IBC is a very important member of our Allneeds Group family. Founded in 2008, it is now the biggest buying group in terms of members in the UK.
Although we have seen significant growth over the years, the opportunities going forward for us are even greater. Not only because we uniquely represent the Independent sector, but because we have only just began to leverage our position in the market. We have in place now, three key strategies;
Firstly, IBC has always been about choice, so in the past we did not force our members to commit to the supplier deals we had negotiated on their behalf. We felt, that if the deals were good enough, they would go with them. This has always presented a challenge for us, especially when negotiating with the suppliers, as we were unable to say with certainty what the volumes would be so our suppliers could price on the economy of scale.
We haven’t let this stop or slow us down and since 2016 we started a programme to identify which product areas were the most important to our members. Based on these, we negotiated enhanced partnership deals with our members and suppliers. The deal being, a volume commitment over a three year period from our members at a highly competitive rate from our suppliers, so a win, win.
Secondly, we have made the effort to listen carefully to our members in order that we could understand their concerns and frustrations better. This feedback has helped us to rethink our offering, so we can overcome the issues they had, and highlight how we should serve existing and new members in the future.
Thirdly, we ensured that everything we do, as a buying group is in keeping with our Allneeds Group brand, which is about professionalism, integrity and transparency.
This also puts our member’s needs, our customers needs and our supplier’s needs right at the forefront of our thinking in everything we do. This approach is central to our overall business strategy, which is to deliver exceptional growth for everyone.
Now these approaches are in place and starting to show results we are now ready for the next phase of our plan:
• To get new deals in all the key product areas that our members buy products in
• To encourage 50% of our members to full commit on all core supplier deals
• To drive up the buy-in of our existing membership by improving the benefits to them and replace the members who are not fully engaged with new members who are committed
• To increase our own and the suppliers efficiency in reporting so we can pay our members rebate a third more efficiently
• To deliver relevant information to our colleagues, members and suppliers that enables them to make better decision and create more opportunities for growth
As with every other part of Allneeds Group, in order to achieve this, we are focused on developing the right skills and resources to ensure we can deliver. These include our people, IT, CRM and financial reporting. Important too is that we fully understand and engage with our member’s customers so we can gain a better understanding of their needs and help improve business for all of us.