Tuesday July 6, 2021
We live in an instant world, or pretty close. Fancy a takeaway dinner, it can be delivered to your door within an hour of having the idea. You can watch just about any major sporting event from anywhere in the world live, as it happens. You can hire a car or van within a few minutes and collect it or even have it delivered the same day!
Then there are marquees. Need a marquee? Let’s face it, in addition to all the normal reasons that people invest in such a tent, like an upcoming wedding, social event, adding covered space to a club, pub, hotel or other hospitality setting, covid has brought additional demand with the guidance to hold gatherings outdoors rather inside and the need for well ventilated space that still offers weather protection, demand has never been higher. You’ll find yourself faced with a day or more surfing the internet contacting company after company and being told that delivery will typically be in 14-21 days or even longer. That’s because of a number of basic reasons that most companies in this industry share.Marquees are a considerable investment – therefore the majority of companies operate their warehouses on a “just in time, not just in case” model – in other words they plan to buy in stock in line with their forecast sales and not have much sitting on shelves. This was a fairly typical way to work and would have worked quite well pre-covid before an erratic and sharp increase in demand made this way of working problematic for customers.
Most warehouse their stock in mainland Europe. Yes, I am going to mention the “B” word – Brexit, as well as the pandemic have conspired to introduce cross channel import delays.
Marquees have a pretty long manufacturing lead time so if there are issues with forecasting demand then restocking is not timely.
Most companies supply across Europe, so their limited stock is further diluted by the width of their market – its often in their interests to supply to non-EU markets only after they have satisfied to a greater extent their home market.
We are different. For a start,We buy stock by the container load. We do this because we know that having the right marquee at the right time at the right price is a real difference maker. We can normally offer a quick delivery and we pride ourselves in both quality of our products and speedy delivery.
Our warehouse is UK based. We have a large facility near Bedford and Luton. We are one of the few Marquee suppliers that can even offer click and collect.
Mr Stevens – I managed to grab a marquee from the UK Tents warehouse and it saved my wifes 83rd Birthday party!
We supply exclusively to the UK. We use our own delivery team where possible and supplement this with a fast-tracked courier company where necessary to ensure there is no undue delay in delivery.
We are proud therefore to have one of the shortest lead times in the UK. Typically, we can quote a 3-5 day delivery timescale but of course if you can collect (any vehicle that can carry boxes of around two metres in length will suffice) we have often been able to supply same day!
UK Tents Success Stories
We recently supplied a marquee for a funeral after they had been let down by another company. Not only did we get the tent to them in a fast-tracked two days, in time for the funeral, we made sure we kept in close contact to the widow as it was clear she needed reassurance and we even delivered on a Bank Holiday Monday just to make sure we were not going to add to her stress. Her reaction was of course heart-warming and reminded us that what we do is more than just sell poles and cloths, we provide peace of mind, we never lose sight of the service we provide or how that will impact you, our customer.
We had an order from a customer on the Norfolk coast recently and as our driver was already taking a number of deliveries around Suffolk, when he heard that this order had just arrived, he of course suggested we add it to his van as “what is one more stop?” Our driver phoned ahead to confirm he was on the way and at first the customer was convinced it was a friend pranking him! When the marquee was delivered some four and a half hours after the order was placed our driver reported back that the customer was “gobsmacked” (his words). The customer had told us that the particular size tent he needed (one of the larger ones) had really caused his headaches as the shortest delivery slot he had been able to get, before he rung us of course, was close to two months and that was just an estimate! That would have been a full three weeks after the planned wedding date.
One thing our drivers often comment on is how nice it is to be in a job where customers are pleased to see you. How often they comment on how we rapidly deliver their chosen marquee and accessories.
Yes, we go the extra mile, sometimes of course several hundred miles. I’ll leave you with this anecdote. We had a driver out on a multi-drop delivery, six in total, across Essex, Kent and Surrey. He completed the first two (Essex) deliveries in good time but then the van developed a fault, and he had no choice but to have a breakdown service tow him back to base. He contacted all the outstanding deliveries to explain what had happened and reassure them that we would resolve the situation within 24 hours.
One of our other drivers was able to deliver all but one the next day in addition to the deliveries he already had scheduled because of the capacity of his vehicle. The delivery driver whose van broke down came in on his day off, volunteering to drive this last errant delivery to Canterbury (a full five-hour round trip) as he knew that the customer, an elderly couple, had already booked a couple of handy-men to erect the tent the following day for an event the day after, in his own car!
Typically, subject to availability, our delivery timescale is 3-5 days and where needed we will pull out the extra stops to not let you down. Click and collect can be as fast as same day.
We look forward to meeting your needs and providing a suitable tent for when you need it – more importantly, we look forward to doing this fast!