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Travis Perkins appoints new COO amid plans to simplify business

Building materials retailer, Travis Perkins, has appointed Frank Elkins as its new chief operating officer for the group’s trade merchant business.

The operations which Elkins will oversee include Travis Perkins builders merchants, BSS, Benchmarx, Keyline and CCF, which generate more than £3.6bn in annual revenue combined and have a branch network of more than 1,000 nationwide.

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

The COO 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 Elkins joined. He was promoted to divisional CEO of the group’s contract merchanting division in 2013, a post he held until his current appointment.

Carter said: “Frank has been 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 he 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.”

Elkins said: “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 choice for the trade.”

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