Could a ‘buddy scheme’ promote better skills in wholesale?

I met the Scottish Wholesale Association’s Kate Salmon recently – she told me about a fantastic ‘mentoring’ programme they’ve launched to promote best practice among wholesalers.

The idea, launched in January, will match a handful of wholesale members with industry ‘mentors’ (either other wholesalers or key suppliers).

They spend a year mentoring which can take various forms, from structured training to a more relaxed, informal approach, like playing golf!

Ultimately, the idea is that you have an industry ‘buddy’ that you can go to, in confidence, about anything.

I had a similar ‘buddy scheme’ in my last job where I was matched with a more experienced journalist. In between teaching me some great editorial skills, she told me whom in the office I should listen to, whom I should ignore and, occasionally, she let me bend her ear with my troubles.

I look forward to following the SWA’s mentoring scheme and, in a year’s time, showcasing a few success stories.

The truth is, no matter how much you invest in training, no one really knows your business like the people you work with. Could a ‘buddy scheme’ be something that could work in your depot?

Kate Salmon has written an exclusive column in Better Wholesaling May. If you’re a wholesaler and not receiving your free copy, email


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