How we work

THE FIRST ONE’S FREE!
We always arrange to call in to see a prospective client to get to know about their business, explain more what CSD is about and find out about the [potential] project you may have in mind – at this stage it may be no more than a ‘glint in your eye’!

This visit is free so we can talk things through with you whilst you have the opportunity, face-to-face, to help you decide if all this hype is justifiable!

NO ‘IVORY TOWERS’ AT CSD
The main thing to say about CSD is that we work with our clients. Given the go-ahead on a project we do not head off back to the Ivory Tower, decide what you should do, write it up / draw it up and present it to you as a ‘take it or leave it’ option.

We involve you in the evolution of the ideas and concept -, communicating on a regular basis through telephone, emails and regularly scheduled meetings.

WE’RE NOT ‘YES-MEN’
A common criticism of ‘consultants’ is that they listen to all your ideas, write them up in an impressive way then charge you the earth for doing so! We certainly talk to, and listen to you – that’s essential to get an understanding of the business, what your concerns and objectives are plus any possible solutions you have considered.

However, once we have listened to you, if we don’t agree with your assessment of the situation or your thoughts on solutions we will tell you so - and give you our reasons why! At the very least we will enable you to put your ideas into effect and seriously build on them – very often we will come up with a solution that you had not considered or even, with all due respect, knew existed. Not for nothing do we call ourselves ‘Creative Storage & Display’.

WE’RE NOSEY!
Whilst we obviously work on the project we are given, we try not to look at it in isolation. We look at the likely knock-on effects and potential for synergy i.e. the ‘2+2=5 situation’ – doing A along with B, and possibly C too generates even greater benefits than the individual activities.

CRYSTAL BALL GAZING + THE ‘IF-ONLY-SYNDROME’
In this context we like to look ahead – you may not have the intention, [or finance!], to do more at this stage BUT we like to make sure that what is done now does not get in the way of what you may wish to do in the future. We are great believers in ‘5-year-plans’ – defining where you want to be then – defining the correct sequence / priorities then looking at how to get there in practical and affordable ‘bite-sized-chunks’.

NO BLANK CHEQUE BOOKS
After our initial meeting, [assuming you do not think we are a bunch of no-hopers!], we will go away, write up our interpretation of the brief we have discussed, set out the way we will approach the project, what you will get and the costs involved in us doing so. If the brief or proposed project format needs modifying, we will do so in accordance with your wishes and re-cost. You can then choose to go ahead, [or not], on a specific basis. With medium to large projects we split these up into sequential phases and initially only seek the go-ahead on the first phase so you can see how we all get on and get some ‘results’ before you commit to the remainder of the project.

RETURN ON INVESTMENT
No two projects are the same and our costs vary in relation to our personnel / time commitment. But bear in mind that the work we do usually relates to the long-term development of the business. Think of the cost of a new Fork Truck or a Crane Off-load Delivery lorry. Our fees rarely cost as much as the fork truck even for the larger jobs, and they have never been anywhere near the cost of a lorry. But think of the potential for increased sales, reduced damage, better service, the reduced cost-to-sell, fewer Health & Safety incidents, the opportunity for maximising return on capital invested in land, building, racking systems etc that will accrue from our involvement in your business.

CLIENTS KEEP COMING BACK
The ultimate test of service and value-for-money is if customers come back for more. We have been in this business for over 20 years and some of our client relationships go back that far e.g. we first worked for one very successful family merchant group back in the late 80’s – since then we have worked through all his branches and started again on the oldest projects to bring them up to date.

RACKING SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT
If we see a particular merchandising, display or storage problem which is difficult to solve with existing systems / components, or we can see a better way of doing something we do not just shrug our shoulders. We seek out the most appropriate system and search for specialist components

CSD Associates in a nutshell

We have 20+ years experience of designing, developing, improving storage, handling and display facilities for merchants and diy retailers. We work for the small, one-branch, independent merchants right up to the national groups and DIY 'sheds'. It doesn't matter if it's just improving a trade counter, sales area OR designing a timber store OR a complete greenfield 15 acre site, new-build flagship branch with a 15,000 M² showroom, trade counter, warehouse complex, that's what we do!