“I am confident that my home will stand the test of time because I used quality materials to build it,” says Nida Santa Romana, customer of one of LafargeHolcim’s Helps U Build, or HUB, franchise stores in the Philippines. The LafargeHolcim retail model goes beyond simply selling cement by offering individual homeowners and home improvers advice, a wide range of quality products at reasonable prices, logistics and partnership with a trusted brand.
The pull of a better product
Santa Romana is in the finishing stages of building her home where she now lives with her family. When she first started construction, she was using cement and supplies from a LafargeHolcim competitor. During that time she met an account executive of one of the HUB stores, who introduced her to the benefits of using LafargeHolcim products. “My husband and I are in the electrical business,” says Santa Romana, “so we know the value of choosing products that will last.” Santa Romana decided to make a trial purchase of cement and steel bars from her local HUB store in Tarlac.
Her contractor tried out LafargeHolcim’s Wallright masonry cement and was pleased at how easy it was to apply and how it didn’t crack upon drying. He was also impressed with the quality of the steel bars sold at the HUB. The quality is what first brought her over to the HUB store – the additional advice she received helped her finish her home, using building materials from the store.
Nida Santa Romana built her home with cement and other materials from the local HUB store
Nida Santa Romana receives advice on construction materials from HUB associate Michael Beltran
Ed Pineda, who runs the Tarlac City HUB store, acquired two HUB franchises in 2016 and is planning to open two more
Nida Santa Romana's house is in the finishing stages
I am confident that my home will stand the test of time because I used quality materials to build it.
A win-win franchise model
LafargeHolcim officially started franchising retail outlets in the Philippines in 2015 and now has 22 stores spread across key cities of Luzon, the largest and most populous island. Ed Pineda acquired two HUB franchises in 2016 – Tarlac in April and Cabanatuan in October. Pineda, a former contractor, knows the construction industry well and has a large network of contacts working on government projects in the Tarlac and Cabanatuan areas. In the future, he is looking to further expand by opening franchise stores in Dagupan and Aurora, where he also has wide networks.
Since most HUB stores are strategically located in areas where LafargeHolcim is not the leading cement player, franchisees like Pineda help build market share by educating small contractors and homeowners about the advantages of LafargeHolcim products. This is exactly what happened when Pineda’s account executives first met Santa Romana. Because Pineda’s stores are part of a network of branches serviced by the HUB’s supply chain group, Pineda is able to offer reasonable prices and service a wider area than most competitor stores. He is able to share these efficiencies with his contractor customers who have widespread project sites. For individual homeowners like Santa Romana, he offers the convenience of small-scale deliveries. “In our business, there is a lot of competition. We offer a high standard of quality and our associates are experts on construction materials – we deliver what the customer wants, within the day,” Pineda says.
- Getting closer to our customers allows us to meet their needs with increased speed, precision and creativity.
- Our goal is to be leaders, recognized as the partner of choice in construction, whether for an individual home, a commercial building or the largest infrastructure project.
- We will use our scale and expertise to continue to innovate, co-creating solutions with our customers and nurturing long-term relationships.
- We will deliver our growth targets thanks to our focus on providing innovative and sustainable solutions to our customers and capturing the full value of our differentiated products and services in our pricing.
On time and within budget
What did Santa Romana like best about buying her building materials at Pineda’s HUB? “Their personnel were very helpful. And doing business with them was so convenient and easy.” Because she was working on a budget, her building material requirements came in small quantities over the course of a year, allowing her to manage her funds. The small, mixed-merchandise deliveries were no problem for her HUB store, which has the logistical support to service small-scale deliveries.
Pineda’s account executives were able to help Santa Romana in planning delivery schedules. This gave her peace of mind in being able to place the orders and not worry about the rest. And the store’s proximity made it easy for her to make those last-minute purchases needed by her contractor.
Santa Romana sleeps easy now knowing, “all of the products I bought were of good quality.” Though starting a new project is the last thing on her mind now, she did say, “If I ever build another house, there’s no doubt I’d use LafargeHolcim products and my local HUB store.”
If I ever build another house, there’s no doubt I’d use LafargeHolcim products and my local HUB store.
LafargeHolcim’s retail strategy
The HUB franchise model in the Philippines is an example of LafargeHolcim’s ambition of getting closer to the end user by developing its presence in the retail market. The Group is currently exploring different retail concepts to find the best solution for each market, and is also looking at breakthrough digital solutions to better serve end users. The objective is to implement successful retail models in 30 – 50 countries by 2020.