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Coffee wholesale guide (B2B) for buyers

On our own behalf, today we would like to explain to you in more detail how to get started in coffee wholesaling and how you can best form a partnership with Reeham Coffee, among others.

Go to the direct wholesale service this way.

Interesting for customers from retail, gastronomy, but also wholesale. We will address the following issues that may arise in the course of cooperation:

  • Which of your goals can we favor as a roastery?
  • What quality characteristics do we have as a coffee roasting company?
  • What can our partners expect for more effective collaboration?
  • What is everyday life like in wholesale?
  • What is the MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity) and what is it for?
  • Who helps us with open questions?
  • And what is the best way to ask us?

In this 6000 word guide you will find answers to your questions from the point of view of a potential Reeham key account and in the future you will know faster if you have found the right partner.

If you are still in the planning phase and would like to purchase coffee for your company in the future, this article is tailored for you.

Small and medium-sized companies usually still have little purchasing power and expertise in their young years. They look for alternatives on the market and usually find themselves in the area of resale. 

One own product to the market is the ultimate goal, but not everyone has the expertise or the purchasing power for the equipment. Quickly, the search for Private labeling Manufacturers or general wholesalers from the Far East who can produce the desired product with their own brand.

You can produce your product with the manufacturer limited or depending on your budget completely individually. Or you can buy the raw material and process it yourself in your own factory.

Wholesaling has many facets and the most attractive part for small businesses here, is the nature of the Dropshippings.

In this case, there is an alliance between (small) trader and manufacturer/wholesaler. The former does not need a warehouse, but only a connection to the latter. Whenever an order is placed by the end customer, the seller forwards the order to the manufacturer and has the shipment rung.

Just do it, right?

The initial barrier to entry is not necessarily the product or the implementation of the idea, but rather how to communicate with your partners at eye level.

Means: Knowing the world of wholesale and the world of merchants. They almost speak their own language and expect mutual know-how. This includes, among other things:

  • Technical terms and acronyms
  • Documents and their typical formats such as a product Master data sheet
  • Trust and Quality Assurance such as hygiene and insurance
  • a lot of Excel and commercial calculation
  • Know-How on (international) trade laws

But references are also looked at and, nowadays, social proof. Social media and the associated public presence also play a role. After all, you want to cement a reputation with your partner.

What does it all add up to? Among other things, more security and trust in the drafting of contracts and cooperation.

If you are not sure, you can ask potential partners for help. After all, wholesale relationships bring benefits to both in the long term. The service concept in wholesale is taking shape more and more and is already being counted as a decision maker.

Of course, you can simply contact producers and wholesalers, arrange purchase quantities and have them deliver. In day-to-day business, however, you will quickly realize that you prefer to give the figures a hand and a foot.

Starts sustainable

For every thing there is always the first time. So why not grow sustainably and thus solidly? Our tip: When building a wholesale relationship, start with the essentials:

Those who start sustainably are on the safe side. Those who dare to take the step into wholesale should start small. Above all, you should seek legal advice, which can competently deal with the trade laws and represent you in case of emergency.

This is about trademark rights, agreements, deadlines and also damages.

One should be aware of this headache mix. Although the general freedom of contract applies, care is also given to the other party between first-intentioned partnerships for the sake of pure cooperation.

We also started small and gained more ground over time through many phases. So don't let it get you down so quickly.

The more players are in the game, the more varied it becomes.

Let's go😁

What are the goals to be achieved with the wholesaler?

Let's get back to coffee. For you and the core team, predefined goals should play a motivating and guiding role in the search for a wholesale partner. They serve to be able to make strategic decisions.

But even at the definition stage, it should be clearly mentioned what the exact goals are and what the end result should be. The change from the actual to the target state could look like this:

  • Expansion of the product portfolio - you have discovered a rise for coffee X in your analysis and want to invest more in it
  • Quality improvement - you want to design your products more efficiently and better or increase durability
  • Trend tracking - you want to get in on the CBD coffee trend and have a piece of the pie too
  • No initial costs due to equipment and machinery - you want to have coffee roasted and no longer produce it yourself
  • Expertise Acquisition - you have the vision, but it's not quite tangible yet and needs expert advice
  • etc.

