- Hugo Walker
Wholesale comparison platform slashes retailer costs
Mike Sohal, a Nisa retailer, has cut spending by 60% using his new platform
Mike Sohal, a Nisa retailer, has created a platform that compares wholesale prices. The technology is similar to My Supermarket, which compares prices in supermarkets, except it works for retailers buying their stock from wholesalers, rather than individual consumers. The technology is not for sale, but is an example of how technology can be developed and harnessed within firms to lower costs of operation.
Mr Sohal developed the database to combat inflation across the food industry, which has seen rising wholesale prices translate into retail price increases. By using technology to find the cheapest wholesaler on any given week, food inflation can be mitigated.
Mr Sohal commented: “All major wholesalers provide digital price list order forms, which carry very detailed information regarding products. The price list order forms also have promotions dates, so if a product is in promo period the system will ignore the standard price and use the promo price to do the comparison. We pull all of these wholesalers’ information once a week into our database. Once a week update is enough to keep records up to date.”
Due to minimum order quantity policies and rebates, Mr Sohal still purchases certain products from Nisa regardless of the price. However, he is moving away from solely Nisa, using wholesalers such as Booker, Bestway and Parfetts too.
“I used to be a 99% Nisa-supplied retailer, but now due to price increases, more and more volume is going outside and my spend has dropped to 60%,” he said.
“We have a responsibility to look after our customers, provide them with good offers and charge reasonable prices so that they have a reason to choose our store.”
The inflationary pressures of the food industry pose a serious challenge for consumers. As food prices are not always accurately captured in government inflation measures such as the CPI and RPI, consumers may experience a cost-of-living crisis above and beyond the reported figures.