GPH: taking the builders merchants business to a new level

Who are GPH?

GPH Builders Merchants are Aberdeenshire’s leading independent builders’ merchants with branches in Inverurie, Westhill and Stonehaven. Having recently celebrated their 35th anniversary, the company is well known to their customers throughout Aberdeen and the surrounding areas.

GPH (Garioch Plant Hire) as the name suggests, started out as a plant hire company and has expanded into a builders merchants, targeting the DIY market as well as offering a bigger variety of products. The Westhill depot, which opened 12 years ago, has been followed more recently by the acquisition of the Macdougall and Masson business in Stonehaven, where over £500,000 has been invested in renovation and expansion over the past two years.

Success is a team effort

The success of the company can be largely attributed to the leadership, dedication and vision of the board and management team. This comprises of the Chairman and one of the founding directors of the company, Mike Macaulay, as well as the appointment of a new Managing Director, Grant Shewan in May this year. Kenny Findlay, Graeme Hay (Non-executive Director), Steven Park (Operations Manager), Brian Wallace (Accountant) and Steve Greig (IT Manager) complete the team.

GPH are proud of their mottos that they are ‘open to everyone’ and ‘have everything you need under one roof’ and with over 24,000 product lines they’re in a very strong position to deliver.

Managing Director, Grant Shewan recognises that while there is a new dynamic management structure in place, another USP of the business is the great many product champions that are on hand to provide specialist and tailored advice to both trade customers consumers. He had this to say: ‘We have 120 members of staff within the four branches. Many of these staff have been with us for many years and have exceptional knowledge within a variety of areas including Plumbing, Tools & Clothing, Roofing and more recently Landscaping and Timber.

‘We acknowledge that the customer journey and overall customer experience is much more of a focus now. If you can consistently provide a great customer journey, these customers will remember you and will come back again and again.

‘Our aim is to keep growing the business through organic growth and acquisition if the opportunity presents itself, with a target to increase our turnover from £14.5 million at present to £20 million over the next five years’.

Expansion has established GPH as the leading independent builders’ merchant in the North-east, with a vast range of products from brand-leading manufacturers encompassing building supplies, timber and joinery, roof materials, landscape and garden, decorating and plastering, plumbing and drainage, clothing and PPE, ironmongery and tools (for hire as well as for sale).

A special feature at the Inverurie, Westhill and Stonehaven stores is the laying down of hard landscaping to demonstrate block paving and patios so that customers can see how it actually looks on the ground.

Managing Director, Grant Shewan said: ‘We want our customers to make as informed a choice as possible. If you’re going to spend time and money doing something, we want to help you do it right and achieve the best results. By being able to see the different types of block paving in situ, it brings the whole concept to life instead of just seeing it packed in a box on a shelf somewhere’.

Looking ahead

GPH have their sights firmly on becoming a truly ‘customer centric’ business. Their vast product knowledge and diverse range of products clearly sets them apart from any competitors and has already afforded them a very loyal customer base – that looks like it’s set to become even bigger.

Plans are already in hand to launch an increased range of fencing for the farming and forestry sectors where the company sees considerable room for expansion. New products will be brought on board where there is a genuine demand for them driven by the needs of the customer.

GPH are geared up to take the builders merchants business to the next level, meet the challenges of the future and achieve the ambitious targets they have set for themselves.