The Big Move

When Ray, the MD sat down with me and proposed the idea of a Manchester facility, I left the office straight away and phoned Mrs Bird – She’s the main boss after all.

You might be thinking this shouldn’t be too much of a problem, except from the fact I live in Kent, which if you know your geography is quite far from the North of England where I would be hoping to uproot my family to live.

So, I arranged an interview at the most upmarket of establishments: The Gravesend Harvester restaurant. I sat down and pitched the opportunity to the toughest clients I’ve had in a while – My own family. They realised the opportunity was one for us all rather than just for me and by the end of the meal we had all reached an agreement that we were going to embrace the chance and move to Manchester. Obviously, to make sure the deal went smoothly the boys were allowed extra dessert – they drive a hard bargain but after all fair is fair.

The next day I approached Ray and with a big handshake I accepted his proposal to head up the newest facility in the Williams & Co family. I knew this was just the start and the hard work was yet to come – We’d need new premises to store stock, a new trade counter to sell stock and importantly for me, a new house to keep the family!


The new Manchester branch

The next few weeks were a blur as it was all systems go in the office. Bouncing between Manchester and Kent, we ended up viewing 15 houses of various shapes, sizes and locations. It turned out we picked the first house we viewed.. but like Mrs Bird said to me at the time, we needed to see the other 14 to make sure that this was the right house for us.

I understand that this will be our introduction to a lot of you – Who are Willliams & Co Trade Only plumbing and heating supplies and why should you care? Well it’s simple. We’re a Plumbing and heating supply firm. We sell only to trade customers and we offer the best products at the best price.

As someone who used to be a heating engineer a decade before joining Williams & Co, I would have jumped at the chance to use us. We offer one fixed price – the best price we can – across the board. With competitors you might find a lot of different prices or haggling involved which outside a market just isn’t professional or fair on the trader. Also, how many times have you been in a rush, headed to your local trade store, only to be stuck behind ‘Mr Amateur’ with their carrier bag full of bits? This isn’t a supermarket, we’re professionals!

I decided on a career change later down the line because I felt that my experience on the other side of the counter gave me a valuable look at what people who made up the trade wanted. I was bought up with “Treat others how you want to be treated” and this is one of the reasons I joined Williams & Co in the first place –  they th


The best coffee in the country?

ink like me. I want to be able to get the parts I want quickly, at a clear and fair price, have a laugh and head off on my way. You’re even welcome to stop anytime for some of the best (free!) coffee that I’ve had at any place I’ve worked.

So what’s happening next?

We’ve picked up the keys to our facility and we’re looking to hire the best team of staff that the North has to offer. We’re installing a huge mezzanine floor, and the racking will follow shortly. We’ll start moving stock in the next few weeks and the whole place will be ready to roll by late June 2018.

The Family Bird will soon be on our way to Manchester too, the next part of our adventure. Moving to a new house can be a bit of a pain, although, the kids are loving the fact they can make box forts so at least some of us are having fun.

There’s a lot to do both for my family and for Williams & Co yet, so I’ll be sharing our journey as we go.  I’m very excited about the prospect of moving and meeting new partners so drop by and experience the service we provide for yourself – you won’t be disappointed – and you never know, you might even get a bacon barm with your coffee.

Keep your eyes peeled for the announcement of the location next week!

Tom Bird



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