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INDUSTRYNEWS THE JOHN WEST PRINCIPLE


There may be strength in numbers for any organisation but not if it is at the expense of standards, says John Ogilvie of Network VEKA.


There was a famous advert slogan years ago that simply declared: “It’s the fish John West reject that make John West the best!”


Not wishing to draw too close a comparison but that proclamation of quality over volume is one with which the public can immediately identify – and one we have lived by since our very beginning.


True, we have not been slow to boast each new membership milestone we have reached along the way, including our current all-time record number of members. But at the same time, we are equally proud to have remained relatively exclusive while holding on to our strict standards. This is because we know that without those standards – and our clear communication of them to the consumer – we are nothing.


The biggest differentiator we have in the entire


industry is that the public know we are sincere about what we say, so they know exactly what they are getting, even from a member they have never met.


We have grown as a result of the specific benefits we offer our members, from our national consumer advertising with Steve Davis and extensive marketing support, to our free, lead generation, group-buying deals and, more recently, the Assure self-certification scheme. We believe the Network VEKA offering is the strongest and most comprehensive in the industry today.


Members also know they are part of an


independent group where they all have a say in its running and where even the guarantee offering is on a strictly not-for-profit basis with no shareholders to rake off profits or dividends.


There is one truly tiny statistic of which we are rightly proud – the number of complaints lodged against members. We recently tightened our membership parameters and have since seen significant reductions in drop-outs and suspensions. For the same reason, we have very few claims made on our guarantees so we have a considerable surplus to put back into the general marketing fund for the benefit of all members.


Yes, we are always on the lookout for recruits, especially in parts of the country where we are under-represented, and of course, economies of scale apply to us as they do to everyone else. But we will remain as steadfastly selective as ever – both in the standards we set and applicants we reject – and continue that same steady organic growth without compromise that has served us so well for 15 years.


So, if I could be forgiven for returning to maritime metaphors – there are NOT plenty of


Six million households see Network VEKA’s glossy magazine ads Clearview NMS « April 2011 « www.clearview-uk.com » 71 John Ogilvie


fish in the sea for Network VEKA - and we will certainly not be trawling the depths to find them.


WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?


Network VEKA claims a formidable array of benefits for members, including:


• High-recognition national branding with imagery and endorsement of Steve Davis


• Powerful national advertising to six million households via national press and glossy lifestyle magazines.


• Ongoing lead generation with currently 600 quality leads a month passed out to members completely free of charge





Industry-leading marketing materials including stunning bespoke literature plus van and showroom visuals – all proclaiming Network VEKA’s ‘peace of mind’ message


• Access to attractive consumer finance packages


• Network VEKA’s own ‘Assure’ self- certification scheme for installers in England and Wales


• Advertising support and advice for targeted campaigns, letter-drops, mail-outs etc


• PR support with press releases, advertorials and national consumer product placements


• Group buying deals: not only discounts from approved associate suppliers but also many extended warranties


• Specially negotiated prices on more than 100,000 product lines at any Travis Perkins branch as well as dedicated services such as tool hire and brick matching and TP’s Call-Collect service, which means any local branch will have its stocked goods and paperwork ready for collection in less than two working hours


In return, members must uphold the


organisation’s strict standards including training, use of materials, sourcing of fabricators, Building and Fire Regulations etc.


They must submit to the organisation’s routine installation audits and Customer Satisfaction Survey, and expect disciplinary action if they fall below accepted standards.


Most importantly, they must offer every customer, at no additional cost, Network VEKA’s own package of insurance-backed guarantees.


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