Debbie Mills had been looking for a wholesale business to purchase for a while until Quality Products’ initial product offering as well as its wonderful customer base got her attention.
Mills and her husband took it over in 2016 after looking at many within the gift area as well as many more industrial import businesses.
In an increasingly difficult trading climate, Mills points out that the success of any wholesaling or distribution relies on the same factors as a retail business.
“It’s all about the right product at the right time at the right price,” she says.
“It is just amplified when you are importing or manufacturing products as the lead times and numbers are all larger. Understanding your logistics supply chain and associated costs and factoring in that we are now a global consumer economy means pricing products accordingly.
“To survive in this business financially you need to maintain your own margin and also be able to provide pricing to retailers that allows them to compete in a global internet market.”
She adds that when taking over the business their accountant told them that cash flow is king. Paying for product six months before you will be selling it has a huge impact on cash flow.
“We struggled getting our heads around how we make that work for the first year and it ultimately helped us hone both the supply chain process as well as being even more focused about purchasing the right products at the right time.”
So what makes Quality Products ranges stand out from the crowd? According to Mills, all the products and brands they bring to market are all of high quality and many items come with a lifetime warranty.
“We back the quality of our products so that retailers can sell them knowing that their faulty returns will be extremely low. We are often told that our communication and the overall order process are very efficient.
“When we first started I had grand ideas for a number of new suppliers that were really different to what we were currently doing. A very wise person who had been in the industry a while told me to purchase products that fit your existing customer base.”
Ultimately product selection comes down to the simple question, ‘would I like to receive this gift myself’? There are always those products that grow on you over time and products that you think you really like when you see them in the showroom and then they arrive and you have the ‘what was I thinking’ moment, Mills adds.
Quality Products is moving to a larger warehouse in 2020 so it can bring in larger quantities of its most popular products. However, the company doesn’t have minimum order requirements for its retailers so that they have the opportunity to try a new product without committing to stock that might not sell.
“We always suggest that purchasing at least two of everything so that if someone buys one you have one left to display whilst you reorder another one. Many of our products are gift boxed so having one open for people to touch and feel also adds to the retail experience.
“Success for ourselves and our retailers relies on us bringing new products to the market that consumers would be interested in. We try to keep to the garden/outdoor/eco theme where we can and always look for quality in manufacture.”
The indoor plant and general gardening movement continues to gain momentum as is the sustainability and ethical trend.
“We have always been passionate about gardening and sustainability to certainly appreciate being able to provide products that assist people to achieve their own creations.