JW Filshill, the Glasgow-based delivered wholesaler and cash & carry, has been named the best wholesale business in Scotland at the prestigious Scottish Wholesale Achievers awards.
Achievers, now in its 17th year and organised by the Scottish Wholesale Association, recognises professionalism and excellence across all sectors of the wholesale industry in Scotland.
JW Filshill, supplier to KeyStore outlets across Scotland and the north of England and operating out of premises at Hillington, fended off stiff competition from businesses the length and breadth of the country to win the sought-after Champion of Champions accolade, sponsored by JTI.
It also won three other categories: Best Delivered Operation (Retail), sponsored by Philip Morris; Best Symbol Group, sponsored by Carabao; and Best Licensed Operation, sponsored by Halewood Wines & Spirits.
Bidfood Scotland was also celebrating after claiming the Great Place to Work award, sponsored by Premier Foods.
And there were joint winners in the Best Delivered Operation (Foodservice) category, sponsored by Pritchitts: Bidfood Scotland and Lomond Foods.
Best Marketing Initiative, sponsored by Quorn Foods, went to United Wholesale (Scotland) for its ‘Summer of Sport’ initiative to drive a comprehensive wholesale and retail sales and marketing activation across all areas of its business.
Meanwhile, Best Cash & Carry, sponsored by AG Barr and one of the most closely contested categories, went to Booker, Shawfield
The key Employee of the Year category, sponsored by AB InBev, was won by Craig Shand, stock control and replenishment supervisor at Booker, Shawfield.
In the suppliers’ award categories, Linda Fraser of Nestlé was named Supplier Sales Executive of the Year, sponsored by Unitas Wholesale. She was praised by the judges for her commitment to customer service and described as “the ultimate professional”.
Project Scotland, which highlights suppliers’ understanding of the Scottish wholesale industry and their commitment to the sector, was won by Quorn Foods in partnership with Clackmannanshire-based Scot Serve for its ‘Quornvenience’ project.
AG Barr came out on top in the fiercely-contested category for Best Overall Service by Suppliers, judged by members of the SWA voting each month for the shortlisted suppliers over a four-month period.
A new award for Achievers 2019 – Best Foodservice Supplier – saw foodservice wholesalers vote on the performance of the shortlisted suppliers over a four-month period. The winner of this inaugural award was Unilever Food Solutions.
Finally, Best Advertising Campaign, which saw wholesalers vote for their favourite advert, went to Bud Light for ‘Dilly Dilly’.
Archie MacLellan, multiple account executive (independent wholesalers) at JTI, who judged the Champion of Champions award, pointed out that standards were “exceptionally high across the board” but highlighted innovation as the trademark of Achievers this year.
“Innovation means many things – be that in use of technology, advances in customer service, investment in staff training and development, and evolving operational processes to meet the needs of customers,” he said. “Throw a sprinkling of entrepreneurial flair into the mix and what we have here is a buoyant and exciting wholesale sector led by SWA members who are experiencing growth and increased profitability across many areas of their business.”
Colin Smith, SWA chief executive, said: “We are witnessing unprecedented change in our industry yet our wholesalers and suppliers continue to raise their game. Success is hard won in challenging times such as these and it is only right that we sometimes take stock and acknowledge the success of our wholesaler and supplier members.
“Achievers is the perfect vehicle to recognise the very best in our industry and I applaud the exceptional levels of innovation that we are seeing from our members as they seek new revenue streams, develop their operational processes and strive to provide the best possible customer service.
“And as our members strive for best practice, the SWA is working on your behalf, ensuring that your fight is our fight, and facing the legislative changes in the corridors of power at Holyrood and Westminster.”
Smith also singled out suppliers for their support of the wholesale sector in Scotland. “We are very proud of the way Achievers has evolved,” he said.
“We go to great lengths to ensure that the awards remain meaningful for all involved but we couldn’t do it without our supplier members and we are committed to working in partnership with our sponsors to offer them a solid return on their investment in the form of much closer working relationships with wholesalers and a far better understanding of the Scottish wholesale industry gained through the judging process.”
Almost 450 people attended the Achievers gala dinner and awards presentation, hosted by TV presenter Jennifer Reoch, at the Sheraton Grand, Edinburgh on Thursday, 31st January.