When it comes to buying heating spares, it’s not as simple as just going online, or going down to your local supplier. If you just use one supplier you’re going to be missing out, be it on value and savings, helpful advice, or superior range or parts. You need to know what’s available, from suppliers both near and far, to allow you to always end up with the perfect parts for the job.
What it really comes down to is knowing the pros and cons of the different types and styles of heating and plumbing suppliers. Once you know where you can get what, at what prices, and where offers the best range, or expertise, you can use your knowledge to make the most potent combination of suppliers, allowing you to get the job done easier.
You need to know whether the different values and strengths of online suppliers vs physical stores, and the differences between big franchised local stores, and smaller family-run stores. There’s a lot of factors to take into account. Supporting physical suppliers might seem a worthy cause, with the decline of the high street still fairly apparent, but you’ve got to remember that physical stores have much higher overheads and practical costs to cover, and their prices will reflect this.
On the other hand, while physical stores are generally more expensive than online options, if you do end up with the incorrect part, it’s much to return or exchange said part, than with an online supplier. What it comes down to is how reliable and informative the online supplier is, and with the impersonal nature of the internet, reliable, helpful and informative shopping experiences tend to be pretty light on the ground.
As well as this, you’ve got to consider whether you’re going to be using primarily bigger chain stores, or smaller independent suppliers. Smaller suppliers might frequently surprise you in value terms, as well as expertise, but generally won’t be able to match the range carried by bigger chain suppliers.
Speed and ease are also hugely important to the job in hand. Your convenience and delivery needs come down to what kind of heating systems you’re primarily sorting. If you’re mainly fitting entirely new systems, and working in a commercial arena, then your time-frames are likely to be looser than if you’re fixing and repairing people’s homes.
People want their heating back on as quickly as possible generally, and your parts suppliers’ delivery protocol should reflect that. However, if you’re not on such a tight schedule, you can make use of potentially cheaper, and more expansive suppliers that might be slower when it comes to delivery or collection.
Ideally, you can use a combination of both, and tailor your ordering system in accordance with demand, which is probably the best of both worlds in terms of cost, speed and convenience. Either way, when looking at the different plumbing suppliers, you need to evaluate in terms of delivery times and convenience, and then compare.
A big issue with the majority of huge suppliers, who can offer literally every part you might need, and at an ideal price, tend to know less about their products. They might have a vast range, but when it comes to helping you identify the right part, they’ll struggle compared to smaller, more costly suppliers. It’s an unavoidable trade-off really, where you have to choose whether you want to risk potentially incorrect parts, for the saving, or guarantee the correct parts at a steeper cost. The best option is probably going to be a combination.
As easy as it would be, you can’t just use one heating spares supplier, you’ve got to allocate according to your heating repair needs. You could use a bigger, cheaper, general supplier for the more common parts, and then a smaller, more focused supplier for the specialist, more awkward parts.