National Buying Consortium is a member-owned group giving wholesalers access to the best opportunities suppliers have to offer.
NBC is unique in the industry as the only UK buying group that is truly owned and managed by its members.
The group does not charge fees of any kind, allowing members to receive 100% of the income generated from suppliers’ terms.
Managing Director David Lunt explains to Wholesale Manager the benefits of joining the group.
Give us an overview of NBC – what does the group do?
National Buying Consortium (NBC) partners with leading FMCG wholesalers and suppliers to offer a forward-thinking and unified wholesale solution to the UK market. As a member-owned company, we provide complete transparency across all operations, with members being given the opportunity to influence the development of the group. This approach offers a united partnership between members, suppliers, and the buying group, giving everyone access to the best opportunities.
And we are proud to say that it is truly member-owned; all of our founding members have generated improved net terms well over and above their initial share investment.
How many members does the group have?
We currently have 37 members spread across the UK.
What are the benefits of membership – what would you say to a wholesaler who was interested in joining?
The message to a potential member is simple – Take Control of Your Future.
The benefits are significant, this is a quick summary for anyone out there that feels they will benefit from either joining a buying group for the first time or moving from another group;
• We are member owned
• We have an experienced management team
• We have strong supplier partner relationships
• Members receive 100% of the income generated from supplier’s terms
• We do not charge fees of any kind
• We advise on core ranges and compliance
• We have access to category advice and insights
• We provide central marketing support
• And last, but not least, we provide a central warehousing and logistics solution – NDN
How much buying power does the group have?
Our buying power is generated by our total revenues from our members, c £400 million per annum, plus our ability to source products through our central warehousing and logistics solution, NDN.
What is the split in your business between foodservice and retail?
The current split is 35-65, although this can vary from time to time as we gain new members servicing a wide variety of trade channels.
How many suppliers do you work with and what categories do they work in?
We work actively with over 50 suppliers, and as you can imagine we work with all of the leading suppliers of the major categories required for retail, catering and hospitality sectors. A number of our supplier partners have already broken the £1 million barrier before the end of our second trading year with NDN.
Who are the management team at NBC? What experience do they bring to the operation?
We are very fortunate to have a very experienced team managing the group on behalf of the members and shareholders. As Managing Director, I oversee the day to day activities at our head office in Chipping Norton. We are led by our Chairman – Jason Langmead, and Vice Chairman – David Longfellow, ensuring our members have direct access to how we develop. We have a board of directors who are the guardians of the group, ensuring strict governance on behalf of the shareholders, and two advisory directors providing advice and objectivity to our decision making process.
What marketing support do you offer members?
We are able, through our Marketing partners, May Marketing, to provide a comprehensive range of business tools to support our members, not least of which are bespoke promotional brochures with group branding to ensure consistency of messaging.
Tell us about your National Distribution Network – what benefits do members get from using it?
NDN is unique in the industry as the only central warehousing and logistics solution that is fully owned and managed by its members. This provides members with access to the best prices available without having to resort to supplier’s minimum order requirements. As the industry changes, this facility becomes a significant business benefit to our members, saving time, money, and stockholding. Even during lockdowns we were able to support our members, particularly those that are more reliant upon it for regular supply of brands and products.