Independent office products dealer Jim Barlows aims to solve all customers’ office needs from creative services and printing to workwear to furniture. Established in 1978, its product range now spans more than 20,000 items all with the aim of adding value to customers’ businesses. Jim Barlows products are catered towards a diverse range of customers, from dentists to schools and local businesses. The family-run Manchester-based business uses kinex for its Electricity and Gas supplies to keep their business running.
“The one bill solution from kinex is a key benefit”, Andy Barlow, Managing Director and son of Jim Barlow, explains “I first heard about kinex from a telesales representative, and when he explained the one bill solution, it was a no brainer for us to join. All our bills with one provider means one payment, one point of contact. It’s simple for my business, and great for my account department to process one invoice per month.”
Along with the one bill, Mr Barlow shares his experience with kinex: “The onboarding journey was simple and clear and with the helpful welcome pack provided, the installation process was easy and hassle-free. We had no issues.”
Mr Barlow talks about the impact of Covid and how the market has changed the way he promotes his business.
“The reason our business has survived this long is because we are able to adapt to meet the needs of our customers. With the rise in electronic marketing, we saw a dip in paper-based advertising and stationery orders. This was escalated by the introduction of hybrid working during Covid when everything became remote as control over sharing documents was a concern. Our printing and promotional work turned into email and DocuSign.
However, we are now returning to a more traditional promotional environment as we turn back to supporting local. We’ve seen small business customers reverting to handing out flyers and leaflets as a backlash to the ‘noise’ of all the emails we receive. If you receive a flyer with a local area code on it, you are more likely to want to support a small business in your community. Chances are if you hand out the flyers you are already meeting potential customers and putting a friendly face to your products and services.
As the market fluctuates, we still need to keep an eye on our own business and it’s reassuring to know that kinex is keeping an eye on our bills.”
Mr Barlow is confident he made the right choice when switching to one provider for all his services “When benchmarking kinex against other competitors on the market, they were more competitive. It seemed natural to put all our essential business services under one roof.
Quality, professionalism and reliability is at the heart of our business and it’s great to know that kinex reflects the same values.”