Next year sees Mark Vitow Limited celebrating its 30th anniversary and during the course of the past three decades the UK distributor of plumbing and heating products has grown from a relatively small operation into a flourishing business with a turnover of around £7.5m. Having recently secured an exclusive distribution deal with HVAC component specialist, Flamco, the company is now primed for even more growth in the months ahead.
“Flamco created a new domestic division in the UK with John Lynch as Sales Director, so were looking for a distribution partner to drive their quality products into the independent merchant marketplace,” explains James Cranham, Product Director. “With our national coverage and next day delivery service, we were an attractive proposition for Flamco, as we’re so well placed to improve their access to key customers. Having put an agreement together, we’re now looking forward to working with them in order to grow the mutual benefits for both businesses.”
This forward-thinking approach, built on the strong infrastructure that Mark Vitow has developed since its incorporation in 1989, has been a key factor behind the company’s ongoing progress. “It was created using very little initial capital by Mark Vitow and his son, Brandon, as a family business and it remains so to this day,” adds Mr Cranham. “From originally specialising in just a single private label product – a pipe freeze spray – over the years the business has grown organically to the extent that we now stock over 3,000 products that can be delivered the next day, making us a truly unique proposition within the industry. In addition to UK branded products, we can also offer our own Mark Vitow brand and sub-branded products including Korona, Flushdaddy, Jaxikit and Firemaster, all of which offer affordable quality, easy installation and strong reputations within the trade.”
The extensive nature of Mark Vitow’s product range and its quality is enabling the company to build ever stronger momentum with the business on track to achieve 26 per cent growth in 2018. This follows other notable achievements in recent years, such as the creation of supply agreements with various buying groups including Fortis, H&B, IPG, PHG & PHIL, as well as the addition of key supply partners. To support this expansion, Managing Director, Matthew Phillips, has recently secured the appointments of Tony Swift as Sales Director and James Cranham as Product Director.
Tony’s 40 years of industry sales experience with leading brands is invaluable in supporting the 10 person sales team in achieving their challenging targets.
James’s experience centres around over 10 years of commercial category management with Wolesley UK- building strong relationships with many of the leading brands in the industry.
“The foundation for the growth we’re now seeing has been based primarily on the infrastructure that Matthew Phillips, our Managing Director, has put in place. As we’ve demonstrated with Flamco, we’ve been able to attract a number of market-leading brands that have helped to further strengthen our overall offering to customers. Our mission statement is based on providing quality, value and unbeatable service to the plumbing and heating sector through our own brand, market-leading and innovative products. Essentially the goal is to become the leading independent supplier to the heating, plumbing and DIY sector. Of course there is always competition but we’re definitely moving in the right direction, particularly as we’re able to offer quality products and service with affordability. This is allowing us to achieve the strong rate of growth that we’re currently seeing.”
Again strong relationships with its supply chain are enabling Mark Vitow to maximise its growth potential. Another example has been a strategic distribution partnership that it put in place with FloPlast at the beginning of the year. “They are currently number three in the plastic drainage products marketplace and are proving to be another great growth engine for us. We’ve also secured similar arrangements with PipeLife and Adey within the past six months and we’re really pleased with how these types of agreement are working out for us. They’ve played a crucial role in the organic growth that we’ve enjoyed.
“The key has been to continually keep moving to the next level, which is absolutely vital in what is such a competitive sector. The challenge is keeping pace with the rest of the marketplace to ensure that we can maintain the same rate of growth. One particularly integral aspect of this objective has been our stock holding capabilities and as a consequence we’ve invested significantly in this area to ensure high levels of availability. This, combined with our affordability, makes us a great proposition for the likes of housing associations and local authorities, where value is even more important due to budgetary pressures. This is therefore proving to be another fantastic growth opportunity for us.”
By ticking so many boxes in terms of affordability, quality and service, Mark Vitow can rightly look forward to its 30th anniversary year with every confidence. “For the next 12 months we’re aiming to achieve significant growth because of the strength of our offering,” concludes Mr Cranham. “At the heart of everything we do are the principles that have served us so well since 1989, namely our emphasis on customer service. At the same time, we’re committed to continually strengthening our range by adding high quality products that meet the needs of the marketplace. We have every intention of adding further leading brands to our portfolio in the coming months.”
With such a highly ingrained commitment to quality and service it looks like Mark Vitow will have plenty more to celebrate in the future in addition to its 30th anniversary.