Name: Luke Oliver
Role: Branch Manager
Wholesaler: Group B in Fulham
How did you get into electrical wholesale?
I was originally doing an electrical apprenticeship. I didn’t really take to the installing side of the industry but I found myself knowing the products and understanding them quite quickly. My brother worked for an electrical wholesaler at the time and he kindly got me a job – the rest, as they say, is history.
How is the wholesale market changing?
It’s moving towards everything being digital. When I first started it was pretty much only trade counter sales, but with other large companies releasing apps and online ordering it won’t be long before the rest of the industry has to follow suit.
What’s the secret to great customer service?
Knowing your customer's needs. Not all customers require the same service – by building a relationship with your customer you get to know their real needs and you can cater to each individual customer.
What sets your branch apart from the rest?
I believe the customer service we offer is hard to find, along with the experience of our staff. Our SOS 1-hour scooter service sets us apart from the rest, too.
What’s the biggest challenge you face as an independent wholesaler?
One of the biggest challenges we face is that contractors are led to believe that independents cannot compete with national wholesalers and even retail companies, which is not the case. With buying groups in the industry - that many independents are members of – it gives us the same buying power as a national wholesaler so we can compete on price and stock availability.
What are your favourite new products on the market?
I like the Nest products that are available, I recently saw a demonstration of their products and was really impressed with what I saw and have since become a stockist. I’m a big admirer of the new Zano ZMSARTLED module, which was just released. It’s a great problem solver for LEDs and it’s not something that I have seen anywhere else on the market.