On-line business sorted the men from the boys in this award sponsored by Dulux, with Travis Perkins' free Internet access and e-catalogue securing it first prize.
  • winner

    Travis Perkins Trading Company
    A total of £358.8m of goods passed through Travis Perkins' 410 outlets in the first half of 1999. The firm successfully integrated Keyline Builders Merchants' 101 branches, which it acquired last year. IT has featured strongly on the firm's road to success: it is the first merchant to offer free Internet access to its customers, as well as handling on-line customised price enquiries through its E-Catalogue, which contains 12 000 products with technical specifications and graphics.

  • second

    Jackson Building Centres
    Another successful year for Jackson saw turnover reach £102m in 1999 compared with £97m in 1998, a 5% increase. The firm's focus last year was on building better relationships with customers and suppliers. In a novel move to raise the profile of the Jakpoints loyalty scheme, the firm introduced a method of redemption points that allows customers to enjoy a holiday abroad for two. During the year, Jackson also converted its car-fleet purchase policy from diesel to smaller petrol engines.

  • third

    WT Burden
    WT Burden is expecting to ring up £145m of sales for 1999. This is an increase of 17.8% on the £123.1m it turned over in 1998. The firm is committed to improving customer relationships, and in the past year has adopted partnering arrangements with several major contractors. One of its greatest sales successes has been a 40% growth in ground engineering and environmental products.

    Leading the movement towards paperless purchasing – an excellent on-line service

    Maintains high service levels, is very customer focused and has consolidated and grown in all areas

    The only one of the four to develop a partnering approach – they are making a lot of effort to be part of the team