To serve or not to serve...

It's an age-old problem and one that isn’t going to go away in a hurry. How do you stop your customers reading the labels on a box and calling your supplier to get served direct, thereby cutting out the middle man – aka the wholesaler – and saving a few pence? 

It is well-known that wholesalers in the meat industry work on very low margins, so this high-risk business is dependent on volume and a bit of an art form to get it right.

It’s not like Amazon or Argos where the goods don’t go out of date, so they can afford to get the odd order a bit wrong and order too much. The goods we supply have a very short shelf-life and, as a result, they need to be turned over extremely quickly or we’re stuck with them.

Most of our customers are very respectful of that, but there are the rogue few who will look for the quick buck and cut you out. Unfortunately, there are also suppliers out there who don’t care who they sell to, as long as they shift their stock.

Our business is celebrating its 40th year of trading this year and has ridden many storms. This is just one of the constants that we have to keep an eye on.

Although a constant challenge, this comes at an interesting time, given current exchange rates, Brexit and political uncertainty denting customer confidence. It’s at times like these when every penny counts for a business, and loyally standing by suppliers and customers really makes a difference.

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