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The SME Productivity & Innovation Centre (PIC) at Edge Hill University delivers impact through an intensive fully-funded programme that helps established SMEs, with the vision and potential for growth, build a coherent business model strategy to scale-up.

Trevors case study

Food service supplier

Louise Wane, Head of Sales & Marketing – Trevors

“The Innovation Sprint Programme proved to be a valuable use of time. It allowed me to take time out of the business and focus on the business. The programme, whilst challenging, broadened my thinking and my understanding of our business and allowed me to implement sales strategies that are already proving to be successful. I believe this programme has been invaluable for a business like ours and look forward to utilising this approach more within our business.”

Louise Wane, Head of Sales & Marketing – Trevors

Trevors have implemented new processes, recruited new employees and are already seeing the financial benefits.

  • Clarity of customer pain-points and service requirements.
  • Introduced a new Service Plus process, improving their service to current customers.
  • Recruited a new Business Development Manager to drive the entry into new markets.
  • Aligned skills and training needs for current sales employees.
  • Increase of 10% in sales on previous year following the implementation of the new processes.

Starting point

Trevors is a wholesale food and non-food distributer based in Blackpool, offering quality products and a flexible service to over 1,300 customers predominantly across the North West. They have established long-term relationships with customers and suppliers, a quality that helps them remain competitive.

The opportunity

With a healthy customer base and a wide range of products to offer, Trevors wanted to increase profitability. They joined the programme to explore the opportunity to diversify into new food-service markets. They also wanted to explore their current processes and practices to determine the organisations ability to integrate an ecommerce service into their current ordering service. Longstanding processes and marketing activity had performed well for the business. To achieve their strategic goal, they were prepared to step back and consider implementing any necessary innovation activities to make improvements in-order-to reach them.

The journey

The team from Trevors began the workshops by focusing on their current customer base. It became apparent that the team needed to drill down to ground level until they clearly understood who their customers are, their pain-points, sales margins and service requirements. Louise Wane, Head of Sales and Marketing found the workshops challenging and rewarding. Time away from the day-today business allowed the team to explore potential opportunities and ideas and begin to ask the right questions.

The solution

Trevors developed and introduced a new Service Plus model to help re-position and grow their existing customers. The team identified the opportunity to maximise the growth potential in their existing customers alongside the development of a new sales strategy to enter new markets. Following the programme, the company has employed a new Business Development Manager and a Senior Business Development Manager to drive their new market opportunities forward. Changes have been implemented within the sales process including staff training and a new online ordering system to enhance their customer experience, eradicate errors and to improve efficiency is being trialled. Since implementing these changes, Trevors have seen an increase in sales compared to the previous year.

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