Finding the Perfect Partner
Choosing the right wholesaler is a big deal. It’s a relationship that has a direct impact on your business and how successful you are. Take Stock spoke to Tracy Faulkner from research and consulting firm, him!, about how to find the perfect wholesale partner.
“You need to consider, when choosing a wholesaler, which one is best suited to your business needs and first and foremost which option is best for you; a delivery service or a cash and carry,” said Tracy. “The main points you have to consider are; how much stock you are likely to order (delivered services may have a minimum order level), are you able to hold much stock, whether your business requires high levels of fresh produce, can you take time out of your business, do you have the means to transport stock yourself.”
According to research by him!, when it comes to choosing a wholesaler, caterers are influenced by:
· Reliability (46%)
· Value for money (38%)
· Availability of stock (25%)
· Delivery times (20%)
The amount of support and added value your wholesaler gives you is also important. Research shows that whilst 62% of buyers work from a precise shopping list, 38% are keen to know about new products and are willing to try something different. A good wholesaler will have informed sales teams who know what’s available and give you professional advice.
Keeping in touch
Good communication is also a must. The perfect partner will keep you informed and let you know what’s happening on a regular basis – via email, telephone contact and/or regular promotional literature. Almost 80% of buyers say this directly influences their purchasing decisions. Inspiration is key! Foodservice is on the constant look out for something new – him! research reveals that over a third of buyers want to be given menu ideas. That’s one reason why every issue of Today’s Take Stock is packed with recipes and suggestions.
A delivery service offered once or twice a week is vital – 73% of caterers made it a priority even if they also used a cash and carry. “Even if the delivered route is the way to go, the majority of caterers will still use a cash and carry depot,” adds Tracy. “In fact, 54% of caterers who use a depot are doing so to ‘top up’ – buying products outside of their main weekly order.”
Everyone loves a bargain and a fifth of caterers will go out of their way to find a good deal – but how good is it really? “It is really important to weigh up all aspects,” says Tracy. “Yes, it may be a good deal, but what additional cost is there in fuel and time out of your business?”
Research by him! revealed that when it came to ‘overall relationship’ Today’s wholesalers scored 8.1 out of 10 – points above its closest competitor which scored 7.9. See how Today’s wholesalers performed in detail below: