Dawood Pervez is the managing director of Bestway Wholesale
What have been the key learnings from the past twelve months from the perspective of running a wholesale operation?
As the entire industry will agree, the past twelve months have been unprecedented, unexpected, and unpredictable. As a business we have become incredibly resilient which has been vital in order for us to meet our customers’ needs.
We learnt our Cash and Carry Collect Service filled a gap that couldn’t be serviced through deliveries and although we made gains in most categories, we also learnt we had to balance this against the decline in other areas, especially Foodservice channels.
Working closely with our suppliers became even more of a focus when we were tested against supply shortcomings and when consumer panic-buying impacted heavily.
We have learnt that preparing for the unexpected and ensuring fair distribution on the back of crisis is the way forward – and we were rigid in our stance that we wouldn’t exploit the situation by removing promotions and increasing prices. We hope that going forward suppliers continue their support for fair availability of stock as we come out of this pandemic.
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The strength of the convenience sector and ‘shopping local’ came into their own, proving to be an absolute life-line for many during this time and we hugely respect and appreciate our retailers and the understanding they have of how to support their local communities.
We learnt that people are truly amazing – teamwork and customer commitment had never been more important than during the pandemic and we have been inspired and amazed by people’s incredibly hard work and dedication.
How has your business changed since the pandemic hit?
As a business we have learnt how critical it is to remain strong and focussed on our core offering – the back bone of our business. Twelve months on and we are driving efficiencies harder and simplifying our range and stock, alongside the rigorous management of our supply chain.
As we hopefully head into a post-Covid world, what advice/tips can you offer from what you’ve experienced?
Our advice would be to continue to support local shops and communities as consumers will continue to rely on the incredible services they provide. We expect to continue new ways of working, streamlining and working more efficiently, alongside investing in innovation, technology and customer data give us a deeper level of understanding of our customers’ behaviour.