Working with manufacturers and suppliers ‘is a two-way street’, says Parkgate Mobility

Tracy Simmons, business manager, Parkgate Mobility

One of the UK’s most substantial mobility retailers, Parkgate Mobility, has stressed that dealers have an important role to play in the relationship between supplier and distributor and that it should not be treated as a one-way street.

Parkgate’s 15 retail outlets and customer base, which comprises of well over 200 Motability clients, along with its buying power makes it a prime location for suppliers.

But when it comes to choosing stockists business manager Tracy Simmons knows it is vital to continually work hard to ensure a pristine relationship with manufacturers.

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“I think there are two types of people — people that bring you problems and people that take problems away. We want people that take problems away and I think we’re one of those dealers,” he said.

“It’s a two-way street and it’s not always about screwing manufacturers down to the last penny. We don’t mind paying a little bit more but we want good service, we want parts when we ask for them and we want good support and training.”

When buying a product for his stores, Simmons has a number of key points he considers. He asks why the Parkgate business needs to have the product, how it fits into the current range, what the profit margin is going to be and indeed what the profit margin would be on alternative products.

Simmons outlined: “When we go to trade shows it’s got to be something special to get into the catalogue. Warranty returns, for example. We know reliability rates on different brands of scooters because we’ve measured it and we know that that particular scooter breaks down under warranty 20% of the time. We know we’re going to have to go out to repair one in five of those.”

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