Posted by admin on
Another week, another country – only this time, it is only Scotland, which is currently in the UK – although if Alex Salmond has his way, not after 2014.
Another week, another country – only this time, it is only Scotland, which is currently in the UK – although if Alex Salmond has his way, not after 2014. To be honest I had more language difficulties in the restaurant this evening than I did in France last week. What an accent they have in Perth! On the long journey up here today, prompted by a couple of e-mails received along the way, I was cogitating about how important trust is in business. It really is at the foundation of all we do. Business is based on relationships, relationships are based on trust
As a wholesaler we are in a particularly vulnerable position unless trust abounds. We don’t have a brand, we don’t produce anything, we can be bypassed at any point. That is why, for us, partnership is such a key. We are, I believe, good at what we do i.e. selling and looking after retailers and ensuring they get the goods they order in a timely and efficient manner. How disappointing it is then, when our suppliers occasionally undermine us by offering special deals to retailers behind our backs. This is whatI became aware of today! Not with one of a key partnership suppliers, but one whose products sell well for us. It won’t continue – either we will sort this out or they won’t be a supplier for long!!
At the whole core of our business is that we are offering our whole range to retailers at the same prices as if they would be buying direct. If there is not price parity there is no point to our existence. However, even at the same prices we are saving retailers £1000s per year. All the time spent ordering from countless producers, receiving in countless deliveries, paying countless invoices, organising countless tasting events and planning countless promotions is all done through one contact point – the wholesaler. The savvy retailers tell us we are saving them £1000s in wage bills by taking this administrative burden off them. The good news is that the downturn over the last couple of years has made some retailers analyse their costs a little more carefully and they have come to the conclusion that what we have been saying all along is right!
Even better news is that due to our partnership relationships with suppliers, then retailers are just as close to the people making the stuff as they were before – just without a lot of the administrative hassle! So it is even more amazing when we discover large independent retailers are still buying direct from producers, sometimes for tiny amounts of product. Occasionally it may make sense but often they either paying high prices via carriage charges or are being forced into huge stock-holdings, which isn’t great for cash-flow or shelf life.
Sorry that was all a bit heavy. Generally 2012 has been fab so far – so much more optimism than there was in 2011. The reception to our new product ranges has been fantastic as I am sure is the case with other suppliers – there is a lot more desire out there to refresh the retail offering. There really is a determination out there to take things forward this year from independent retailers – more boldness to increase stock and merchandise more fully. Don’t forget to ask suppliers for promotions even when they are not asking for them! We will be happy to oblige!