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Food distributor sees healthy growth in sales after PIC support

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Trevors is a wholesale food and non-food distributor based in Blackpool, offering quality products and a flexible service to over 1,300 customers predominantly across the North West. It has established long-term relationships with customers and suppliers; a quality that helps it remain competitive.

The opportunity

With a healthy customer base and a wide range of products to offer, Trevors wanted to increase profitability. The firm joined the Innovation Sprint Programme delivered through the Productivity and Innovation Centre (PIC) at Edgehill University, to explore the opportunity to diversify into new food-service markets. It also wanted to explore its current processes and practices to determine the organisations ability to integrate an ecommerce service into its current ordering service. Longstanding processes and marketing activity had performed well for the business. To achieve its strategic goal, it was prepared to step back and consider implementing any necessary innovation activities to make improvements in-order-to reach them.

The journey

The team from Trevors began the workshops by focusing on their current customer base. It became apparent that the team needed to drill down to ground level until they clearly understood who their customers are, their pain-points, sales margins and service requirements. Louise Wane, Head of Sales and Marketing found the workshops challenging and rewarding. Time away from the day-today business allowed the team to explore potential opportunities and ideas and begin to ask the right questions.

The Innovation Sprint Programme proved to be a valuable use of time. It allowed me to take time out of the business and focus on the business. The Programme, whilst challenging, broadened my thinking and my understanding of our business and allowed me to implement sales strategies that are already proving to be successful. I believe this Programme has been invaluable for a business like ours and I look forward to utilising this approach more within our business. Louise Wane, Head of Sales & Marketing – Trevors

Solution and outcome

Trevors developed and introduced a new Service Plus model to help re-position and grow its existing customers. The team identified the opportunity to maximise the growth potential in their existing customers alongside the development of a new sales strategy to enter new markets. Following the Programme, the company has employed a new Business Development Manager and a Senior Business Development Manager to drive their new market opportunities forward. Changes have been implemented within the sales process including staff training and a new on-line ordering system to enhance its customer experience, eradicate errors and to improve efficiency is being trialled. Since implementing these changes, Trevors has seen an increase in sales compared to the previous year. Foodservice Supplier Trevors has implemented new processes, recruited new employees and is already seeing the financial benefits including:

  • Clarity of customer pain-points and service requirements
  • Introduced a new Service Plus process, improving their service to current customers
  • Recruited a new Business Development Manager to drive the entry into new markets
  • Aligned skills and training needs for current sales employees
  • Increase of 10% in sales on previous year following the  implementation of the new processes

About PIC

The Productivity and Innovation Centre (PIC) at Edgehill University is a centre of excellence in the region for stimulating growth and economic development through business innovation. Its unique Innovation Sprint Programme offers a systematic and evidence-based process through which SMEs can address their innovation opportunity or challenge. The Programme is fully-funded for Lancashire based eligible SMEs. 100% of SMEs who completed the Programme agreed that the Programme has positively met or exceeded their expectations. For further information visit: The Productivity and Innovation Centre


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