At Lamberts, we pride ourselves on offering quality products at competitive prices, and we do everything we can to ensure this is possible, including our involvement with REDG.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the formation of REDG – which stands for Regional Engineering Distributor Group – of which Lamberts was one of the founding members.
Back in 1993, Lamberts and three other independent family-owned businesses came together to form a group that enabled members to buy from manufacturers as a cooperative, creating a collective buying power that enabled us to compete financially against big national companies. The main benefit of sourcing these competitive prices is that the savings can then be passed directly onto our customers.
Today, REDG has seven independent business members across the UK who would otherwise struggle to be as competitive as individual businesses. As a group, REDG goes to manufacturers in the marketplace with much more clout than members would have on their own and get better, more competitive prices this way, placing us in a stronger, more competitive position within the marketplace.
Our collective specialises in buying industrial products, with each member taking responsibility for the products they sell the most within the group. At Lamberts we specialise in industrial pipe fittings, valves, and tube, so the manufacturers we look after are Spirax Sarco, Linepipe, and Kee Safety for handrail systems. These products are really important to Lamberts but we also negotiate on behalf of the whole group too.
Neill Ives, Managing Director of Lamberts who looks after the involvement with REDG, explains the benefits of the membership. “The formation of REDG came about as a necessity. As independent businesses, we generally can’t compete with the nationals, but as a group, we can and as a cooperative, it works well. The group can grow depending on business at the time – there are currently seven members spread over the UK, strategically placed so that we never tread on each other’s toes, but we do inter-trade. So, if we have contractors working in Wales, one of our members near that location will service our contractors on our behalf. We’ve been involved from the start, and it’s certainly worked for us.”
The group members meet up three times a year – in March, June, and November – which are key points for purchasing and negotiations throughout the year. These meetups are held in different parts of the country where the members are based, so can be in Ireland, Scotland, Birmingham, Liverpool, Gloucester, Watford, or here in Norfolk, and these meetings are usually sponsored and hosted by a manufacturer. They offer a great opportunity for the group to get together – even though communication is maintained between members throughout the year, there are still huge benefits from all being in the same room together, meaning manufacturers often compete to sponsor the events so they can support the collective and be involved too.
The turnover spend on purchases for the group is approximately £90million a year, which gives the cooperative the buying power required to be ultra-competitive in the marketplace.
Neill adds; “Manufacturers like working with REDG because we are all independent businesses who work closely with them – as a group, we are very loyal to our suppliers, and we don’t chop and change. It works well and supports both ways.”
For more information about the products we have on offer at our competitive rates, please visit lamberts.co.uk/products