Exceptional service in a competitive market

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Store name: AGM Fasteners
Store owners: Tony and Sonia Mohr
Buying group: CSS Group

AGM Fasteners first opened in July 2002, in a small rented warehouse in Geelong. The family owned business began with Tony Mohr being the sole director, while his wife Sonia managed the administration side of the business. Today the business has grown through its extensive offer and exceptional customer service.

Tony already had plenty of experience in the industry after he developed a background in the construction fasteners market as branch manager for Ramset Fasteners in Geelong.

However, when Ramset was taken over by ITW and several of its regional branches closed; one of which was Geelong, Tony was offered a position in Melbourne which he accepted. Luckily, due to Tony’s extensive knowledge of the Geelong area, Tony quickly identified a growing need for a construction product and fastener specialist outlet in the local region.

Joining CSS Group

It was then that Tony opened his own family run construction product and fastener outlet – AGM Fasteners.

“Today the business consists of a 120 metres square showroom and a 640 metres square warehouse, with drive-in access for customer loading. It is located in the heart of a large industrial and manufacturing precinct, which also is a hub for the local concrete industry as well. So the physical location is easy to access for most customers,” Tony said.

“Due to the nature of the business being mostly trade, the majority of our products are in bulk, which are housed in the warehouse. The customer base of the business is heavily geared towards trade and construction, so approximately 99 per cent is trade. We offer a great delivery service which is not only run via our own truck and utes, but we also engage the services of local freight companies as well for all onsite and to business deliveries,” he said.

Tony said he initially amalgamated his business with the CSS Group because CSS management had a sound knowledge of the construction industry.

“It was easy for me to join the group and access the suppliers that are at the forefront of providing solutions for the construction industry, particularly because I dealt with contacts within the industry for many years,” Tony said.

“CSS also stands out from other groups by continually evaluating new ways to engage its client base with their direct marketing quarterly magazine, The F.A.T Mag, and a loyalty program, The F.A.T mate, which has also just been launched.”

“The CSS group also gets together for two meetings a year to discuss business and engage with our suppliers to build healthy relationships and ensure the group remains strong and committed,” he said.

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The complete package

Since opening the store, AGM Fasteners Sales Manager, Wayne McMeekin, said the business strives to offer the complete construction product package to its customers.

“Offering the complete package is usually done by working with our trading partners; by engaging them in either structural drawing and plans, including the supply of materials right up to completion of the job,” Wayne said.

“We have also chosen to form a close alignment with our major suppliers, particularly those that are industry leaders and not only have quality products and knowledge, but innovations as well. We have used these relationships to not only boost our offering within the store, but we have also partnered with others in the field by doing joint calls and targeted meetings direct with the end users. This is combined with collaborating with their marketing programs to bolster our offering,” he said. As the name suggests, the business does have a heavy bias to fasteners, however the range continues to be broad, and is not just nuts and bolts.

“We carry everything from pop rivets, screws, forced entry pins and charges, gas fired fixings, dynabolts, nails, mechanical fixings, chemical anchors, basically any type of construction fixing we have it. Additional ranges in-store include concrete lifting product, sealants, grouts, power and construction tools,” Wayne said.

Heavy investment

Tony said the business has grown particularly in the last three to four years after he made the decision to invest heavily in the business by bringing on two more sales representatives in the field. This included Sales Manager, Wayne McMeekin who brought with him a broad knowledge of both the construction and domestic
building sectors.

“By implementing these appointments it has given the business far greater coverage of the geographical area in which we trade. It has also allowed our business to focus heavily on the major construction field and develop a healthy relationship with all people on site,” he said.

Product innovation

According to Tony, innovation is one of the businesses’ core beliefs, who said he is always looking at new products and new technology to pass onto his clients.

“We sell quality construction products. Cheapest is not always best, especially in construction so we offer a large range of good quality products with full back up from our suppliers. We also offer same day delivery, and have three full time reps on the road,” he said

“The business is also involved in a heavy marketing program, including print media, which includes advertising in most of our regional prints this year. We have also developed a newly overhauled web page etc. On top of this we run trade days as well as a week of sales promotions around our 15 year celebrations, leading up to July 1. This year again we also have a corporate box at the AFL stadium in Geelong which we plan to use extensively to entertain our customers also. This is alongside a several customer functions and dinners,” he said.

Over and above

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Tony has also implemented an exceptional store policy ensuring that if his customer’s need something, he will open his store to accommodate them.

“Our hours of operation 7am –5pm Monday to Friday, but not all projects work within these times, so our staff have the autonomy, to open up at any time to for fill the customer’s needs,” he said.

It is this type of service to the market, as well as on-going investment in the business, that will no doubt ensure AGM Fasteners will continue to be successful in years to come.