As a wholesaler, supplying spare parts for the catering equipment industry, First Choice Group plays a critical role in the commercial foodservice industry; professional kitchens would not be able to function at their optimum rate without the support from distributors likes us.
First Choice Group was founded with the passion to be the best we can be, incorporating a united team ethic so that everyone is committed to provide the same exceptional standards of service. We believe customer service is the backbone of our industry and this is an area we continue to excel in First Choice Group is very proud of its ability to deliver parts to agreed times both on the same day of order or the next day to specified locations, this can include out of hours delivery.
We have the capability to place a part or a whole van stock directly into an engineer’s van between midnight and 7am. Currently we service more than 200 engineers in this way. With an extended range of products we now have a larger van spares catalogue that features well over 1,000 items. We also use drop box scenarios where one or more engineers collect their parts from a secure storage box local to themselves. We have agreements with many OEM`s to deliver direct to site next day from various European sites. We also operate a specialist service whereby parts are delivered to one of over 800 secure locations within just a few miles of the end user’s location, allowing our customer (the engineers) to plan the job from a choice of available engineers collecting the part on the way to the job without the dreaded (parts on site but cannot be found scenario) which resolved our largest customers’ biggest headache. We also offer a same-day courier option.
Having moved to new purpose built premises four months ago, our new 90,000 square foot warehouse is central to the success of First Choice operations. In fact our renowned efficiency and speed can be attributed to the efficiency of our state of the art storage PAC system; an innovative parts automation centre-using lean-lifts which assist our pickers to source and access parts using electronic identity safeguards. This technique provides for extremely high accuracy.
Currently, our stock has doubled in size over the past 12 months and we now have the largest stockholding of compressors in the UK – more than 350. Our new home allows us to hold four times the previous stockholding, and with our improved automated system in the warehouse, the volume of same day collections and next day deliveries will continue to increase.
Earlier this year we confirmed a Master Distribution agreement with Adande, the UK’s market leader for specialist refrigeration drawer products and technology. This means First Choice can now supply parts from Adande’s impressive itinerary of stock, strengthening its ties with OEMs and establishing new working relationships with key accounts. By teaming with Adande, First Choice has access to a portfolio of products which use groundbreaking technology and will get these parts quicker to site in order to speed any repairs and reduce down time; improving the customer experience.
In May the First Choice Group App was launched, again to further enhance the customer experience. Featuring more than 3,000 catering equipment manuals – from all of the refrigeration industry leading manufacturers – the App includes tens of thousands of diagrams and photographs, making it easy for engineers to identify the parts they need. The App’s features are being added to on a weekly basis.
We pride ourselves on always delivery outstanding, professional customer service. Engaging with customers to forge productive relationships. It is these close relationships with customers that ensures our stockholding reflects usage trends so that we can inform customers of industry trends they could possibly miss. The technical support we provide to customers is crucial in evolving the business. We have very highly trained staff at First Choice. We hold many parameter listings for OEMs of controllers and wiring diagrams and operate as technical support for several of these. We can also provide advice and guidance on F-gas and any other technical issues relating to the refrigeration industry.