Argos for Business, a leading provider of merchandise, has partnered with International Diplomatic Services (IDS) to provide individuals and families living and working abroad in countries such as Bangladesh, China, and Ecuador with domestic goods, toys, furniture and other household items from the Argos product range.
IDS, based in West Sussex, identified a gap in the market for providing people working abroad with every day household products. After recognising this opportunity, the company engaged with Argos for Business to enhance its offering with additional products.
Patrick Doyle, Chief Executive at IDS, says: “When we started IDS in 1997, we wanted to create an organisation which acts as a one-stop-shop for diplomats abroad. We were progressing very successfully with duty free items and this new partnership with Argos for Business provides embassies and diplomatic missions around the world with the full range of products from the Argos catalogue and online at argos.co.uk.
“It’s fantastic to be able to obtain such a vast, well-priced range of products from one efficient source and we now give out the Argos catalogue or the Argos website address to our customers and they can place their order with us. Our customers can have everything that they’d have in the UK, including children’s birthday presents, Christmas gifts and accessories, all from one place.
“I’ve been travelling around the world building the IDS business, selling duty free goods, wines and spirits, and when you sit face-to-face with international diplomats and present them with the Argos catalogue, their faces really light up. It makes the selling process so much easier because there is something in the Argos catalogue that appeals to everybody.
“Via Argos for Business, we now provide hundreds of people around the world with products every month, with the items most in-demand being sports equipment.”
Impressed by the company’s personal service, IDS now uses Argos for Business’ local Business Centre to organise all purchases. The Argos Business Centre has been created to offer a solution to businesses that are looking to reduce the time spent on administration, particularly when making large orders on a regular basis.
Patrick corroborates this: “The Argos Business Centre takes a very complicated service, which buys in a lot of different products, and makes it very simple. You go to one source, a dedicated representative deals with everything for you and you receive your deliveries that can then be sent to your own clients around the world.
“We find that there are considerable time-saving and efficiency benefits when dealing with the Argos Business Centre. Everything is handled for us so we place one order and produce a document from our own processing system, which is emailed directly to Argos and then the goods arrive. The whole process saves us time and that’s important to a small business such as ours. We strive to provide a great service for our customers so it’s assuring to know that Argos can provide the same level of efficiency, customer care and satisfaction, as well as great range of products that diplomats around the world know and love.”
One of the main objectives of the Argos Business Centre is to provide a personal level of service, which Patrick acknowledges: “Our staff have good relationships with the Argos Business Centre team – they pick up the phone and the person at the other end knows who we are, what our requirements are, and understands our business. Those are the things that make it pleasant to do business together.”
Martin Laparle, General Manager of the Worthing Argos Business Centre, adds: “The store managers at the Argos Business Centres have been trained by Argos for Business to understand the different requirements of business customers to consumers, with colleagues embracing the challenge.
“The Business Centre approach has made it a lot more personal and professional for customers like IDS to order products. It’s one port of call whereby if an organisation has an issue or a problem with its order, they come directly to us and we take the hassle out of the ordering process for them, which saves time so they can concentrate on their business and customers.
“The partnership is a huge success. I personally don’t see IDS as a customer, they are more like a partner; someone that we work closely with and we do everything possible to achieve the best outcome for their customers.
“In addition, our immediacy and our locality to their main warehouse and offices means that they can just drop by and pick something up should the need arise and our staff will be on hand to help them with their requirements.”
Visit https://uk.i-d-s.com to find out more about International Diplomatic Services.