Travis Perkins appoints new COO for trade merchanting

Travis Perkins, the UK’s largest supplier of building materials, has appointed Frank Elkins as new Chief Operating Officer for the Group’s trade merchant businesses.

Elkins has been appointed with immediate effect following the Group’s announcement that it plans to simplify and focus on trade customers, and is removing the company’s divisional structure to reduce complexity, speed up decision making and reduce costs.

In his previous role, Elkins joined BSS Group in 2003 and rose from Commercial Director to Managing Director for BSS Industrial in 2005 and Board Director in 2009. Travis Perkins Group acquired the BSS Group in 2010 when Frank then joined. He was promoted to Divisional CEO of the Group’s Contract Merchanting Division in 2013, a post he held until his current appointment.

John Carter, CEO, said: "Frank has been an instrumental in laying the foundations for our new structure, and has a clear vision, the energy and commitment to developing our trade merchanting organisation. He has been in merchanting for over 30 years, eight of these with us.

"As Divisional CEO for our Contract Merchanting Division, when he was responsible for the leadership and strategy development of our Keyline, BSS and CCF businesses, he succeeded in growing sales and profits by nearly 50% over a five-year period. This is a fantastic track record."

Equipped with a BA Honours from Aberystwyth University, Elkin previously held a number of senior positions at Hagemeyer UK in sales, service and operations.

He said of his appointment: We have a fantastic team of leaders at all levels, who have the passion and know how to ensure that our customer proposition is best in class. I want to make sure our Branch Managers and teams have everything they need to do their job well, so we can be the first choice for trade customers.

"In our industry, it's all about relationships and service: strong and personal relationships between branches, customers and our suppliers. We need to ensure that we continue to take away complexity and that our priorities across all functions are focused on delivering our vision of being the first in choice for the trade."

At the tail end of last year, Travis Perkins group indicated it will be refocusing the business on its trade customers amidst uncertain short term market conditions. The Group, which owns Wickes, Toolstation, Travis Perkins merchants & others, said it is looking to improve the performance of Wickes to create options to maximise value over the medium term.