Marketing manager at TKC Neil Taggart explains how the component supplier is satisfying demands of trade customers who want to order full kitchens – with Jigsaw
Q: Can you explain the Jigsaw collection and how you came to make the decision of what would be included in it?
A: Jigsaw is aimed at customers who prefer to buy complete kitchens supplied ready for installation, rather than sourcing in components for manufacture and assembly.
It has a simple coding and pricing structure that makes ordering easy and assures customers a very good margin.
Jigsaw brings together cabinets, doors, storage, sinks, taps, worktops and other accessories under one umbrella.
Getting the portfolio right was critical because we are new to this sector and it was built on a combination of customer and market research, competitor analysis and our own sales data from the components business.
It includes all of our best-selling lines such as Oxford, Cartmel, Lucente and Vero handleless so that we reach across the market with traditional, modern and contemporary styles.
Q: As a supplier of kitchen components why did you make the move into complete kitchens with Jigsaw?
A: We’ve always had the product scope in components to do this and for years we sold complete kitchens but in component form.
Two years ago, we introduced our Quickcab product which has sold extremely well because it occupies a space between flatpack and rigid and there was an obvious gap there.
It was a natural progression for the business to offer the total package and market it a separate brand.
We called it Jigsaw because it brings together all the pieces of the ‘kitchen puzzle’ but in a very easy way.
It has full marketing and POS support with a 230-page colour brochure, price index and website.
TKC has great growth ambition and Jigsaw opens up tremendous new sales opportunities for us.
Q: How has it changed your competitor landscape and which companies are you taking market share away from?
A: It certainly means we’re talking about different names to those we usually would be in the component world.
Our new competitors are split between manufacturers like Omega and JJO and the classic distributor like a PJH.
I can’t say for sure who we’re taking market share from, yet, but we’ve been delighted with the reaction we’ve had to Jigsaw, so far, and awareness is growing quickly.
Q: What have you learned along the way, introducing full kitchens?
A: On the product side it’s been really reassuring. Customers have loved the quality of our doors and our cabinets which are the foundation of a kitchen.
One of the changes we have made, in response to customer feedback, is to give the customer the flexibility to choose their preferred cabinet colour.
We’ve also had great feedback to the depth of range, which is great when we’re taking on competitors who’ve been established in this space for a long time.
Service is key too. We fully understand the need to complete orders on time and in full and have recently increased the minimum safety stock levels, across the business, which allows us to be responsive and offer a 48-hour turnaround if required.
Customers tell us we’re well-priced and offering very healthy margins, which is what we thought, but it’s reassuring to have it reconfirmed.
All of this has given us huge encouragement for the brand’s growth.
Q: What were your sales expectations for Jigsaw and how has the collection met them?
A: It’s fair to say that the more we learn about the sector and the more customers we meet, the more our expectations rise.
We’ve hosted several big customers recently and their feedback has been really encouraging.
Sales-wise, we’re not doing what we want to just yet but we have more confidence than ever that we will.
Q: What percentage of your business is currently Jigsaw sales?
A: We have a long-term strategy for Jigsaw and in the first year we are focussing on seeding the market to increase the awareness and develop a sales base.
So, in terms of TKC’s £25m turnover it’s a small percentage but we’d be really disappointed if it didn’t provide serious growth next year.
Q: What are your plans for the Jigsaw range over the next six months to a year?
A: We’ve recently augmented the range with the Vero handleless range, with three cabinet colours and 12 fascias, 10 five-piece shaker doors from stock, six painted J-pull matt colours from stock and seven painted shaker doors.
The next six months will be about establishing Jigsaw with more of our target customers, serving them well and growing our mutual business.
In that time, we’ll continue to get customer feedback and use that to help guide any new product decisions.
Q: Was the recent investment in stock holding and service with 24-hour picking because of the introduction of Jigsaw?
A: Partly, yes.
Over the last two years, TKC has rapidly expanded its product range and the extra demand from that placed more strain on the operation.
TKC has always been known for service excellence and we were disappointed with our own performance, at times, last year.
We increased stock-holding by 20% by investing in additional racking and a new mezzanine area at our Denton HQ creating 2,200 new pick locations to accommodate the enlarged portfolio.
24-hour picking has also made a huge difference by smoothing out the demand on the warehouse and enabling us to fulfil more kitchens on time and in full.
A: The senior team at TKC understands what the level of focus should be and what will generate growth for both us and our customers.
Jigsaw is a key part of that and we’re committed to delivering on it.
Q: What will be the biggest growth areas of your business over the next year?
A: We’ve got the capacity and willingness to continue to grow our core business, particularly in some areas of the country where we know we’re under represented.
However, the answer has got to be Jigsaw. It’s our single biggest area for growth and we know now that there’s a space in the market for it and we’re determined to fill it.