Being new to the holiday park and decking industry when I joined the business, it has been a steep learning curve getting up to speed with how the industry operates. One thing that has become very clear though is, as with many industries, it’s about building strong and meaningful relationships and partnerships.
On a day to day basis I’m constantly visiting holiday parks, not only meeting existing customers, but introducing myself to new parks. Visiting regularly is really helping me to gain a deeper understanding of the parks we work with – and most importantly understanding their challenges – so we can make it as easy as possible for them to write new business.
Of course, it’s not just about regularly meeting our park customers, you need to build trust. Trust only comes by continually delivering on your promises – doing what you are say you are going to do – and this is what we’ve constantly striving to do. For whatever reason, if we fail to deliver or there is a customer service issue it is critical that we follow these up quickly and efficiently.
I continue to serve a number of our parks, visiting on a weekly or bi-weekly basis – and this remains my main priority. Providing a quick, consistent and quality service to our parks is critical to me and to Vinyl Solutions as a whole.
It’s not only important for us to have good relationships with the individual parks we work with, we’re continually looking to develop broader partnerships with the park operators at a national level.
Along with our Managing Director, Ben Hart, we are continually looking to work with and support our park operator partners at a head office level. This can only be done by listening. We’re spending more time with the senior management teams at our park operator head offices to listen to the challenges they are experiencing and helping to address those challenges where we can.
Building on our partnerships is not only helping support our customers and enabling us to provide a better service to them – it is also helping us develop new opportunities. One example of this is the partnership we had with Parkdean Resorts earlier in the year for “This Morning Live”.
In May, Vinyl Solutions were given the fantastic opportunity to partner with Parkdean Resorts on a competition they were running at the “This Morning Live” exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham. Parkdean Resorts were giving away a luxury home lodge, complete with a Vinyl Solutions deck and a hot tub to one lucky competition winner.
This event proved hugely successful for both Parkdean Resorts and Vinyl Solutions, with many visitors to the show and competition entries. It also appeared on national TV with Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby being filmed live on our deck from the show. A great bit of coverage for Parkdean Resorts and us, but also the holiday park industry as a whole.
We’re really keen to build on the successes of this and are actively looking for more opportunities to help raise the profile of our industry in the UK.
As well as concentrating on our core business and partnerships, we also recognised that some of our park operators have many parks are in regions that are not being serviced by Vinyl Solutions to a level that we might like. As an approved installer to these partners, it makes sense to look at the opportunity for Vinyl Solutions to grow our business in these areas.
Working closely with our approved installers in the North East (Northumbria, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire), we identified personnel that could act as Regional Account Managers for Vinyl Solutions in those regions for a trial period. This trial period is still in its early days and we’re making introductions and looking to build those relationships in these new regions – but we hope that it will better enable us to support our partners in all regions eventually.
As with any business, although we’ve come a long way in terms or providing the best possible product and service that we can for our customers. We’re constantly looking to build on this. This starts by ensuring we employ the right people, with the right skills, values and attitude to help our customers. The team has grown significantly over the past 18 months and this is being done to help better service our customers. Having the right people in the business to do this is critical.
Not only that, we’re also continually improving our processes and systems to make this possible. We continue to invest in our business and IT infrastructure to help provide a better service to our customers.
As a business, we will continue on this journey and strive to be the best at what we do – providing a quality product and service to our holiday park operator partners and their customers.
By Ben Hart, Managing Director