RS is well known for its respected online service, but it is also investing in its local branches to give customers a personal service
“Our customers are always telling us that one thing they love about RS is actually being able to come into a branch to make use of our local service,” says Mike England, President EMEA, RS. “They like to talk to people on a local level – they want to be able to bring their problems, and challenges to us and get our help.”
England is referring to one of RS’s unique selling points as an MRO supplier – its network of 16 local branches spread geographically around the UK. From these local sites, RS is able to distribute thousands of products on a same-day basis, support a click and collect service and provide over-the-counter sales. Each branch holds a carefully selected stock profile to match the needs of local customers.
"Customers like to talk to us on a local level – they want to be able to bring their problems, and challenges to us and get our help"Mike England, President EMEA, RS
Being able to access parts quickly is often a ‘life saver’ for customers, explains England. “Our local branches stock thousands of products and customers are able to place an order online and if the product is in stock, it will be ready to collect in 15 minutes. We had a recent case where TATA Steel urgently required a Scopemeter to analyse a machine that had broken down,” recalls England. “They contacted their Key Account Manager at RS who put an order in with the local branch when it opened and within an hour he had collected and delivered directly to the customer.”
RS has been investing in its bricks and mortar local branches, and Mike England believes that these are crucial to RS’s offering over the coming years.
“We are on a really exciting journey to modernise and invest in our RS Local environment,” says England. “Over the course of the past year we have opened new local branches in Bermondsey and Heathrow. Local branches in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Southampton and South Wales have been refurbished and a refurbishment plan is in place for the rest of our branch network. Our new and refurbished local branches are ideal for engineers, buyers and design engineers to learn about our latest innovations, technology, products and applications.
In addition to this, RS Local branches can also help customers to streamline their ordering process. Organisations can make use of kitting (building multiple RS parts into a single bespoke kit with special packaging and an individual customer part number) or consolidated delivery (multiple orders consolidated into one delivery) along with call-off inventory (stock held for a specific customer’s demand and paid for on usage).
"We are on a really exciting journey to modernise our RS Local environment"Mike England, President EMEA, RS
And this is just the beginning – Mike England explains that there are plenty more improvements planned to RS Local’s service in the future: “Striking the right balance between the digital experience and the human touch for customers is an approach which allows us to give a great customer experience” says England. “We’re really excited about the RS Local journey that we’re on."