The Groundsman

November 2015

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AWARD SPONSOR 25 the Groundsman November 2015 Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions often perceived as 'very complicated' ranges of grass seeds, fertilisers and chemicals into streamlined product portfolios that are more easily understood, totally relevant and clearly more affordable by users of every size and at every venue." Focused team members There has also been a renewed emphasis on product management and technical sales, he says. "We are certainly not 'box- shifters': our 46 technical representatives are supported by six products managers [covering grass seed, chemicals, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, line marking, wetting agents, bio stimulants, soil improvers, flower seeds et al] and, crucially, this dedicated, well-trained and focused team is highly knowledgeable and competent with the specific product sets. The nationwide team creates effective synergistic relationships with customers to consistently provide appropriate and cost-effective solutions." Service and delivery has also been addressed. "Ensuring that the customer receives what he's ordered when he needs it sounds a simple issue, but we've had to spend a considerable amount of time distilling the intricate logistics and permutations of being able to provide a nationwide service to customers who are increasingly ordering 'little and often'. Peoples' expectations have increased and there's no excuse if we fall down in this respect. Doing everything we can to guarantee on-time delivery (from four strategic sites in Edinburgh, Bolton, Camberley and Stallingborough) completes the customer service circle." Moving forward The company has also invested heavily in IT (information technology); initially an internal business system at headquarters and now the gradual roll out of "easily accessible and meaningful information/ data to the field team and to customers". Chris adds: "All these advances play key roles in how we've invested not only in our product offerings and customer service but also in managing the perception of the company in the eyes of every one of our stakeholders. "We now have a market-leading product set that meets all agronomic and budget demands supported by an unrivalled pool of expert product managers and technical sales. We are very market focused and have undertaken a major corporate re- branding, including packaging, literature, advertising and our presence at exhibitions. We have also been leading the field with some exciting marketing initiatives. In addition, we have built strong bridges with trade and membership associations - for example, we are Partners with BIGGA and headline sponsors of the IOG Industry Awards, including sponsoring the Young Groundsman of the Year Award and leading sponsor of the Young Groundsman's Conference – we also work closely with research bodies such as STRI. "Feedback from users and our work with research organisations like the STRI are critical to product innovations – but so, too, is the Rigby Taylor knowledge bank that embraces our technical sales team and product managers. As a result of working closely with customers, and because of our facilities and resources, we've been able to develop what we call 'Special Mixes' of liquid feeds and fertilisers. While these are formulated to suit the individual environment and playing/performance demands of each unique site, they are effectively now also considered as integral to our 'standard' product set." He concludes: "During the past few budget-crunching years it would have been easy to think that 'standing still' was the new 'going forwards'. But I'm glad to say that we have moved forward - in strides – and will continue to do so." l Rigby Taylor in the field Dale Gleed, head groundsman, Latymer Upper School, west London: "I have dealt with Rigby Taylor for a number of years; the company is contacted whenever there is a need for grass seed, pesticides, chemicals or sports equipment because it is essential that I'm constantly aware of the latest, quality products. It is also critical that I deal with suppliers that provide a good back-up service and, importantly, also offer value for money." Neil Rogers, head groundsman, Middlesbrough FC's Rockliffe Park training complex: "Knowing that we have a consistent supply agreement using market-leading products means I can worry less about dealing with numerous different companies and their 'reps' and therefore spend more time actually keeping the playing surfaces in trim." Darren Bisby, assistant team leader, Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council Street Scene Department: "We're making efficiency savings of £18,090 each year in the cost and time of line marking football pitches with Rigby Taylor's award-winning Impact paint and iGO line marking machines." BIGGA Master Greenkeeper Pete Newton, course manager, Rockliffe Hall Championship Golf Course: "I believe there is always room for improvement in the quality of the playing surfaces…and our preferred supplier agreement with Rigby Taylor will help ensure we continue to maintain what many visiting players are describing as an 'amazing' course and 'the best putting surfaces we've ever played on'." www.rigbytaylor.com We have product portfolios that are totally relevant and more affordable by users of every size and at every venue " "

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