Whilst 2020 brought with it new challenges for the whole industry, UK-based ARK Group of companies used the time to invest significantly in new products, warehouse space, as well as communication and connectivity to improve customer experience.
Steve Auld, managing director at ARK Group of Companies, explains: “We have delivered on plans to provide more end-to-end support to fastener distributors selling the ARK brand of riveting products, in a time where this is needed more than ever. We have made factory investments in new tooling, new machines, finished stock, and automated warehousing, and have seen improvements made in the supply chain process during one of the most challenging trading years to date. This has given more visibility of stock, which has resulted in providing more confidence to our ARK customers.”
The increased warehousing space developed at the factory in 2020 has seen an installation of 800 pallet locations, as well as an increase in UK warehousing space of 200 pallet locations. This means there is now a total of 1,800 pallet locations dedicated to the ARK brand of riveting products.
“This has allowed us to introduce new products during 2020, which have attracted new fastener distributors to the ARK brand. The team are pleased to report this has resulted in a record number of new accounts being opened during 2020,” mentions Steve.
ARK’s introduction of specialised riveting products complements distributors that are selling to a number of markets such as construction products, railway OEM build and MRO service centres, medical equipment, as well as retail display systems.
“All ARK products have been tested by specialist engineers, with direct approvals being obtained to specify the ARK product. This provides fastener distributors with continuity of demand and supply via the ARK Master Distributors based in the UK. During a time where new challenges have arisen, ARK has brought peace of mind to new and existing customers when it has been needed most.”
The ARK associated tooling range has also been expanded to support ARK branded riveting products, with the introduction of a new pneumatic tool range. This range has been simplified to ensure customers have a tool that will set the correct product in application as specified. The attention to detail on the pneumatic tools, as with the battery range, is to offer a fully supported choice of tool with the relevant warranties, as well as technical, engineering and repairs support, plus tool spares availability to provide peace of mind when selecting ARK products.
2020 has also demanded a move to satisfy remote working requirements and challenges surrounding communication and connectivity. The ARK brand has again made significant investments to satisfy online demands for information, orders and delivery updates. The provision of comprehensive web-based data has given customers technical data, stock updates and indeed stock in transit updates. This provision of information has seen a new level of support being offered to the distributor customers – that are now embracing the introduction of the OEM price guides functioning within the ARK Master Distributor webshops.
“The ARK brand of riveting products has already started the 2021 sales programme with new levels of energy and focus. ARK is preparing for the new marketplace challenges ahead, with new trading locations planned; new products coming into the range in 2021; and looking to sign up more ARK distributors who will get to see the complete distributor support programme being offered from March 2021,” concludes Steve.
Having joined the magazine in 2012, Claire developed her knowledge of the industry through the numerous company visits, exhibitions and conferences she attended both in the UK and abroad.
Claire prides herself on keeping readers well informed and up to date with the latest industry news.