Dealer Support December digital edition 2021

Page 20

INDUSTRY

W H AT ’ S N E W F O R 2 0 2 2

New horizons – expectations for Dealer groups are anticipating another year of challenges for the office supplies sector - but say that there are still plenty of opportunities for dealers to be successful

T

he office supplies sector has had

description sits firmly, and for the foreseeable future,

to deal with many challenges over

only with the dealer.

the past couple of years – from the

“They will continue to source products from

pandemic to supply chain issues

multiple suppliers, and often competitors, in order to

caused by the Ever Given container

provide what their customers require. Maintaining and

ship getting stuck in the Suez Canal – but businesses have

cultivating multiple wholesale and vendor relationships,

shown the resilience to, in the main, continue to trade.

and marketing effectively multiple product and service

However, it looks like another turbulent year is in store, according to Graeme Hargreaves, group head

offers, will continue to remain critical.” Graeme recalls the free-of-charge wholesale CDC/

of merchandising at Nemo Office Club. “Realistically,

RDC model of distribution. “In a way, it was ahead of its

I think we can expect more of the same; disruption,

time if you look at what Amazon is doing with its large

fluctuating working patterns and uncertainty,” he says.

sheds around the country.

“I don’t expect the world to be in balance until the end

“For our sector, that model shifted to a single shed

of 2022 at the earliest. For dealers, who are well placed

placed centrally, and what is now chargeable fulfilment

to thrive in such times, this means remaining agile down

directly to the end user and via the dealer. What this

the supply chain and upwards to their customers.

forced the agile and adaptable dealer to do is to shop

“For supply, the need to shop around will remain

around - and they are getting used to it, which is not a

paramount. We are a long way - if we ever get there

bad thing in uncertain times. My belief is that we will

again - from a dealer being able to rely on a single

end up more with a series of specialist suppliers, akin

source of supply for the business consumables that they

to the old RDC model, but they will be ‘geographical’

now themselves offer. In this respect the ‘single source’

by product category rather than necessarily by location,

[20] DECEMBER 2021

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