VOW’S business update roadshow, delivered last week at three locations around the country, saw the wholesaler deliver a series of positive messages regarding the state of their business
MD, Adrian Butler reflected on the progress made during 2019. It had been, he said, a year dominated by overcapacity, continued consolidation and the uncertainty around Brexit. However, great advances had been made within the company, which had been fully restructured and rebranded as VOW Wholesale. Alongside a number of company initiatives such as the implementation of the transport management system, the introduction of the self-service customer portal, which is now being used for over 80% of post-sale queries, and the rollout of the EVOlution CSR program, Butler was particularly proud of the individual success of a number of VOW employees at the BOSS, EOPA, CRN and ECMOD Awards.
With a declining core market, VOW had powered on in facilities supplies, tech and exclusive brands and was achieving organic growth from existing customers. This is alongside new business of more than £10.5m from new customers and more than £7m of contracts in the last three months.
There was no question, Butler said, that VOW had come into 2020 with momentum, and he was confident that the additional Q1 growth bonus announced the previous week, would further drive progress. VOW is deadly serious about growth, about working aggressively with suppliers to support fresh marketing initiatives and about being creative and innovative in utilising the supply chain to best effect.
Butler confirmed that VOW is in discussions with a number of supplier partners about becoming their fulfilment operation, as well as becoming the warehouse and wheels for some reseller partners. “We need to do things differently and better to make sure our dealers retain an edge in the market. We know this will be another challenging year with price and margin pressure, but we will maintain our service levels, continue expanding into new product areas and develop our environmental product and marketing offering. We want to ensure that we demonstrate support to our supporters and become the chosen route to market for our suppliers.”
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