My first observation is what do You as a supplier mean by UK Wholesale, two short words but a lot to unpick – being structured is key and understanding where you want focus, what that means and where you have the right to win is critical.
- Who is supplied Retail (which segments?), Out of Home (which segments?), Specialist Channels, Export - The big supermarkets now play here Booker owned by Tesco, Morrisons have a wholesale arm, Asda owners own Eurogarage’s and Leon!
- How is it supplied Delivered, Collect, Cash and Carry?
- How do they transact face to face selling, van sales, telesales, online only?
As they say first seek to understand and then be understood
But as a starter for ten,
- Preparation - Understanding your target channels, and who the key players are in each channel, is essential. Next on the list, you need to have access to the right people, relationships are key. If you don’t know the buyers or the head of commercial in each Wholesale account, you may need to buy in that expertise, otherwise be prepared for a real struggle to impact quickly.
- Resources - what do you have at your disposal – people, £, time- this dictates and what is possible.
- Focus – have you understood where are you going to focus? From the above list.
- Range and Packaging Be prepared to justify what and why robustly, as tight as possible, warehouses and vans haven’t got expandable walls. Packaging – is it right for cash and carry, right size for delivered, right size for retailer/caterer
- Commercials -Does the value, margin price architecture deliver for all elements of the chain- you, the RTM, the retailer/caterer (and any other partners).Customer Terms - have you a robust structure to work to to guide your investment both Supply and Demand Side – how do you manage order to cash
- Read across - Is your model defendable across the customers, channels and segments?
- Activation, Push v Pull - Have the right balance of driving stock in the RTM and pulling it out the other end (field sales, telesales, your team, agency, online), ultimately no demand = failure.
- Sales and Marketing Collateral - Words can achieve a lot but have you the materials to help you and the wholesalers sell – online, hard and soft copies, simple key features and benefits, why your ranges are right and for where. One-page summaries are often key. Does it summarise that 2-minute elevator pitch -you need to stand out in up 30000 sku’s?
- Trade Communications/Events - Use these tactically to spread the word, generate leads and maximise share of voice, but chose the ones that support what and where strategically. They cost and need to pay back
- Tracking and Continuous Improvement - Be clear and document milestones short and long term-Volume Distribution Points, key customers secured. Move to an Annual Mutual agreed Joint Business Plan as soon as Appropriate.
Key Final Thought – It’s a huge market more c£30 Billion at Wholesale Value- there is a lot to go for, but this only comes with clarity of focus and well thought and monitored plan.