Managing a successful relationship with your wholesaler is critical to your brand’s growth and success.
Here are 10 tips to help you get the most out of your wholesaler relationships:
1. Monitor Product Movement: Ensure that they are not forward buying when running an OI by regularly reviewing all available reports.
Example reports you should be running from your TPM:
2. Launch New Products Successfully: Communication is key when launching a new product. Make sure to share all product details, including timing, pricing, category fit, and product details, with your wholesaler. Don’t be afraid to over-communicate as you’re better off sharing all details upfront.
3. Strategic Promotional Calendar: Plan a strategic promotional schedule/calendar to make the most of your promotional spend. Consider transitioning from an OI to an MCB to maximize your trade spend. Off Invoice promotions are a fixed % or $ discount shown on the incoming purchase order (PO). They can be great for simplicity and drive volume, but difficult to measure ROI and effectiveness. MCBs are a type of trade where the retailer buys your product at a discounted price during a buy-window and then hopefully the retailer passes along the discount to the consumer during a predetermined promotional period. MCBs are also deducted off a future payment, which make them a much smarter way to spend your trade dollars.
Changing promotional calendars can be tricky, but by exploring more creative ways to spend (while not decreasing your trade) it’s beneficial for both you and the wholesaler. Sometimes however, OIs are the way to go when trying to maximize new distribution and gain traction on new items.
4. Avoid Spoilage: Monitor your inventory regularly and react promptly to avoid spoilage by reviewing all available reports.
5. Product Knowledge: Educate your wholesaler representatives on your product to help them sell it effectively to their various accounts. This can be done with self-serve tools such as recorded videos, through hosted webinars, or in-person regional training.
6. Warehouse Volume Requirements: Consider which warehouses are most suitable for gaining new distribution and make sure you meet the volume requirements for each warehouse.
7. Excess Inventory: Identify and react to excess inventory promptly to ensure it is moved before spoilage. Consider running promotions to move inventory quickly, but be mindful of the cost.
8. Ordering Patterns: Save on freight costs by shipping in full truckloads and avoid going LTL routes.
9. Attend Trade Shows: Attend their biannual or annual trade shows to see what their KPIs are and understand your competition.
10. Maximize Partnership: Foster a strong relationship with your direct partner by maximizing the partnership and keeping your product top of mind.
In conclusion, maintaining a strong wholesaler relationship is essential for your brand’s growth and success. By implementing these tips, you can ensure that your product is effectively distributed, your promotions are well-planned, and your inventory is managed efficiently.