Stephen Ferrie of iSpi Trade recently spoke with Brendan Perring of Sign Link Magazine.
Stephen explained how iSpi Trade’s commitment to service and knowledge gained over the past two decades drives the way it does business today. Its an approach built on the family values instilled in the organisation by his father and continues to deliver healthy customer relations.
Traditional family-business values and an unrivalled knowledge of the sign fitting industry are the driving forces behind I-Spi Trade, which is celebrating it's 20 years (2017) in the business.
With expertise gathered across two decades, the company continues to exceed the expectations of its growing customer base. As a leading UK supplier of sign fixings, wall mounts and display products, including cable and rod systems and illuminated signage solutions to the trade, the company’s first decade operating as a sign company, positions them perfectly to understand their customers needs today.
This year also marks a decade of being a dedicated trade product supplier. The online business’ management team is proud of its formidable reputation in the sector, which it says is built on an innovative product range and the way it reacts to the needs of its customers.
Recognised industry-wide is their strapline: ‘The best products at the real trade price’. It’s a commitment that they continue to deliver on, assuring customers of quality service that is cost effective.
iSpi Trade can trace its origins back to the original signage company created in 1997 by business founder Chris Ferrie. The business he set up worked on large signage projects for a range of recognised companies including Imperial Tobacco, Bezier and Sourz.
“Our customers benefit from our friendly family business culture. We support customers today with the same approach we’ve had since day one, by putting them first.”
In a bid to reduce rising costs the company began sourcing components, especially stand-off wall mounts, directly from suppliers and as a result of its efforts discovered that they had created a more cost-effective and efficient supply chain. That realisation started its journey into the trade supply side of the sector which their signage company partners benefit from today.
The operation continued to evolve and it moved fully into trade product supplying in 2007. By harnessing the formidable expertise it had gained, they delivered innovative solutions for the industry and their clients.
Chris, a well-respected figure in the industry, sadly passed away in 2010. His enduring approach to business was straightforward, ‘a simple, low-cost alternative whilst ensuring quality and subsequent long-term relationships with customers’.
Building strong working relationships
Today iSpi Trade continues its growth path driven by his sons Stephen and Sean, who have picked up the reins and have continued the company’s commitment to those original family values passed onto them by their father.
Following in Chris’ footsteps the brothers continue to develop those strong working relationships; a philosophy that is deeply embedded in the company’s DNA.
They also firmly believe that the key to success is service – and that means addressing clients’ needs, not only through products but also with advice and support.
“The ability to chat with our people who have a deep understanding of the sign fitting industry and the needs of the trade is invaluable.”
After all those years, it is a formula that continues to deliver for the growing business, which has its head office in Glasgow and a UK-wide client list. Stephen joined the family firm in 2005, his brother Sean coming on board in 2008.
Stephen says: “Our customers really benefit from our friendly family business culture. We support customers today with the same approach we have had since day one, putting them first, with up to date facilities and process.”
“Although online ordering has become the preferred route of supply for customers, they are still able to pick up the phone and discuss products with any of our expert and experienced team.”
Delivering value and quality
Stephen adds: “We pride ourselves on going that extra mile and this has been key to our success. We are much more than a trade supplier, we provide guidance, advice and budget management to customer projects and this delivers value for us and our customers.”
The impressive iSpi Trade product range includes signs fixings, cable systems and LED solutions together with ‘Signalite’, the company’s highly-acclaimed LED variation.
‘Signalite’ LED Sign Fixings provide instant and intense illumination to give an eye-catching finish to any acrylic panel.
The company also delivers aluminium sign clamps, with an LED variation for sectors such as hotels, and cable and rod display components for a range of businesses including estate agents.
“Our close working relationship with many of our customers means they feel certain that we will always offer the best solution for their project. We listen to their challenges and we respond.”
The ever-expanding product range also includes flame polishing machines that add a quality glass edge to standard acrylic, as well as High Bond tape which is used as an alternative to standoffs.
Stephen says: “We are constantly monitoring our product range to keep up to date with what is needed within the industry.
“Customers enjoy our close working relationship with them and feel comfortable that we will always offer the best solution for their project. We listen to their challenges and we respond.”
As part of its commitment to the customer, the company delivers a simple way to browse and purchase products online, whilst ensuring if customers need that added value advice, then iSpi Trade is only a call away.