Page 9 - Griffin Gazette
P. 9

The cost of exploration                                                Risk, reward and resources
Trade shows, distributor shows and other industry events all assist    Whether we like it or not, change happens. We adjust. We learn
the buyer in his or her quest to find the next great product or        to adapt for survival’s sake. In the business world, only the strong
service—but these resources come at a price for both retailers         survive. Getting ahead at the garden center has never been
and vendors.                                                           more challenging, but the rewards are great for those who are
From the retailer’s perspective, scheduling time and funding           resourceful.
the excursion are considerations that every owner faces. Often,        When your Griffin sales representative comes calling, put him or
time and money are barriers between buyers and a hands-on              her to work! Sales professionals are driven to see their customers
sourcing process.                                                      succeed. Let your rep do the homework for you on your toughest
Manufacturers must also justify the costs associated with traveling    product categories or vendor lines, the ones that are difficult for
to and maintaining a presence at these events; it’s often quite
expensive for them to participate. Many vendors now pick and
choose their trade shows based upon the anticipated attendance
of retailers and buyers; they can’t exhibit indiscriminately
anymore. When they do exhibit at trade shows, they often focus
on additions to their existing lines. These products are relatively
safe bets, as new purchases can account for a large portion of any
manufacturer’s growth.

       In the business world, only the strong survive.
Getting ahead at the garden center has never been

         more challenging, but the rewards are great
                           for those who are resourceful.

Taken together, it’s gotten tougher for buyers and vendors to          you to review and order regularly. Your rep can sort through new
connect on new products and new categories. Depending on the           products, new vendors, exclusives and other options, offering
size and breadth of your store’s offer, one show may not be enough     guidance and suggestions that are relevant to your operation.
anymore. Buying from a photograph doesn’t offer the same sense         The results can include less risky buying decisions and greater
of certainty about a product or the opportunity to see, touch and      rewards in the form of hot new products or trends for your store!
question that comes with face-to-face interaction. Hey, Siri, what     For the categories you continue to navigate on your own, make
should I do?                                                           sure you’re taking advantage of every resource available. The
Procurement evolution                                                  Griffin Retail catalog offers a wealth of product information to
Time is money. In the past, buyers would prepare for trade shows,      guide your selections—and our 2017 Retail catalog is headed your
and plan to order 70-80 percent of their spring needs upfront.         way later this month!
Mistakes on quantities would be minimal. Reorders would happen         Have you subscribed to our e-mail programs? We offer several to
when a distributor sales rep stopped by weekly, providing a list of    meet our customers’ needs. Our monthly Retail e-blasts include
recommended products and scouting the shelves for out-of-stock         product specials along with timely tips for promotion ideas, space-
items. This approach worked well and made life easy.                   planning advice and merchandising best practices. For those with
Today, many buyers book less than half of their business during        production space, our GGSPro tech services team sends out a
show season, with the balance of reorders dependent upon               monthly tip covering pest or disease control, diagnostic help,
how spring sales develop. Being heavy or loaded with inventory         crop culture insights and more. Other e-blasts are available from
in anticipation of sales has been replaced by a just-in-time           our Hard Goods and Live Goods divisions, as well as the digital
approach to inventory from local suppliers. This philosophical shift   edition of the Griffin Gazette. Check out our e-mail programs and
has become popular, but it’s neither foolproof nor without risk.       subscribe at
Buyers must consider available supply and demand from more             When you’re ready to place your next order, check out Onliant—
than one source.                                                       Griffin’s new online ordering platform. Onliant is one website –
Point-of-sale (POS) systems have helped buyers with inventory – that connects you to everything Griffin has to
and open-to-buy efficiency, but many retailers don’t support POS       offer: retail supplies, hard goods, seed, cuttings, young plants and
in their stores. In-season reordering will continue to be a challenge  beyond. Learn more about Onliant on page 15 in this edition of the
for those with limited manpower.                                       Griffin Gazette.
In-person sales calls may be fewer and further between than            These tools can provide some much-needed assistance to any
they used to be, as distributor rep territories become larger and      buyer who’s time-starved and needing support wherever and
more spread out. Meanwhile, the pace at retail is accelerated:         whenever possible.
Consumers spend less time in-store. They want what they want,          Hey, Siri, what’s the weather report for the weekend?
and they want it now. Today’s buyer can’t always delay purchasing
decisions for the next rep visit.
The responsibility for sourcing and ordering products has become
do-it-yourself for many retailers. It’s done whenever time is
available, or scheduled away from the sales floor to ensure quick
replenishment. Hey, Siri, dial customer service!

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