How we helped Furlong Flooring develop their brand values and give their employees and customers a sense of what it’s like to work with Furlong.
We were looking to develop our brand values and give our employees and customers a sense of ‘What it’s like to work with Furlong’. The desire was there but the early planning was very limited. After speaking to KPC, we realised it’s about far more than just saying something – you have to get your people to believe in it and pass that clear message onto your customers.
Mike Symonds, Managing Director, Furlong Flooring
"Are we in a much better place now than we were when we started 18 months ago? Absolutely. That’s what’s so good about working with KPC – we know what we want, but we don’t have the time to stop and plan it ourselves; we need the expertise, experience and time that KPC can give us to turn our thoughts into something practical and achievable.
I had been MD for six months before we started working with KPC. As soon as I started, there were lots of different challenges – the biggest challenge being that there were lots of different teams, who were only pulling in the same direction because they were being told to do it, rather than believing in what they were doing. So our first job was to set up our Joint Consultative Committee, which has employee members from all parts of the business, to address some of those internal issues and that’s been a real starting point for where we are now.
I knew I could add value to this business, but I didn’t realise how much there was to do in terms of the culture. I felt that everything needed to change – from the warehouse processes to improving the stock strategy – every area needed looking at.
There are only so many hours in the day, so working with KPC on the internal communications, customer-facing strategy and messaging and the refreshed sales strategy has helped to take away some of the challenges in that whole process. I wouldn’t class myself as a visionary, but I had a plan for my part of the business, and I found that there were some gaps that needed working on. And we want to bring the whole organisation round to a freer way of thinking – so that rather than change what was happening in just a single location, the whole business can get on board.
I think I would have done this piece of work eventually, but because I’m involved in the day-to-day nitty gritty of the business, it would have taken many more years to get things on track. We didn’t have that time – and it wouldn’t have been as comprehensive as it has been with KPC’s involvement. Without them putting the structure in place and having the skills to deliver all the things we need, we just wouldn’t have got it done and we wouldn’t be in the very positive position we are.
KPC really listens to us – they’re very perceptive, so they take in everything we say and dig deep to understand the way our customers are thinking, and what’s encouraging them to buy – or what their barriers to buying from us might be. They use their experience, and skills to concentrate on developing a strategy and then delivering what we need. That partnership and blend of skills is the essence of why it’s been a success so far.
I’ve got a strong sense of what I want this business to be – and that’s informed by places I’ve worked in the past and what I would want as an employee and as a customer of this type of business. I want to take the very best experiences from all those different perspectives and apply them to Furlong so that it really is a great company to work with and for.
We’ve developed a stronger understanding of what makes a great Furlong team member, we can recruit more easily because we know what we want, and we know what works for us. I want the people who work here to feel they are working for the best business in the industry and for our customers to absolutely know they have a supplier they can trust and rely on to deliver what they need for their own businesses.
Working with KPC has allowed us to be bolder with what we say, and have the strategy and planning behind us to be able to take that message consistently to all our customers. Our partnership has significantly reduced the time-frames within which we would have otherwise achieved this change. It’s transformed the confidence and ability of our management team to be able to promote the messages to our customers and elsewhere in the business, and it’s given us a clear pathway to communicating internally and externally, which is so important to our future success.
Through working with Deborah and the team, I have improved my capabilities as an MD and as someone leading a bigger business – there is always more to be learned and more work to be done, but we are already a better business working in a better environment. We know that this may take time, but we are committed to getting it right first time and KPC is making sure we do that."
Mike Symonds, Managing Director, Furlong Flooring
Like all our work with Furlong Flooring, aligning the sales strategy is an ongoing process. Working as a key part of the team, we’re using our experience and insights to inform and influence a long-term business strategy that will put the company in the strongest possible position in its target markets.