With 80 years of focus on quality service under its belt, we catch up with the team at Niglon to find out more about why those core values won’t be changing any time soon.
When it comes to company longevity, Niglon Director, Oliver Hinley says service in all its forms is key. And he’s well placed to know, being the great-grandson of the firm’s founder who established the company’s core values back in the 1940s.
Oliver comments: “We adopted the Niglon name in the 60s, but the origins of the company go back to the 40s when father/son team Stanley and John Hinley operated a manufacturers’ agents under the trading name SD Hinley. We still have a commission book from the World War II which details the pounds, shillings and pence earned from each account!”
Bread and butter
After Stanley retired, John recognised the need for a strong brand to build up their income and extend their ranges, offering many ‘bread and butter’ commodity items such as plug top fuses, strip connectors and malleable conduit fittings.
At the time there was relatively little competition and new products were added when the need arose, meaning the 70s and 80s saw rapid growth. Several moves took place and more staff were taken on as John knew that retaining the customer service people had come to expect would ensure the ongoing success of the company – now using the Niglon name.
Fast forward to today and competition is fierce, with many more businesses now sourcing and supplying electrical components to the wholesale industry.
Oliver says: “I strongly believe retaining those original values which John and Stanley prided themselves on 80 years ago – providing a good service at a competitive price – has stood us firmly in good stead. The last few years have seen unprecedented, once-in-a-lifetime disruption to logistics and supply chains, the closure of manufacturing centres for months on end, followed by a colossal rise in demand.
“Keeping the customer at the forefront of every decision has been the only way companies have managed to survive and, in some cases, increase their customer base by being able to offer a wider range of stock with quicker turnaround times.”
Of course, retaining those old-fashioned values should never stand in the way of progress, and tradition doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive with modernity. But it does give decision-makers pause to decide whether they’re introducing a new system or launching a new range because it will genuinely benefit the customer and make their company easier to use.
Oliver adds: “New technologies and ways of working should absolutely focus on convenience. But while we seek simpler and quicker ways of getting products to the customer, at Niglon we’ll always have my great-grandfather and grandfather’s ideals of supplying a reputable product which won’t fail or let a customer down, in our minds.
“Maintaining relationships with customers for years, or even decades, helps us feel we’re on the right track. As does going above and beyond when it comes to certification – focusing on testing by third party bodies and putting in place additional measures, particularly when it comes to life-saving devices like RCBOs (we batch test every order of these devices).”
He concludes: “Providing a good service has so much more to it than just providing a product. Over the years, we’ve come to understand all of the facets around service and we use this knowledge and experience, day in and day out, to ensure reliability for our valued customers.
“It’s something I believe everyone across the industry should be focused on. Yes, we’re all essentially competitors but if we’re so fixated on what other companies are doing then we lose that focus on the customer. And I can’t imagine us being here in the next 80 years if we do that!”
Browse Niglon’s latest full range product catalogue here