In the best case, you break down a main goal into smaller subgoals and make them more action-oriented and portable. The most important thing is to start quickly and not to plan too much down to the smallest detail. Therefore the previous breaking down!

This makes it easier not only for you, but also for the service-oriented wholesaler or, in our case, the roaster.

The advantages?

Of course, you should also create added value from your goals. A financial bonus is of course desired. Further advantages could be, among others:

  • quick entry into the coffee market
  • strong partner
  • more focus on sales
  • high time saving
  • better efficiency
  • etc.

Small customers want to order small. This possibility of a small initial quantity should be given. After all, this is based on trust. No one wants to put a lot of money in the pocket of a stranger.

The growth of both partners increases exponentially over time and already you get to several thousand pieces per order. Of course, the prerequisite here is the joint relationship management, networking and referrals.

What quality characteristics do we have as a coffee roasting company? - Your requirements

Once you have defined your goals, the coffee wholesaler comes into play in the next step. He should achieve your "problems", i.e. your goals, with his product. The product can be coffee, but also any accessories. For this purpose, you as a prospective customer build up a requirements profile, which you can also break down into small parts.

We recommend the following orientation to our customers:

  • Must-Haves - obligatory things you must have
  • Should-Haves - important things, but not at the top of the priority list
  • Would-Haves - optional features that would give it a touch
  • Won't-Haves - obsolete things, which in any case are out of the question

In the following, we have set up 2 case studies in the context of coffee roasting:

B2B Magazine
B2B Magazine

Let's assume that case 1 corresponds to the practical example. You want to sell premium coffee and have informed the roaster about your intentions (goals) and (quality) requirements.

In the first discussion, therefore, your conditions have their say. In the further course, we as a manufacturer / wholesaler add further quality-assuring measures from our expertise. These could be, among other things, certain delivery and storage conditions, as well as:

  • Positioning as a brand
  • Quality management in the supply chain
  • Legal compliance
  • Information material
  • Transparency, for example, about the number of employees and prices
  • Network / partners / associations - appearance at relevant trade fairs, etc.
  • Interfaces and shortened distribution channels through e.g. B2B online store
  • Customer service for you
  • History

The advantages?

In today's wholesale business, additional service is becoming increasingly important. It is no longer simply delivered the goods. No, the wholesaler can also help with advice and, if necessary, from the analysis of order data to identify new trends and share them with the customer.

In general, you will then benefit with:

  • Less headache
  • more confidence
  • Rely
  • and joint growth.

A win-win situation, which should always be recorded in the general wholesale contract. The closer the cooperation, the faster the processing. In addition, this also opens up new projects and thus new areas of the company, mainly thanks to the progress of digitalization.

Here, in general, wholesalers are picking up the trend and adapting to the ever-changing market requirements.

How do you design effective collaboration? (Internal processes)

First of all, as a buyer, you should make yourself aware of how things stand in the infrastructure of your own company. This also includes a certain level of technical and communication competence.

Of course, we as well as other coffee roasters try to explain everything as simply as possible and as explained above, it would also make it easier for us if the commercial expertise is available.

Nevertheless, the idea of service is paramount. Smooth communication is a good start, as are assigned contacts and contact persons. Despite the business background, we can always emphasize it: People still buy from people.

That is one thing.

The other is the following infrastructures, tools and processes that can facilitate communication and thus make collaboration more efficient:

  • Customer portals
  • CRM / Contact Management
  • Communication channels
  • Merchandise management / inventory management
  • Data Analysis
  • and first software automations

The majority of this list is taken over by the wholesaler/manufacturer and made available to the customer. Under certain circumstances, interfaces are available that supplement the infrastructure of the customer again, instead of completely rebuilding it.

The advantages?

The topic of wholesale is an instructive experience for flexible newcomers / start-ups. Especially in the change of digitalization, processes and routine tasks can be designed efficiently and implemented in the corporate culture.

In the economic context, it expresses itself with the following advantages:

  • enormous time saving
  • good timing
  • seamless inventory management / supply chain
  • Overview
  • Trend analysis
  • Adaptation
  • (human) error prevention

What does everyday life in wholesale look like? (Workflows)

Each provider has its own workflow, some are more advanced in digitization and have access to automated processes. However, once the above structures have been established, there is little to stand in the way of smooth processing.

