The NFRN's new award structure means that individual depots are rewarded for providing the best service and support to independent retailers. Smiths News's Bolton and Wednesbury depots were also shortlisted for the coveted award, but Reading won through to the top slot.
Pictured, from left to right, are Dharam Ahuja, NFRN Branch Secretary, Clive Element House Manager, NFRN President Suleman Khonat and NFRN Branch President Harish Patel.
Mr Khonat said: “The culture within Smiths News Reading, from top to bottom, is one of giving their customers the best possible service and over the last few years this aim has been more than fulfilled with quite exceptional levels of service being achieved.
“It is not that there aren’t ever any problems or mistakes but when they occur every effort is made to resolve them as quickly as possible.”
Reading manager Clive Element praised the team effort that made the win possible: “Everyone from packers, drivers to warehouse operatives and customer service staff have all played their part in delivering this performance. Everyone has shown total commitment and dedication to serving the customer.”
NFRN Reading President Harish Patel and Reading Secretary Dharam Ahuja also added their congratulations. Mr Patel said: "It’s phenomenal what the Smiths News Reading team has achieved. Their hands-on approach means issues are quickly resolved; deliveries are on time, returns collected and credits rapidly processed. Our members regularly praise the level of service they provide – it's great to have such a consistently accurate team right on our doorstep."
About Smiths News Reading
Smiths News says: “Smiths News’s Reading warehouse distributes newspapers and magazines to retailers across the Reading and Oxford area and handles calls for Smiths News eastern region.
* Distributes 2.25m magazines and newspapers a week
* Handles 2,000 customer calls a day
* Employs 155 staff and 51 contractors”