Simon Hannah on why his innovative wholesale business JW Filshill has decided to introduce a year-long weekly video series.

There’s been considerable change in the JW Filshill business over the last three years. There’s the launch of our international division, which exports craft beer, craft spirits and other grocery products to the rest of the world, upweighted marketing programmes and other developments across our KeyStore business, and our involvement with Brewgooder, the world’s first craft beer to donate 100% of its profits to clean water projects.

With so much happening across our business, we felt it was important to remind ourselves of who we are as a company – and, at the same time, share some of our secrets. That’s why we’ve launched a year-long video marketing campaign, showing how the business operates. I’ve been asked why we’d want to do that. Well, we’re very comfortable doing that because we’re proud to showcase what we do and why we do it.

Indeed, we’re happy to open our doors to anyone who wants to find out more about us and what motivates us – and if our competitors look at our videos, then we are very happy for them to do so.

We’ve called our video project ‘Leading the Way’ because we see ourselves as an industry leader, and we want to share best practice. How does it work? There’s a new video every week, each one lasting around three minutes and showing how we engage with our staff, customers and suppliers.

Nothing is out of bounds. We’re offering insight into every aspect of our business: from how orders are picked, store deliveries are made and promotions are run, to staff training and community involvement.

An underlying theme, however, is family. We understand the complexities and vagaries of running a family business – a lot of our customers are family businesses, so we have a lot in common. Many of our staff have been with us for a long time, so they are very much part of our family, and this is why people have and will continue to feature prominently as part of the videos.

Feedback in the 2017 United Kingdom Advantage Report Mirror highlighted the strengths of our people in making Filshill a company that others want to do business with. So as the weeks go on, we will introduce staff members from all areas of business – from the senior management team, to our youngest and newest recruits.

Yes, it’s an ambitious project, but we are determined to get the message across that we are a growing, independent company operating in an exciting sector that offers significant opportunities for growth.

But, we also hope our stories will encourage people to pursue a career in wholesale. As our videos will show over the coming months, there are roles in sales, buying, marketing, finance, warehousing, distribution, retail and business support, administration and logistics, among others. It’s a dynamic industry that never stays still for long – that is what we want to demonstrate.

Our videos will also introduce people to The Craft Beer Clan of Scotland, a division of Filshill, along with its Clan Brewing Company arm, and the aforementioned Brewgooder. The project really does get under the skin of all aspects of our business, and we’re delighted to be pushing ahead and leading the way with this initiative.

Want to take a look? The videos can be viewed at:

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Simon Hannah is the managing director of Glasgow-based delivered wholesaler and cash & carry JW Filshill.


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