Celebrating its first full year of trading, Unitas Wholesale spent 1 November 2019 sharing its progress to date and plans for the future with senior managers from its network of key supplier partners.

The event, held at County Hall, London, saw more than 90 supplier partners attend for an update from the UK’s leading wholesale services company and hear about its plans for the coming years.

Darren Goldney, Managing Director, John Kinney, Retail Director, and John Bains, Trading Director, shared the first year of progress, including retail, foodservice, on trade and specialist categories across its reach of 170 members and 177,000 customers.

“A year ago, we presented our mission for Unitas to be ‘champion of independents and champion of brands’, which remains our focus,” said Darren Goldney. “We shared our plan to move from a buying group to a selling group, to use our increased scale to be a relevant route to market for suppliers, anchored in efficiency and effectiveness.

“We set out 10 key elements that we would tackle to lower our operating costs and improve our efficiency as we merged two companies into one, and I’m delighted with our progress. We’ve already achieved eight, one is underway, and one launches in January.”

The key achievements for Unitas to improve its efficiency includes:

  • one point of contact
  • one event programme
  • one core B2B promotional programme
  • one core B2C promotional programme
  • one digital programme
  • one core range scheme
  • one finance process
  • one focused own label.

The organisation will move to one data platform in January, while one central payment system is under development. This will make the invoicing system more streamlined and take more than 50,000 invoices out of the system, freeing up more than £1m worth of supplier time.

Other highlights discussed included the success and opportunity of Picture Portal, the enhanced roll out of Plan for Profit, and the launch of Brand Box next year which will enable suppliers to drive products directly into independent retailers.

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