Carron Bathrooms is the ‘Name for Baths’ and has a history dating back to 1759, when it was the original Carron Company. The company rode the wave of the Industrial Revolution and was famed for their short- barrelled naval cannons. Since then, they have been at the forefront of modern bath design.
FBS Plumbing Solutions are the independent Scottish distributor of quality bathroom & plumbing brands and have been since 1980. They are a family business with extensive products ranges and stock based in Falkirk.
We recently interviewed Alison Sime, the Managing Director of FBS Ltd and Lynn Jarvie, the Marketing Manager of Carron Bathrooms about their business partnership.
What is your business’ unique offering?
Lynn: Carron Bathrooms is Europe’s leading manufacturer of acrylic baths. With our proud history dating back to the formation of the original Carron Company in 1759, our unique blend of experience and innovative designs means we have built a reputation for producing first class products, backed by unrivalled customer service.
Alison: FBS is a long standing and well-respected family business that distributes quality bathroom and plumbing brands across Scotland as well as having a well-established Trade Counter & Showroom based in Falkirk. We offer positive solutions for all customers and our staff have unrivalled industry knowledge and experience to share. Customer service is our priority, and we aim to not only deliver on promises but exceed expectations.
What inspired you to run a business in your industry?
Lynn: We are proud to be a privately owned business. The company owners bought the business over twenty years ago, and almost immediately used their previous manufacturing experience to start investing in the factory and the people who are such a huge part of what we do. They recognised then that the bathroom industry was changing, and baths were no longer just a functional item, but were becoming an integral part of the overall design of the space. To be involved at the beginning of such a change was exciting and offered a chance to grow the business for the benefit of the owners, employees and customers.
Alison: FBS has always been family owned and without a doubt, my dad is my inspiration. His hard work ethic, professionalism and determination were stamped into me at an early age. I feel privileged to have successfully established FBS as leading Scottish distributor to the bathroom and plumbing sector. I just love the buzz in the bathroom industry – the people, the products, the trends and innovations make every day special. My only regret is not having had the chance to work with my dad……but then again that may have been a battle of strong wills!
How do your businesses work together to provide excellent service?
Lynn: Carron and FBS go back many years. FBS were originally a customer, and when Carron sales in Scotland grew, it made sense to look for a local partner to distribute our baths. With their vast experience in the Bathroom and Plumbing industry, FBS were a natural choice. They understand our products, they understand the Scottish market and most of all, they understand the meaning of customer service, which aligns perfectly with our brand.
Alison: FBS and Carron have a longstanding local partnership which has evolved around our many shared values. Both companies are passionate about customer service, product quality and providing customers the best experience when choosing the perfect Carron bath for their needs. FBS is really proud to be appointed the sole Scottish distributor for Carron Bathrooms and combining our shared sales and marketing experience will only strengthen our joint market presence. Carron’s ethos around its people and customers aligns perfectly with FBS, so together we are a great team.
Why is it crucial for local business to collaborate?
Lynn: If the past two years have taught us anything, it is that supply chain circumstances can change overnight. To service Scottish customers, it makes sense to partner with a local company to ensure smooth, responsive customer service. Not only that, but it reduces travel miles for our products and helps support our local economy.
Alison: It is crucial for local businesses to work closely together. Apart from the employment opportunities it provides within our community, having Carron baths manufactured less than a mile away from FBS, gives our green footprint a head start from manufacturing through to delivery and final installation. In my opinion, Carron & FBS have a special collaboration because of the joint local heritage and link to Falkirk’s foundry past going back hundreds of years.
What does the customer experience mean to you?
Lynn: For Carron, the customer experience begins with the design concept of our baths. Our baths don’t just look good, they have to offer a true comfortable bathing experience. From there, the customer should feel confident that they have invested in a quality product, one that can be enjoyed for many years to come and hopefully be happy with the sales support and customer service from our distribution partners.
Alison: Every customer is unique and has differing needs. FBS prides itself on offering a first class service to every customer from order taking, advice, delivery, and aftercare support. We understand the importance of fast and efficient resolutions to any problems that may occur and that’s why we have strong, long-standing relationships with both our customers and supply partners.
Business mottos? What are they and how do you action them on a daily basis?
Lynn: Our Mission Statement – “Carron Bathrooms aims to be the best company we can possibly be. A company respected by our customers, suppliers, competitors and by the community of Carron. To be a company for which our employees are proud to work”. This underpins our whole business ethos. We strive to provide the best products, the best customer service and to be an outstanding community partner.
Alison: Our mission statement – “To live by FBS values every day and to put our customers first every time”. FBS wants to provide a five star difference when purchasing bathroom and plumbing products
We have unrivalled industry knowledge and experience
We are a long standing and well-respected family run business
We offer positive solutions and have a “can do” approach
We want to be an employer of choice where commitment and excellence are rewarded
We deliver on our promises and aim to exceed expectations
What’s new for 2022 within your businesses?
Lynn: Trends in bathrooms for 2022 are exciting! A new focus on colour in the bathroom is coming to the fore, although I’m not sure we’ll see the return of the Avocado bath. We will be introducing a range of Anthracite (black) accessories such as bath handgrips and wastes, which are already being sought after by customers. As usual, we will also be concentrating on increasing the number of bath sizes we offer by model, so that there is a Carron bath to fit in everyone’s bathroom.
Alison: Our partnership with Carron Bathrooms is going to be a big part of our 2022 sales strategy and we are looking forward to being able to access the new training centre and showroom facility at Carron with FBS customers to develop their knowledge and understanding of Carron Bathrooms and their unique manufacturing process. We will also be reviewing our delivery routes and frequency to ensure we are keeping ahead of market demand.The FBS trade showroom will get a re-vamp after KBB, the bathroom industry trade show in March, where all the latest product designs and trends will be on show. Exciting times for us all.