Triton has a lot of work ahead
SO HOW far did the Triton conference go in convincing members and suppliers it has the potential to be the saviour of the independent retailer?
Well not far enough. The jury is out on whether Triton has the ability to turn what is undeniably a winning strategy into reality and convince its members to back it.
The overriding message was agents have no choice. Back Triton or fear the worst. The major stumbling block appears to be how far agents feel they are being involved in the decision-making process.
In theory, they like the idea of Triton. A bigger organisation fighting for their interests against the power of the multiples. In reality, they are feeling a little unloved.
There may well be a list of preferred suppliers, but many agents don’t know who is on it, where to find it and crucially why those suppliers are on the list.
Getting that list of preferred suppliers right and agreed with its members is fundamental to the success of Triton. It is therefore surprising there should be so much confusion surrounding it with agents who are unclear as to what incentives they get for backing it and what happens to them if they don’t.
But as our friend Jonathan James from the convenience retail sector said, if you compare Triton to a new car, you could say it has got the chassis right, but we’re going to have wait until we get the wheels to start driving the thing.
Agents and suppliers are united in their passion to make Triton work. The conference proved that, but there is much to be done if Triton is to satisfy and meet their needs.
But if a company’s best asset is its staff then surely a consortium’s most valued possession is its members.
If Triton can get its members more involved in deciding its strategy and how it can be implemented on the shop floor, then it has a better chance of success.
Often the best ideas come from the bottom up so hopefully the Triton chiefs were listening as much as they were talking at this week’s conference.