When our corporate chef Suman Roy was in charge of all catering for a large Canadian university, he purchased $20,000 a day from his major food supplier.
That is more than 10 times the amount our largest customer has purchased from us. Yet the supplier still charged him a $10.00 processing fee per invoice, and refused to waive it.
At Qualifirst, we have always had a very generous process with our customers. We have a low minimum, we charge wholesale prices, we offer free delivery, and we do not charge a processing fee.
But the realities of the marketplace are forcing a change. We continue to see some of our competitors shutting their doors, and although this might seem like a good thing, they are shutting them because they cannot afford to stay open. Every business must be mindful of threats to its survival, and we are no different. We want to ensure our doors stay open and consequently we must continue to evolve and adapt to the ever-changing market.
As individual consumers in our day-to-day lives, we pay retail prices for the items we need. As such, we expect to be able to order products, get free delivery, and enjoy generous return policies. Benefits like these are built into the price.
When we go to work at Qualifirst, though, it becomes easy to forget that we sell at wholesale and that these same rules cannot apply.
We have come to the realization that in order to move forward with prices that are more competitive and that will reach more people, we must start to impose wholesale rules to those customers who receive wholesale prices from us. We can still accommodate our customers who want and expect to be treated as end users and consumers but not at wholesale pricing.
Waiving the Processing Fee:
For our customers who need wholesale prices we will still be very generous. However, these same customers are asking us to compete on price with far less generous competitors.
To do that we can no longer say “yes” to everything. One of the things we need to say “no” to is our practice of waiving the $10.00 processing fee that our competitors charge. We can now only waive it for orders placed all at once and before our cut-off time.
Wholesale Price Threshold:
We have decided that to qualify for wholesale pricing, a customer must commit to purchasing a minimum reasonable volume of over $4,000 a year, and follow all the rules of wholesale. After all, when customers receive a favorable wholesale price, it empowers them to do better in the pricing of their own products and services.
At Qualifirst, we respect and value our customers, but we recognize also that if we wish to reach our own goals of not only surviving but also thriving and growing, then there must be some give-and-take. Our customers are welcome to continue to benefit from our wholesale process, but to do so they must earn the privilege by being as committed to us as we are to them.
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