The employees of SIG Roofing are key to its success, whether customer facing or working behind the scenes. SIG Roofing believe strongly in investing in the right people, with the knowledge, experience and qualifications in the market it serves.
So, in a series of articles we want to introduce them to you, to showcase their value and the part that they play. This month it’s the turn of Category Director for pitched coverings…..GEMMA PRINCE.
Gemma Prince joined SIG on a graduate recruitment scheme after leaving university. Roll forward 18 years and she now sits as Category Director of SIG Roofing looking after Pitched Coverings.
When Gemma first joined the business her training required her to work across many departments including sales, inventory, warehouse & transport. She settled in the Category Department of SIG Distribution, where she stayed for a number of years, before her latest promotion to Category Director for SIG Roofing in 2021. The role sees Gemma travelling the country, visiting various suppliers and SIG branches.
Gemma’s focus is on all products related to pitched coverings sold by the business ie tiles and slates, which are split into concrete, clay, natural slate & fibre cement. Her role is all about maximising the working relationship with key suppliers within this product area, to help develop the best range of products and ensure availability for roofers across the UK.
She works strategically with suppliers to understand their key objectives and align them to the SIG Roofing objectives; to supply what roofers need where they need it most.
The job involves managing supplier accounts, introducing new products, setting up supplier agreements, cost pricing and delivering joint opportunities. It’s a busy role, dealing with many suppliers with varying product lines and differing sales levels and with a particular emphasis on 25 key suppliers where stock is held in depth nationally across their branch network.
She is the conduit across many departments within SIG Roofing, liaising with marketing and sales looking at all elements of the mix to ensure the business has the right suppliers in place at all times for the market in which they serve. Suppliers that can deliver what SIG Roofing customers require.
SIG Roofing Pitched Covering products are largely sold into new build homes or for private home renovations or public authority housing. And the current challenge is forecasting in a market that is uncertain. The economic situation is hard to read but very influential on the prosperity of the market. High interest rates and the cost of living crisis are affecting the refurb market and with an imminent general election the government commitment to funding is uncertain for public sector housing or new housing market support. So forecasting sales for stock of these product lines can be particularly challenging.
Gemma is quick to point out that Solar PV is an exciting opportunity in the SIG Roofing business at present. They have formed a complete product offer to support their customers’ transition to more renewable sources of pitched roof coverings, and it’s full of great innovations for the future environment.
What’s Different about SIG?:
“Its pretty unique in its national coverage.” Said Gemma. “I believe the amount of square metres we have in branches throughout the UK is unrivalled. We hold stock in depth across all of them to ensure speedy delivery to our customers, and our stock holding has increased in particular over the last year. We also have a very experienced sales team to support customer enquiries.”
“From a supplier point of view, which is my focus, SIG Roofing is well known in the industry and suppliers want to work with us due to our experience, coverage and ability to promote their products. Our suppliers see SIG Roofing as a customer of choice which is a real advantage for our customers too.”
From a personal point of view Gemma explains that SIG is also a great employer. Whilst large there is a real community feel within such a big organisation with strong working relationships. She feels that strong professional relationships are absolutely key to this industry whether that be with customers, with suppliers and with colleagues. It is really important that they all work together to achieve a common goal to support and develop the construction marketplace.
Final word from Gemma. “Mine is very much a supplier focused role ensuring we bring the right products to market for our customers at the right price. We believe that our suppliers and our strategic partnerships are really important in our development as a business.”