Perfect partners: Selecting a specialist ceramic tile distribution partner.
By Stephen Baker Sales & Marketing Director Solus Ceramics.
The ceramic market is a constantly evolving and innovating industry, responding quickly to designer trends and commercial requirements, providing users with a vast and sometimes intimidating array of styles and finishes!
From ceramics that mimic the qualities of natural materials, such as marble, limestone and granite, to highly stylised patterned designs, and exuberant plain colours, the variety of choice and the availability of styles is almost unlimited, leading to ceramics to be considered as a top choice for floor and wall surfaces in both residential and commercial environments.
As one of the UK’s most established and experienced suppliers of porcelain, ceramic, glass, metal and natural stone tiles, Solus are a perfect partner for those looking for a ceramic’s distributor: providing access to this unbelievable palette of choice, while also offering the most informed and considered advice and guidance.
With more than 20 years’ experience serving architects, interior designers, professional specifiers and homeowners, Solus specialise in delivering technical and aesthetic solutions to commercial and residential tiling projects across the world. From one-off bespoke bars and high concept restaurants to global interior roll-outs, Solus have the knowledge, experience and creative viewpoint to provide ceramic material to suit any project.
And, with this experience, comes excellent industry relationships, born from mutual trust, respect and partnership. Working only with the best manufacturers, Solus have carefully and confidently spent the past 20 years curating a core collection of tried and tested products, made using top quality materials and to the highest professional standards. All of these products can be explored through Solus’ dedicated website, where products can be viewed, information brochures can be downloaded, and samples can be ordered. For users requiring further information, webchat is available, which provides instant connection to a highly experienced support team who can offer immediate support and guidance.
For those looking for something out of the ordinary, Solus’ commercial team are constantly on the lookout for the next big trends in the industry, visiting all of the major global ceramic events to source the most innovative new tile ranges before anyone else. To remain at the forefront of these emerging design styles, clients can subscribe to Solus’s free Quarter magazine, which thoroughly explores all of their new ranges in an easy- to-digest coffee table style publication. Available digitally and in print, Quarter is the first stop for any designer looking to find new ideas within the ceramic industry.
As the whole world moves to the digital sphere, Solus have kept up the pace with a full and consistent approach to social media, providing exclusive content to instagram, pinterest, facebook, houzz and linkedin users, providing an extra place to pick up inspiration, ask questions and interact socially with clients old and new.
In an industry where time is priceless, Solus have evolved the business to cater to the needs of the client. With one of the largest sample departments in the UK, based at their HQ in Birmingham, Solus offer a totally complementary sample service to all specifiers guaranteeing next working day delivery for in stock items, and also providing additional services such as bespoke sample cuts and sample displays boards request.
This level of customer experience is carried throughout the business with Solus offering a whole host of additional services such as PTV tile testing, surface roughness tests, cleaning and maintenance guidance, M40s, tile matching, sourcing and printing, RIBA approved CPD seminars, tile trend showcases and 3D modelling.
To ensure any requirement of our customers can be met, Solus have invested in a state-of-the-art, in-house tile cutting facility capable of generating more than 70,000 sq. metres of bespoke cut tiles every year. This means that Solus customers are able to order product and also request specialised bespoke shapes and cuts at a cost-effective price – ‘cutting’ out the need for a third-party fabrication company.
While many of us are now using the internet to find and browse products, the physical nature of ceramics can often only be truly perceived in real life. And, to offer this hands-on experience, in 2018 Solus opened their flagship Clerkenwell showroom in the celebrated architectural district in London. Offering a home-from-home experience, Solus Clerkenwell is the premier specification showroom in the area, offering a warm and welcoming environment for designers, specifiers, architects and homeowners, giving them the chance to explore a highly curated selection of desirable ceramic products for commercial and residential projects.
Solus Clerkenwell is a delight for the senses, a place to open your imagination and perceive the true versatility and innovative qualities of ceramics. It is also a place to consider and reflect, relax and enjoy, and Solus are proud to have integrated into the design community: taking part in world renown events such as Clerkenwell Design Week and the London Design Festival.
For clients requiring a dedicated one-to-one service experience, Solus cover the length and breadth of the UK and abroad with a team of Area Sales Managers who are positioned strategically in all major regional centres. This means that Solus can visit client’s practices, offices and project sites with very short notice and offer expert guidance and product samples within as little 24 hours’ notice or less. The sales managers are also supported by a team of sales support, operations at the Solus HQ, who are available from 8.30am to 5.00pm by telephone or email to resolve technical queries, provide quotations and organise product delivery.
10 years ago, the ceramics industry was completely different, and it will no doubt change again in 10 years’ time. The perfect partner needs to move and change with the times, build and grow, whilst also maintaining the relationships and good qualities that they are known for. Solus is that perfect partner.
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