Cemex/TCL and On the Line General Hardware employees celebrate their partnership at the hardware, Endeavour Road, Chaguanas on Saturday. – ANGELO MARCELLE
Cemex/Trinidad Cement Ltd (TCL group) and Construama have partnered with On the Line General Hardware in Endeavour, Chaguanas to ensure customers receive proper assistance and improve the relationship with the distributors.
The initiative was launched and displayed to the public on Saturday morning. Upon entry, though the hardware is small, the products were placed neatly, and mostly every product was easy to find. TCL’s regional manager Guillermo Rojo said this is some of what this partnership entails and before launching the idea, the owners were given guidance on how their products should be placed in order to get more traction and sales.
Director of the hardware Amanda Rampersad said in addition to that, some of the training offered included improvement of customer service, and it was apparent when two customers were assisted with their searches swiftly.
Rojo said there are over 3,000 Construama stores over Latin America and On the Line General Hardware is the first English-speaking one, and by extension the first in the Caribbean.
“We’re really proud of it because it took a lot of time, energy, and learning from our colleagues in other countries from Cemex to come help and guide us on how to implement Construama in Trinidad. What we bring is abilities that they don’t have, like many don’t have certain tools or things and we can even offer certain discounts, and an ability to load faster and even faster deliveries.”
Owner Ashton Rampersad said once the idea was presented to him by TCL, he knew this was something he’d want to embark upon.
“Everything about the Construama partnership is like what I was trying to do for my hardware, the way the customer service was shown to me and everything. We wanted to be a hardware of the future, in terms of creating a digitalised platform for customers to shop.”
Ashton said the change that was seen with the provided training was accepted graciously as it was something he was hoping to achieve.
TCL regional manager Guillermo Rojo says the partnership with Construama and One the Line General Hardware is the first of its kind in TT. – ANGELO MARCELLE
Amanda said they were already in the process of improving customer service, rebranding, marketing, and boosting their online presence, but with this Construama partnership, they can do so on a much larger scale.
“So, now it’s to get that global presence and Construama brand to help support that.”
She also touched on the future plans for the hardware which includes offering the eco-friendly cement TCL has been offering since last October. This eco-friendly cement called Vertua Eco Cement was created to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 15 to more than 40 per cent.
“TCL now has an eco brand so, we’re seeing as a hardware how we can get into the sustainability space, so we will now be one of the first hardwares to be leading that endeavour of being green within Trinidad.”
The selection process was done in June by TCL which picked four hardwares that carries its products and hosted a meeting before sending out contracts at the end of the month. On the Line General Hardware was the first to be chosen, and Reshma Singh TCL’s sales distribution segment manager said more partnerships like these will be seen soon. She said the training takes at least one month to complete.
“We don’t intend to go into the construction industry, we intend to partner with our distributors with initiatives such as Contsruama to increase their ability to service clients. Our priority is to professionalise our network because we are a global company and we can leverage that global presence to bring value.”
Singh added, “We have onboarded other distributors who will be deployed month by month and even in 2023. It’s not an initiative that is going to die after today. We will one by one onboard our distributors, we have over 400 distributors, it’s going to take us a while, but each distributor is welcomed.”