The History Behind The Success
Twenty-five years ago the use of supplements in the complementary health industry was almost unheard of in the UK. Then one small company was formed by a father and son with the sole objective of introducing nutritional supplements to UK practitioners as a complementary aid to wellness, rapid recovery and ultimately, optimum health.
Pioneering the use of supplements
Nutri Ltd started life from a double garage in Gatley, a suburb of South Manchester. The father and son team, Norman and Ken Eddie, sourced premium quality products from America that had been specifically formulated to support the osteopathic and naturopathic disciplines. The father of the team, Norman, had already used supplements for many years in his own highly successful osteopathic practice, also based in Gatley.
At the time Norman’s groundbreaking results were highly publicised in various national media publications and this in turn sparked a huge amount of interest from other practitioners wishing to experience similar results with their patients. Son Ken took to the road literally pioneering the use of supplements by practitioners nationwide.
Managing Director Ken said: “Back in 1981 it wasn’t so much a case of just having better products than your competitors, because there were no competitors.
“My mission at the time was to convince and prove to practitioners that they could better help their patients improve their health and make swifter recoveries by supporting their disciplines with supplements particularly targeted to enable this.”
Nutri believes it is vitally important to make a contribution to the industry as well as to make a living.
Ken explained: “For the first three years I drove over 60,000 miles a year and covered the length and breadth of the United Kingdom, knocking on doors and making new friends out of strangers.
These were exciting times. “My father and I never looked upon it as selling. What I discovered when I went out there to find a market was a group of people with very similar values to our own and with whom we discovered we had massive rapport.
“Even today I see that the best practitioners are not driven mainly by a quest for material gain. Generally they are people to whom it is vitally important that their way of making a living is also making a contribution at the same time. And in this way we remain identical and 25 years on I see that what makes our company so successful is this near perfect alignment with our customer’s values.
“My father and I had a vision that by introducing supplements to UK practitioners we would be making a huge contribution, not just to practitioners and their patients but ultimately to the health of the nation.”
All of this is in stark contrast to the company that Nutri has become today, with around 35 employees handling several hundred practitioner and patient orders every day and providing a prompt 24-hour delivery service.
Having relocated four times since its inception, Nutri is now located on a beautiful site by the banks of the River Goyt in the picturesque Peak District village of Whaley Bridge.
Almost 300 different products are accommodated in Nutri’s state of the art warehouse where refrigerated areas ensure many retain their optimum potency.
A team of four degree-qualified nutritionists man their own separate department and stand by to offer free telephone support and advice to practitioners via the company’s free phone service.
When asked about the changes that have taken place during the last 25 years, Ken said: “Of course, over our 25 years in business there have been big changes in the industry. During that time I’ve seen it go from us having almost no competition at all to having to hold our own against competitors owned by huge pharmaceutical companies with seemingly bottomless pockets for sales and marketing.
“One thing I have learned in business is that in order to survive and flourish you need at least a few things about your business that are unique. We decided at the outset that it wasn’t enough to just have remarkably efficacious products and even highest standards of customer care cannot guarantee you’ll be viewed by your customers as unique.
“In my heart I think the thing that makes us the most special is that unlike most of our competitors who only seem concerned with the size of their weekly sales, we actually care about our customers and we care about their patients and we care that what we do here at Nutri makes a real contribution to furthering the use of natural healthcare throughout the United Kingdom.”
Practitioner Education Programme
Nutri is also famous for its Practitioner Education Programme, which is run every year. The company stages seminars throughout the UK, often featuring international world-class experts speaking about a host of health topics.
In the past, speakers have included Dr Jeffrey Bland PhD, Dr Georges Mouton and Dr Michael Culp and the central theme to all of Nutri’s education is in finding and promoting cutting edge natural solutions to health care problems.
Commitment to customer care
Another large department houses the Customer Service administrators whose job it is to take telephone orders and provide an efficient and friendly customer service to practitioners and patients calling in on the freephone number.
Nutri’s customer service has been overseen for the last decade by the company’s director Gary Courtenay.
Gary’s expertise in customer care and service is recognised internationally and he is the author of two successful books. He has also lectured at the Cranfield School of Management and currently lectures regularly at the University of Warwick.
“Our aim is to provide our practitioner customers with a seamless extension to their own practice,” Gary explained. “With just one free phone call, busy practitioners can gain expert advice, place their orders and expect it to be on their doorstep the following day.
“Providing excellent levels of customer care and service may sound glib and it may sound easy but the truth is far from it. It actually takes a massive commitment to sustaining rigorously high standards and an ongoing process of self-examination to ensure that everybody that has contact with our company is made to feel special and is made to feel valued. “
Gary added: “Excellent systems and standards on their own are not enough. It is necessary to create a culture within your workforce that has the provision of excellent service beating at its heart.”
He explained that every employee at Nutri goes through a minimum of six days training with an examination and a certificate when they pass, and all of this exacting process is administered by himself.
“The reward for getting our customer care right is a constant stream of new customers recommended to us that has these days become more like a torrent,” he added.
“We have grown massively through happy existing customers raving about our products and services to their colleagues and recommending us to them"