One of the difficulties we have over at True North is making sure that we always have what is needed or wanted by our customers. Over the years this has ballooned into over 90 brands of juice and will likely continue to grow to over 200 in the 2019 and 2020 years.
Many people have told us we are crazy and that we would end up in a logistical nightmare, have huge financial difficulties or end up with thousands of bottles in wasted inventory each year. Through hard experience none of that has been true. In fact, the opposite has been true because of some key factors we have put into place.
- Only paying cash on the barrel for product to ensure we never go into any debts.
- Bringing in brands that we already have a customer base interested in purchasing.
- A diligent warehouse team doing FIFO (first in first out) to ensure we don’t end up with aging inventory.
- Software that assists us in selecting how much product to stock at a time.
- A manufacturer through DVine that can track, manage, manufacturer and handle all of the logistics associated with selling over 2000 SKU’s.
- A sales team that not only communicates with our customers but also stays aware of the industry shifts towards different products.
- A focus on exclusivity and out of country brands to maintain brand value.
- Strict recall, safety and compliancy standards and protocols.
Then we focused on finding brands we could represent that fell as closely as possible in line with our values. Beyond that following the basic 8 ideas above gave us many benefits:
- Paying cash not only kept our books easy to manage but made sure we did not get ourselves into debt or financial difficulties.
- By bringing in brands that had a customer base already it allowed us to generate income immediately.
- Ensuring we were shipping fresh product was the key to winning a customers business and then keeping it.
- Using custom written software to manage our inventory has been tremendous in our decision making of where to spend our cash into product.
- DVine has proven over the years to be able to manage an almost unlimited amount of complication in manufacturing and this has allowed us to be able to easily offer large numbers of SKU’s.
- Our sales team goes the extra mile to communicate with our customers and find out the things they are looking for next. When we find several people interested in a product it makes it easier to invest in. Industry trends happen all the time but we are diligent in staying on top of those changes.
- Bringing in brands that we can exclusively offer has been far more interesting to customers than common local brands and ultimately lead us into higher sales.
- Strict compliance with Health Canada, Government bodies and voluntary industry standards has been vital in protecting our customers health and maintaining our reputation.
There are many other factors that come into play but these are some basic tenants that have helped us.
CEO - True North Vapor
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