Small Talk

OPI highlights some of the core messages from a recent podcast episode with Colin Campbell, Managing Director of leading Scottish dealer Langstane, which is 75 years old this year.


Is being a Scottish business an advantage when bidding on local contracts?

“Sometimes, but not enough. It boils down to ‘business is business’ and you have to be competitive, in the right place at the right time and excellent at customer service. We’ve got to be all those things. We don’t just get [business] because we’re local.”

Are you happy with your supply chain?

“While our competitors seem to be quite good at getting product into our area, our suppliers aren’t so clever. We aren’t receiving goods as quickly as we need to at times, so we have to still stock to provide the service we want to give. It’s very difficult getting next-day delivery from our sources. 

“There was a time when you could rely on the wholesalers to do it…”

How do you grow share of customer wallet?

“It’s the simple basic principle that, once we’ve developed strong customer relationships and have a good supply going with them, we look for other products and services we can offer. It’s much easier to grow sales by selling more to an existing client than by finding a new one.

“We’ve been doing it like that to this day – it still works; it’s worked since 1947 and will continue to do so. There is such a diverse range of things we can begin to introduce to our customers – the opportunities are limitless.”

What’s been the impact of work-from-home customers for you?

“There’s been a lot of leakage, and I would say the whole industry has suffered from it. The easy route is you go online and buy everything from Amazon or other, similar options. 

“We are slowly but surely getting back out there, reminding customers that we are still very much around.”

Your view on Ambiente 2023?

“We looked at attending and felt the content didn’t tick enough boxes for us. But we’ll keep an eye on [the event] and see if it develops to become more appropriate.”

What does the future hold?

“It’s hard to actually make any predictions because of so much uncertainty around us that’s out of our control. We’ve got to make sure we do the right things, so we’re in control of our own actions and decisions. 

“We must be sharper than ever right now and maintain that flexibility and adaptability we had during the COVID challenge.” 

For more details on OPI Talk, visit