Following some early experience working with traders in plumbing and building supplies and later supplying aerials and related signal distribution products, managing director Steve Simper formed Alltrade in 1989.

Introduced to the industry by his father Jim, who was also involved in the industry working with Labgear Cablevision, Steve quickly discovered a formula which delivered important USPs, which still form the basis of the company’s success.

Steve explains: “After the hurricane in 1987 a company called Target Aerials (based in Aylesbury) wanted to expand into my home area and my initial experience through 1988 was with them. When that relationship came to an end in 1989, along with my father Jim we had already invested in a shop front and I had enough experience to tell there was big potential for expansion if the model was right.

“Sky TV had just launched so to me there was plenty of potential. On May 1, 1989 I started up on my own and in the early days, the business was just me on my own delivering equipment from the back of my estate car! I had enough success early on to purchase a van and employed a delivery driver, so I could concentrate on selling and gaining new customers developing the wholesale business.

“By 1995 we were able to move to larger warehouse premises, which meant we could increase stockholding and take our level of service up a notch. As a team of five at this point, the Alltrade Aerial & Satellite name was registered as a Limited company and some rapid expansion began quickly going up to 20 staff in just a year or so.”

Steve explains that right from the start Alltrade listened to what its customers wanted, a key part of its success. Part of this process was to offer a high-quality delivery system and it was at this point the company introduced its next working day delivery structure.

The next stage in Alltrade’s development came in 2001 when a new site was opened in Cardiff making the company a multi-depot concern expanding its reach.

Steve explains: “Once we had opened the Cardiff branch, it was a natural progression to add more branches. We expanded every year and moved into Dartford, Hemel Hempstead and finally Maidstone in 2007 to service London and Kent in readiness for the business digital switchover would bring.”

Following some early experience working with traders in plumbing and building supplies and later supplying aerials and related signal distribution products, managing director Steve Simper formed Alltrade in 1989. Introduced to the industry by his father Jim, who was also involved in the industry working with Labgear Cablevision, Steve quickly discovered a formula which delivered important USPs, which still form the basis of the company’s success.

Steve explains: “After the hurricane in 1987 a company called Target Aerials (based in Aylesbury) wanted to expand into my home area and my initial experience through 1988 was with them. When that relationship came to an end in 1989, along with my father Jim we had already invested in a shop front and I had enough experience to tell there was big potential for expansion if the model was right.

“Sky TV had just launched so to me there was plenty of potential. On May 1, 1989 I started up on my own and in the early days, the business was just me on my own delivering equipment from the back of my estate car! I had enough success early on to purchase a van and employed a delivery driver, so I could concentrate on selling and gaining new customers developing the wholesale business.

“By 1995 we were able to move to larger warehouse premises, which meant we could increase stockholding and take our level of service up a notch. As a team of five at this point, the Alltrade Aerial & Satellite name was registered as a Limited company and some rapid expansion began quickly going up to 20 staff in just a year or so.”

Steve explains that right from the start Alltrade listened to what its customers wanted, a key part of its success. Part of this process was to offer a high-quality delivery system and it was at this point the company introduced its next working day delivery structure.

The next stage in Alltrade’s development came in 2001 when a new site was opened in Cardiff making the company a multi-depot concern expanding its reach.

Steve explains: “Once we had opened the Cardiff branch, it was a natural progression to add more branches. We expanded every year and moved into Dartford, Hemel Hempstead and finally Maidstone in 2007 to service London and Kent in readiness for the business digital switchover would bring.”

Support is also a big part of what the company offers, with everything from basic telephone support through to full planning and design services for complex projects. Working with building plans, Alltrade can establish exactly what is needed and allow an installer to accurately quote for the work. If the project is won, then it’s already on the system and all the installer has to do is take delivery and begin work. Site visits can also be arranged if needed.

Trade Counters offered at all the companies locations are also a key part of the company’s culture and success. Steve says: “Being able to have human contact with our customers is vital. Our knowledgeable staff can help customers explore our range and get hands on experience with many of the products without having to purchase upfront. There really is no substitute for maintaining face to face contact and the ideas and business that it can spawn. The trade counters of course also offer convenience, if on the odd occasion our next day delivery service is not fast enough, companies can come in and pick up whatever they need.”

The next quarter of a century Despite celebrating 25 years of success this year, Alltrade will not be taking its ‘foot off the gas’. Steve says: “Future wise we will continue to deliver on the high-quality aerials and signal distribution side of the business, but will also look to add more and more CI products that we feel will do well. 4K will definitely kick-in and with HDMI 2.0 products now starting to land, interesting times are ahead. I also believe that there is massive potential for a ‘middle market’ home automation system that can hit the right price, but still be very much an installer product. It might come from an established name in CI, but equally it might come out of left field, either way, rest assured we have our eyes peeled!”

 

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