MHK Q&A

Who are MHK?

MHK are a buying and business services organisation, and we exist to support our members and help them grow their businesses. We are not a supplier, we are on the side of our retail members, but we do work closely with many suppliers of furniture, appliances, sinks, lighting and other services.

 

 


Why haven’t I heard of you already?

We were founded in Germany 40 years ago, and have 3300 members operating 5100 showrooms across 9 European countries, but we only came to the UK in 2018 and prefer a face to face approach so we can get to know our potential members business.

So what are the benefits to being a member?

Our members enjoy significant cashflow benefits from our 30 days payment terms, with early settlement, and access to buying terms that are negotiated based on the combined spending power of all of our members across Europe. Our combined turnover is more than €6billion, so that brings with it significant negotiating power we use for the benefit of members.

I asked my supplier about buying groups – they say I already have the best terms.

Most suppliers don’t understand all the benefits buying groups bring to retailers and suppliers, so why not talk with us and find out the situation independently? In every case, we pay an additional bonus to our members, so even if your terms are the same or better than ours (and this is rarely the case), you can keep your existing terms and still receive a bonus from MHK and 30 day payment terms, with early settlement.

So do I have to change my business systems and re-train my staff when I join?

No, nothing changes in the way you do business – you still deal directly with each suppliers local business manager and central order processing - the invoice then comes via our system.

So how much is the bonus?

That is very much down to you and what products you choose to sell, as suppliers offer many generous turnover based bonuses to MHK members, so loyalty to a few suppliers pays dividends. The average bonus paid to UK members last year was £7000 and were made up from a bonus from MHK of minimum of 1% of their turnover, and bonuses from the supplier that reward turnover and loyalty.

So do I have to change everything in my showroom to the suppliers you work with?

No you don’t, you are free to buy wherever you need to, although most retailers find that the combination of MHK buying terms, 30 days to pay, early settlement, ease of payment and MHK bonus mean it’s more profitable and easier for them to deal with MHK suppliers.

What is the advantage for the supplier then?

There are many benefits to suppliers but the most attractive one is that we guarantee payment to suppliers for goods supplied to our members, so suppliers can trade in a risk free way with kitchen showrooms, saving them the expense and hassle of managing credit limits and chasing invoices. They also get an open forum to trade with any of our members should both parties want to trade, bringing new customers directly to that supplier.

Sounds good – where’s the catch?

You are welcome to try and find the catch, but 3300 members across Europe haven’t been able to find it! You are welcome to speak to existing members to find out their experiences, and if for any reason you don’t want to continue being a member, you are free to leave, all we ask is that you are a member for a minimum of 12 calendar months to correspond with our bonus calculation period.

Why isn’t everyone a member?

Good question – in Europe, 99% of kitchen specialists are buying group members – in the UK the concept is still new and as the benefits are wide ranging and every kitchen business is unique, the benefits of membership are not “one size fits all”. Each member makes use of different benefits, so a one-to-one approach is necessary, and we also like to know our customers as everything revolves around relationships.

I guess it must cost a lot to be a member then?

Not really – our members become limited partners in our business, under the limited partner act of 1907, and to be a partner you must lodge a one off sum of £1900 as a partnership loan, and make a £100 capital contribution. After this there are no ongoing membership fees, and should you choose to leave, the partnership loan is refunded to you.

I have £X credit limit with my main supplier – will I have the same with MHK?

No! we offer all suppliers an open ended payment guarantee when dealing with our members, so as a member you are free to order what you need, without having to dance around credit limits. This means you can order what you need when you need it operationally, instead of when your account lets you.

With so many suppliers, invoicing must be complicated.

Not really – our system groups all supplier invoices into weekly payments – you still have sight of the supplier invoice, but everything ordered is paid in one payment each week, at least 30 days after delivery.

I am thinking about taking on a new furniture range – can you help?

We have access, visibility and knowledge of the full range of manufacturers we work with, and know their unique selling points, specifications, prices and service levels, so can advise on who it is best to speak with to fulfil your business goals. On a wider level we offer business consultancy and review to keep your business on track, web site design, Marketing assistance, SEO, planning software and tax consultancy to name a few of the additional services.

How do I find out more?

Please call Paul Wheeler, David Morris or Marcel Crezee and we will arrange a time to talk over a coffee. We want to learn more about you and your business so we can outline the benefits that bring you the best advantages and opportunities -we hope with this information the decision to join is a straightforward one.

MHK Q&A