Cora WHOLESALE uses a skillful blend of technology, knowledge and expertise to execute its strategy with the minimum risk, while constantly improving the day-to-day, tactical elements of its business. The company offers low-priced original inks, paper and machinery to the printing and photographic industry. Its customers include production houses specialising in wide format printing, photographers with exacting standards and home users with a range of desktop and networked printers. With over 25 years’ experience in the industry, Cora WHOLESALE advises on a range of matters and delivers the majority of products next day, with UK-based experts on hand to provide support. Cora WHOLESALE specialises in providing clearance inks, both in-date and out-of-date. In-date products come with the manufacturers’ warranties, whereas the main thrust of the business is supplying more affordable out-of-date inks, which it underwrites with its own warranty.
  • Category: Office Consumables
  • Challenge: Knowledge, multichannel
  • Results: Revenues up 15% (but Volo only sees 20% of GMV)
  • Benefits: Learning and direction from Volo team
Learning and Direction

Tamsin MacCormack, Partner, Cora WHOLESALE: “We were founded in 2008. My husband Graham started the business and I was able to join full-time during 2010. Simply put, we had reached a growth point. We were doing a lot of single, high-value transactions and we were on eBay, using it as an acquisition tool. We managed the business using spreadsheets. We wanted to extend the product range, go cross-platform, get onto Amazon, and find a way of co-listing and co-managing the inventory. We were also unsure about the international angle to our future business.

“The Volo system allows us to run cross-platform and cross-border. Without it there’s no way we could manage all these instances of our product set, a lot of which are drop ship. We couldn’t do it. We get a lot of learning and direction from working with the Volo team. They really help us as a small business. It seems like every time we talk we get another idea for how we can improve our business processes.”

Ridiculous to the Sublime

“We had a visit from Volo a few weeks ago, and we discussed many of our challenges and what we wanted to do with the business. Volo helps us on both the tactical and the strategic sides of the business. For example, we get inside tips and tricks to improve the way we work, golden nuggets that help us drive the business and stay on good terms with the marketplaces. On the strategic side we also get to test new markets and new product ranges very quickly and easily. Volo de-risks our moves into new areas for us.

“Now, because of the power of the system and the people we work with, we’re huge advocates. A lot of our business is mail order and telephone order, and Volo currently touches only about 20% of it. Despite that, it’s given us a 15% uplift in sales across our business. We’re looking to grow that substantially.”

Knowledge Pays

“We are a husband and wife team and there are just the two of us in the business. The Volo system helps us having to add more staff to the team. It’s not a question of how many staff we save with the system, as we couldn’t do a lot of what we do without it. I don’t think it would matter how many additional staff we brought in, we’d still need Volo.

“My advice to companies looking to automate their business is to get your house in order first. Be clear on what you're trying to do, what your business strategy is, and what you want to do with your data. Volo is not a panacea. Volo does an awful lot, and what it does it does very well. It can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear for you, but that doesn’t solve everything. As a final piece of advice, I would say: listen to what your Account Manager tells you. They have the knowledge to help you grow the business in the right way.”