The only thing missing is demand and supply. For buyers recognizable steps would then be (simplified):

  • Receipt request from the customer
  • Wholesaler processing and reconciliations
  • Offer preparation and negotiations
  • Contract acceptance
  • Production
  • Delivery

After the first orders at the latest, the work steps are shortened to the final stages. These are to be derived from the order history, the customer profile and also the contract.

In combination with an enterprise resource planning system, the wholesaler can also see how often or at what intervals the customer purchases goods. The system can then calculate demand for the future and notify the manufacturer when the next order is due.

Tomorrow's wholesale is service-oriented

Industry 4.0 is more user-friendly and understandable for workers thanks to digitalization. It helps to plan the use of goods in a data-driven way and enables wholesalers to provide a better service to their customers.

For prospective customers, this means at the same time more comfort in communicating about contracts, conditions and other relevant information in wholesale.

In the best case, the wholesaler offers its own B2B online store, where prices are already updated automatically on a daily basis.

The minimum order quantity and why it is there

As a consumer goods manufacturer, volume is a key success factor, so products are sold in bulk, i.e. in large containers. Naturally, the final price per unit is then low, depending on the quantity purchased.

The minimum order quantity helps the manufacturer / wholesaler to ensure that the cash flow at least covers the ongoing operating costs. Due to the high number of units per container, the retailer also secures a healthy margin in most cases. In addition, delivery costs are also lower in relation.

For some customers, the MOQ could be set too high. The financial flexibility is usually not given. However, small manufacturers have exactly this advantage and can offer an attractive offer even for small purchase quantities.

B2B Online Shop

As a solution would be an implementation of the previously mentioned B2B wholesale online store, where already set prices are given for small quantities.

Although the initial unit price could be higher, it is still attractive enough to times to test.

As soon as the customer is interested in a larger quantity, the step to a formal partnership could be recorded in a contract.

For questions just ask the wholesale

Where once the field sales force was the first point of contact for buyers, today the wholesaler's website should have all the important information in the form of blog posts, e-papers, knowledge bases and FAQs.

Linking to actively maintained social media channels also earns the retailer plus points.

Nevertheless, a standardized contact option such as telephone and e-mail should be available. Clumsily, these channels are still not completely optimized at most companies.

This means that they are not connected to modern systems such as a CRM (Customer Relationship Management - tool for customer care).

An online presence with all the necessary information can give modern wholesalers the decisive edge. The more information and transparency available 24/7, the faster you gain the trust of your customers.

The advantages?

  • Trust
  • fast service for questions
  • Recognizability through history
  • Relationship management

Would you like a test run? Become our customer

If you feel unsure despite this comprehensive guide, get to know us for now and ensure an easy entry into coffee wholesale. We offer a minimum purchase of already 5kg.

Preferably we offer roasted whole beans. If you want ground beans, we recommend the rapid consumption, because the quality may suffer in the form.

After the test run, the usual purchase quantities will of course be available according to your needs.

The first success

If our coffee generates first resonances with your customers, more can be dedicated to further success and cooperation.

As a modern coffee roaster, we also use digital tools to collect relevant data and identify new trends. They can also be used to draw up an entire forecast and thus improve planning in the supply chain.

Do not despair in the face of difficulties

The first preparations, dealings with the authorities and the constant back and forth take up a lot of time and energy. It is the phase in which the initially high euphoria can quickly fade. A small depression. But this is where the wheat is separated from the chaff. 

As an experienced company, there are always ups and downs, but you should be able to counteract these with planned management. Anyone who encounters these fluctuations unprepared can quickly lose their composure and cause consequential damage.

In this case, too, we can emphasize it again and again: Digitization can take over a lot of (routine) work here and favor a relief of the team. 

A cool head in business = Win.

We were beginners too

With a lack of expertise in sales and digitization, it was a rocky start for us too at first. With time comes more experience and with it new opportunities.

All the more we can put ourselves in the shoes of the young start-ups. A 4-week project plan quickly turns into a 3-month chaos. A structure, where routine also belongs, is just as important here as communication at eye level.

So look for a competent partner or mentor for the planning. Especially if you want to enter the wholesale trade as a customer. 

Practice makes perfect.😁

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