Wholesaling direct to the public
Wholesaling direct to the public is an important part of the business, and in 2013 contributed pre-tax turnover of XOF 56 billion (more than of € 83.8 million). This department has a portfolio of approximately 350 customers, some of whom are private individuals, although the majority are wholesalers, mini-markets, restaurant operators, hoteliers, international organisations and regional hospitals. This customer base includes some from other countries (including Burkina Faso and Mali), as well as those from Abidjan and elsewhere in the country.
With an average of 65,000 products listed and 50,000 packages delivered every month, the department employs a team of six (6) sales representatives. Each is responsible for a particular segment of the market (mini-markets, pharmacies, gas stations, etc., as well as traditional retail markets) or product types (drinks, hardware, perfumery, personal products, etc.). These field teams provide detailed monitoring of products, product presentation and competitors. A third party is responsible for merchandising in all sales outlets, with specific focus on those trademarks with which the Group has preferred partnerships.
The department makes all its own deliveries using 5 delivery trucks and 2 refrigerated trucks, with a staff of 7 drivers and 10 dispatchers. Five pickup trucks are also used for sales rounds serving smaller customers.
The sales team keeps very close watch on product performance, with daily on-site monitoring of outlets. This level of attention allows individual sales representatives to build trust-based relationships with retailers through the prompt communication of information covering a wide variety of issues, from product training to storage, defective product returns, POS material installation and incentives.
This team therefore acts as the prime interface between suppliers and customers, and plays a decisive role in product presentation and promotion.