Business changes as should yours

Recently, I talked with an executive of a large wholesaler about how his business has transformed itself over the years.

He indicated that 10 years ago his company bought from grower/shippers and sold to retail accounts. Price was the most important criterion. Today, price is but one of many criteria retailers are seeking.

What retailers most want, he advised, is service, including just-in-time delivery and flexibility regarding pack sizes and packaging. The executive noted it is just expected that the company’s facilities will be state of the art, and all food safety procedures and certifications will meet all requirements.

He no longer considers his company to be a wholesaler but a retail service partner. As a result of this transformation in mission and purpose, millions of dollars have been expended updating technology and infrastructure. Additionally, a large transportation and logistics presence have been created.

To pay for these new purpose assets, the company has had to seek out creative funding sources. For working capital needs, standard lines of credit from banks work, but for capital expenditures, the company has turned to alternative sources, such as niche financial and life insurance companies.

He confided that the scale is all important today, as his customers demand more in a shorter period of time.

Our conversation was very interesting and enlightening. It caused me to focus on what Blue Book is doing. Are we a rating company? An information business?

Yes, we are these but only in part. Blue Book is focused on your success. To this end, we provide you with the necessary tools, enabling you to make more informed business decisions that will lead to profits and growth.

Blue Book provides ratings, Trading Assistance and business analysis in digital and print format. The Produce Reporter, Blue Book’s daily e-newsletter, is a must read for news and analysis. has been redesigned to make it more concise, thorough, and mindful of your time. Blueprints, our in-depth print publication, is dedicated to reporting on topics that are must-read. The departments provide deep dive explanations on issues that keep you up to date.

Just as the produce executive noted how his company has transformed itself, so has Blue Book.

When you ask yourself if your business is still serving the same mission and purpose today that it did a few years ago, you may be surprised at the answer.

Jim Carr is the President and CEO of Blue Book Services Inc.