry is trying to constantly improve that level of service.
Having a customer-focussed team
Another thing that has impressed me since joining the Vinyl Solutions team is how the entire team always does their best for the customer – all the way through from our sales team to our installers.
With a good mix of long-standing employees with great experience and knowledge of the industry and newer team members brining in new fresh ideas – clearly Ben has built a team that have a key shared value – being customer-focussed. This has become immediately apparent to me and is also something our customers are starting to see, and I’m delighted to be part of it!
Exciting opportunities ahead
It is a very exciting time for the business, and I’m delighted to have joined Vinyl Solutions when there are so many opportunities that lie ahead.
The business has seen a period of change and continued growth over the past 4 years but I believe this is just the beginning. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, it has become clear to me early on how our brand values, professional and customer-focussed approach has been keen to our success. This is becoming even more evident as we continue to gain preferred supplier status with existing customers (such as Parkdean Resorts earlier in the year) and also new Park Operator partners such as Cosgrove more recently – clearly our proven track record for customer-service is helping us retain and make those new supplier partnerships.
This year the business has also invested in new team members, infrastructure and partnerships in order to help gain a greater market share in geographical areas that weren’t historically covered.
Continuous improvement mind-set
As we look ahead to our plans for next year, having a ‘continuous improvement’ mind-set is very much front and centre. We are continually looking at how we operate, our processes and systems to become more effective and efficient when delivering a great service for our customers. This also includes looking at ensuring we have the right level and quality analysis to inform our business decisions going forward.
We’re also reviewing and developing new products with our suppliers to continue to provide new and innovative decking solutions. It is key for us to keep improving across all areas, and developing our well-respected range of products will also be key to this.
There are no shortage of opportunities and these are all areas in my new role that I very much look forward to working on with Ben and the team as we continually look to grow and continue to ‘wow’ our customers!