How Distributors of Disposable Wipes, Tissues, and Towels Can Navigate Price Increases

How Distributors of Disposable Wipes, Tissues, and Towels Can Navigate Price Increases

The topic of increasing prices has become a sore spot for many industries, thanks to the ongoing global effects of Covid-19. Inflated prices on materials used to manufacture many industry-standard wiping solutions have likewise become a cause for concern. Absent a trusted partnership with an established supplier, distributors may lack the tools or resources to understand that these factors are far more addressable than they realize. 

In this introductory article to our series highlighting distributor insights and resources, we’ll dive into the market forces and other factors that drive price increases — and the solutions that help mitigate their effects. 

Causes of price increases 

The causes of most price increases — whether gradual or sudden — can be broken down into general economic factors and industry-specific considerations. 

Cost factors for disposable wipers  

Within the general context of an inflationary market, there are specific cost factors that disposable paper product suppliers have to contend with in order to meet distributors’ needs. Here are the most common examples for bulk towel, tissue, and non-woven wipers:

  • Transportation – Maritime and air freight make up a significant portion of production and distribution costs for many commodities, including disposable wipers. 
  • Materials – Wood pulp, and other common materials used to manufacture disposable wipers are always in high demand.  
  • Labor – Personnel shortages have been a common problem during and in the aftermath of the global pandemic. 

Sometimes, an honest conversation with suppliers about the reasons behind price increases can clarify the exact factors that influenced the decision on their end (beyond the general justification of an inflationary market environment). Opening this avenue of communication allows suppliers to clarify the difficulties they have been facing that necessitated the increase. It also empowers distributors to have informed conversations about market conditions and fair price ranges with their customers. 

However, these conversations can be difficult to begin as a distributor unless you have already established a relationship based on consistent communication with your product suppliers. And while understanding the reasons behind price increases can provide helpful context, it takes a robust strategy to actually respond to those increases in a way that supports your business goals and brings uninterrupted value to your customers. 

Mitigating price increases through a manufacturer partnership 

Regardless of how well-informed a distributor might be about the market factors that influence a product’s price increase, there are plenty of situations where these changes are inescapable. Finding a reliable, well-connected manufacturer can be a game changer for distributors during economic downturns. 

Maximize orders and shipments 

Dedicated manufacturers are deeply involved in the shipping and handling processes for the products they offer, making them a go-to resource when searching for ways to offset shipping costs and consolidate orders. For example, a manufacturer may do the math to figure out that a distributor who usually buys one pallet of product twice a month would save money by purchasing two pallets once a month instead. 

Some manufacturers like Berk International can also drop ship directly to distributors’ customers to help mitigate warehouse fees and other handling costs. This option is entirely based on each individual distributor’s preference. 

Develop product alternatives 

More sizable manufacturers with many supplier connections — and exemplary customer service — can use their resources to come up with alternatives to more expensive product choices. 

Perhaps a client is using a product that is much stronger than is strictly necessary for their application. Berk carries different weights for many of our products, including the popular MIGHTYWIPE® and the general purpose line DRC. A customer who had been purchasing heavyweight DRC wipes might be able to do with a cost-effective medium-weight suggestion for their next order. 

Distributors should strive to find a manufacturer who is willing to acquire a deep knowledge of their customers’ product applications, and from that understanding, develop intelligent wiping solutions. 

Cost-effective, personalized wiping solutions

Berk has the supplier connections needed to make any cleaning solution a reality. We fulfill our clients’ needs with the price-awareness and customer service of a company with an entrepreneurial spirit that has lived on even as we have grown into one of the leading manufacturers and marketers of towel, tissue, and non-woven disposable wiping products in the United States. 

Our deep understanding of the industry means that we know the format, configuration, and most cost-effective specifications for each client’s customer base. With a wide network of merchants and manufacturers, we can get you what you need to succeed — no matter the state of the current market. 

To learn more about becoming a Berk distributor, contact us through our website. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest industry news and Berk releases — including our next article in this series, which will guide distributors in helping their customers choose the best bulk wipes, tissues, and paper towels for their specific applications.

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