Helping suppliers walk the tightrope

The world of retail, especially big box retail, is always in a state of change.

When business is bad, the retailer must react to keep the bottom line moving in a positive direction. Because of this, expectations of what the retailer looks for in a supplier, how success is measured, and the value statements from suppliers are often in flux, which is understandably a source of frustration for anyone in the supplier world.

I want to talk a bit today about what it takes to be a successful big box retail supplier, even through all the changes. Keep reading until the end so you know about an amazing opportunity for significant business growth!

A passion for suppliers

Back during my days at Club Marketing, we would often have suppliers come to us who wanted to get into Walmart or Sam’s Club, but they had no clue about the process. Even three years after my retirement from Club Marketing, I continued to see this need from suppliers grow.

That is why I co-founded Tightrope Ventures, which is a company based in Bentonville, Ark., that offers strategic business development for small to medium-sized suppliers who want to do business with big retailers. Strategic business development is a continuous process, whereas Analytic coaching has a start and finish to the process. My passion is to help suppliers succeed and that’s why I talk so much about sales and how to be successful on my personal blog here.

The strategic development process is important as many suppliers “don’t know what they don’t know” about certain retailers.  A strategic business development coach will help them understand the changes in the retail industry and help them determine what steps need to happen, to successfully respond to those changes. A strategic business development process helps the supplier avoid many costly landmines!

The 5Ps and 5Rs go hand-in-hand

I mentioned in my last blog that we use the 5Psat Tightrope Ventures: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Suppliers need to learn the process of selling to large retailers instead of just trying to fly by the seat of their pants.

Another method we use at Tightrope Ventures are the 5Rs of supply chain success:

  • Right Product-you must have a product that is unique but also helpful. If no one needs it, it won’t sell. If it’s already being done the exact same way, it won’t sell.
  • Right Package-from making it appealing to the retailer’s customers to making the packaging fit many retailers’ efficiency requirements, you must have package that fits everyone’s needs.
  • Right Price-are you pricing it low enough that people will buy it? Are you pricing it high enough that it will meet financial goals?
  • Right Placement-retail is all about placement. You need the products to not only be in the right location in the store, but also in stores that have clientele who will want to buy it. You can’t expect to sell frozen fish in coastal stores, for example.
  • Right Presentation-when meeting with the buyer, you must be able to demonstrate why this product is something they should consider. If the buyer isn’t convinced, you won’t get in the stores.

Strategic supplier knowledge

It’s all fine and good to tell you the 5Ps and 5Rs, but many suppliers don’t know how to achieve those five criticalpieces!

As I mentioned before, I co-founded Tightrope in October 2017 because my partner and I saw how we could use our unique skillsets to help the supplier community in a way that was not being done. That leads me to share about the opportunity I mentioned above.

I want you invite you to meet me and learn in Atlanta at the Tightrope Supply Chain Intensive.

The event is April 3-5 at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center. We are introducing a new way to help suppliers plan strategically to sell tobig retailers.

Here’s just a snapshot of what will be covered:

  • Your Difference is Your Strength – Leslie Lentz – Lentz & CO.
  • Creating a Strong Social Media Campaign – Leslie Lentz – Lentz & CO
  • Bringing Added Value to Your Everyday Business – President,Tri-Venture Marketing
  • Converting Insights to Action for Retailers, Manufacturers, Brokers and Suppliers – Kaye Young
  • Winning in a Hostile Environment – Dr. Steve Caldwell
  • Best Practices for Product Development & Patenting – Larry Robertson
  • Retail 101 – What Every Buyer Wishes You Knew – Steve Grife, Former Sam’s Club Buyer, Sr. Key Account Manager
  • Change – It Happens Faster than You Think! – Steve Grife
  • Planning for Success from the Very Beginning – Melanie Merkling
  • The 5R’s of Supply Chain Success – Bob
  • The Million Dollar Question – Bob Mann

Register Today

Are you ready to take your supplier business to the next level? Whether you’re new to the industry or simply wanting to see significant growth, you can’t afford to not be at this summit. Visit the Tightrope Ventures website for more details about the rapidly approaching Atlanta event. We do have discounts for college students and recently displaced Walmart associates!

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