We spoke to Tom Gittens, managing director at Confex, to discuss the impact of coronavirus and technology on wholesale operations.
Technology: take advantage of transformational trends in wholesale
Confex wholesalers remain focused on integrating technology into their business. Driving business efficiencies, cost savings, environmental gains and sales growth are just some of the benefits that will flow from investing in technology. Smaller wholesalers can make massive gains through adopting new technologies in their business as integration can be cheaper to implement pro-rata versus a larger operation with higher operational and implementation costs. We have wholesalers who have cut their fixed costs up to 50% by implementing technological advances across various projects.
Read more: Confex group sales up by 30%
D2C is a big focus for Confex Wholesalers with the help of Head Office. Our link with b2b.store has provided members with a free App that can be tailored to selling direct to consumers. Many of our foodservice wholesalers have successfully pivoted their businesses during Covid to allow home delivery within their locality. This helped to keep their businesses viable during lockdown but most now see D2C as a growth area moving forward. Confex Head Office has offered member advice on digital sales and marketing for over a decade, currently working on a D2C project to provide national delivery from within the membership straight to consumers.
The Confex journey on sustainability started eight years ago with the launch of the Green Wholesaler Awards. This initiative has grown in importance across our wholesalers, forming an integral part of their overall CSR planning. In 2021 Confex has partnered with Inspire Energy to help our wholesalers get a handle on their overall carbon footprint, putting strategies in place to become a carbon-neutral company in line with the government legislation. Confex Head office has this year moved to permanent flexi-home working. We have decreased our carbon footprint by 80%, including a paperless office environment. As we work to become a B Corp, we now offer assistance and support to Confex wholesalers who wish to further their sustainability and corporate social responsibility journeys.