report to them,” Johns says. Those branches will be run by quality managers who have a degree of flexibility and freedom to build local relationships and make sure that they are able to deliver on the service. “They will manage the stocks, pricing, logistics and providing customers with the service those customers need, but within a framework. The new platform was created to bring the organisation back into that way of doing business whilst at the same time embracing modern method of doing businesses and technologies.” SIG operates in areas ranging from roofing, drylining, interiors, technical insulation, fire protection, structural insulants and construction accessories to fixings; a myriad of products which require people who have specialist knowledge in each of those areas individually. “It’s the old adage that specialists like to deal with specialists and from a customer’s point of view they want to deal with people who understand what it is they want. In a business like ours, you need a blend of people who are specialists and people who are very good at dealing with customers in a general way,” Johns says.

The organisation is effectively getting back to operating along the lines of a local franchise- style model, with local responsibilities, local P&L centres and local

TV presenter Dan Walker interviewed md Phillip Johns (above) and the UK senior leadership team for the online broadcast, SIG Live.

accountability. “The strength of the business includes a fantastic footprint in terms of the locations and our capacity to delivery products in all of our sectors,” Johns says. “We are rebalancing the focus and looking at investment and growth rather than purely on cost reduction, improving efficiencies and driving down cost. Getting back to the traditional elements but embracing modern technology, so DTS and WMS are fundamental aspects of what we want to do. If I can go to a customer and say that we have a WMS that enables us to select products with barcodes, so warehouse people can get to products more quickly and significantly improve the accuracy of loading, increasing capacity of stock in our warehouses and showing our customers the percentage of full on time deliveries that we make, that will all enhance the whole customer experience. We can text customers when their order is going to arrive, we can tell them when it has arrived and we have that total transparency of quality in our service. I see that as enhancing the elements of what

we do as a local business.”

Other changes include merging the UK functions into one SIG UK. SIG Exteriors and Distribution retain their identity in the marketplace but share the back-office functions such as HR and finance. The next job is to redefine the structures within the divisions.

Communication strategy The message that SIG is back, refocussed and localised with empowered managers is getting out via strong marketing campaign which kicked off with SIG Live, an online televised broadcast event on July 16th, hosted by top TV journalist, Dan Walker and featuring interviews with the new board and even breakout sessions with different sectors, to which customers and suppliers were invited. “We are working hard on a communications plan to suppliers and customers, in addition to that it’s about empowering the salespeople to get in front of customers and talking to them about our plans. Part of that will be a very strong commitment towards service being very clear about the service we can offer customers. It has to start with great relationships and great service that’s what leads to success. So, we are making sure that we can supply both of those. All the way through the organisation whether that is the managing director, a branch manager or the external salesforce we will all be selling the message that SIG is ready to do business with them.”

Johns says he came back to SIG because he could see that it was an organisation moving in the right direction again. “Having spent so many years with SIG before, it’s a business I love, having the opportunity of getting back and putting it on track again is a huge privilege and something I am very passionate about doing.” BMJ

August 2020 27

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64