The Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) is offering an online training course to help new starters in wholesale launch a career in the industry


Designed by e-learning specialist Bolt Learning, the Introduction to Wholesale module gives an overview of how the sector operates, who the major players and their customers are, and the opportunity for brands to grow sales in partnership with FWD wholesalers.

FWD chief executive James Bielby said: “The wholesale channel is a great place for ambitious young people to make a name for themselves, and we want to offer them a flying start on day one in their new job with this comprehensive guide to the basics of the industry. This course gives them the knowledge to start building a successful career in this dynamic market.”

The course gives an overview of the different routes to market and the value of each one to suppliers. It also profiles the larger wholesalers and buying groups along with their market share. Also included is an introduction to the additional services wholesalers provide for their retail and foodservice customers.

The 20-minute module includes activities such as role-play scenarios, interactive charts and quizzes with learning reviews at the end of each section. Participants then receive a certificate upon successful completion of the module, and managers can access analytics to understand how their employees have done on the test.

The project was commissioned by the FWD Supplier Council, which develops partnerships within the wholesale channel. Bolt Learning’s Tom Fender explained: “We’ve already had a great deal of interest in the module, including from experienced wholesale individuals who may need a timely refresher given the amount of change currently occurring in the market.

“We have had suppliers telling us how they struggle to get senior executives to really understand the opportunity in the wholesale market, so this induction can help with strategic decision making as well,” he added.

AB InBev has been among the first suppliers to adopt the training. “It’s a really positive initiative, which is fully aligned with FWD’s strategy of promoting the wholesale channel,” said commercial controller of off-trade wholesale Andy Topham. “We have signed up new starters as part of their induction to the channel as well as other internal support functions including our senior leadership team.”

The course for suppliers costs £25 per user and is accessible through fwd.co.uk. A complementary module for wholesalers is also available, with FWD subsidising its use by wholesaler members.

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Paul Hill
Paul Hill is the Editor of Better Wholesaling. Paul can be found on Twitter on @BW_PaulHill, or can be contacted via paul.hill@newtrade.co.uk and 020 7689 3376.

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