Rose Group Building Supplies Interview - Part 2
Blue Rock Systems Ltd, Southampton
To produce a written interview for the Blue Rock Systems Ltd blog, based on an in-person interview with Natasha Rose, Managing Director of Rose Group
Read part 1
Established for over 100 years, NBG member Rose Group is an independent, family run business providing building supplies, landscaping products, aggregates, plant equipment, skips and recycling to both members of the public and the trade.
Rose Group houses the growing portfolio of companies belonging to the trusted Rose family. Established in 1903 in Whittlesey as a local building firm, their strong and reliable reputation saw a dramatic increase of business over the years, resulting in a move of premises in 1991 to the nearby city of Peterborough, where you can find them today.
A Blue Rock customer since February 2017 (the installation of iQ), they have recently gone through an exciting growth period, after acquiring Pattrick & Thompsons in King’s Lynn in July 2021, and then opening their Corby branch in August 2021.
Glen Jewell, Sales Director at Blue Rock Systems, interviews Natasha Rose, Managing Director of Rose Group.
Glen: “You’ve been using iQ, installed by Blue Rock, for a number of years now. How does it help you and your staff?”
Natasha: “I’m definitely of the mindset of Work Smarter, Not Harder, and iQ just is ideal for that. After using the old Pegasus Opera system, I needed an easier way to do things, to save time and effort because deep down I’m kind of lazy to be honest.
iQ is so straightforward compared to other systems, our staff at our recently acquired Pattrick’s site can’t wait to start using it — it’s so easy to learn, very intuitive, we literally showed them how to use it and in half an hour they were like “yep, ready to go!”"
Glen: “How did COVID-19 affect Rose Group?”
Natasha: “We closed briefly, for around 2 and a half weeks in total, and then reopened. Due to iQ being hosted on Blue Rock’s cloud server nearly all of our staff could work from home, and even when we had skeleton staff of 5 we managed to achieve as much in 2020 as we did with 17 in 2019.
Before the pandemic I think my colleagues and family members were a bit sceptical about not having physical servers on site, but now they’ve seen the value of being able to work from anywhere — we didn’t come to a grinding halt, it took so much stress away. We also don’t have to worry about physical servers breaking down, it’s so easy to upgrade when we acquire new businesses or expand.
Don’t get me wrong, the first few months were a bit scary but now we’re sort of trailblazers in the industry!”
Glen: “Are things back to normal for you all now? Or did you find you adopted a new way of working?”
Natasha: “We’d already started moving away from paperwork, and we’re definitely looking at going even further and getting rid of paperwork completely.
It was important to us and our customers to reduce contact as much as possible and getting rid of paper invoices, delivery notes, order confirmations etc was so easy with iQ and Blue Rock’s help, we were already set up to be able to do that.
More recently with the daily price fluctuations, it would have been impossible to keep up on our old system. We haven’t had to worry about that at all with iQ and the team at Blue Rock behind us.”
Glen: “So what’s next for Rose Group?”
Natasha: “We have just launched our new building supplies e-Commerce site, which I’m excited about. Blue Rock actually managed to complete it before our brochure site (from a marketing agency)!
We’re now going to go through a period of consolidation, just to take stock, make sure everything we’re already doing runs smoothly, but with the knowledge that if and when we decide to expand in the future, we’re set up and ready to do so.”