2017 Wholesale Industry Risks
Wholesalers reported greater concerns about supply chain risks, energy dynamics and climate volatility than businesses overall.
Growing concerns about employee issues surpassed concerns about business growth, with wholesalers affected by workers compensation claims and automobile liability. Wholesalers listed employee benefits costs, medical cost inflation and broad economic uncertainty among their top business concerns. Other concerns include supply chain risks, energy dynamics, and climate volatility.
Nearly two-thirds of wholesalers (63%) reported not being very confident that they are properly insured. With products routinely stored or in transit, wholesalers can take steps to increase their confidence by making sure they have appropriate liability coverage. Properly structuring contracts with customers to minimize risk can also help to protect wholesalers.
Risk mitigation is also an area where wholesalers have the potential to increase safeguards for their businesses. Less than half (43%) report having a business continuity plan, which can make it easier for a business to recover after an emergency or natural disaster. Less than a quarter (24%) report that they consult with a safety specialist from their insurance carrier, another way to identify specific safety risks.
Nearly two-thirds (65%) of wholesalers report using a personal vehicle for business, which presents a potential business liability if employees are involved in car accidents. Thirty-nine percent of wholesalers worry about the potential for such lawsuits. A number of personal vehicles used for business have driving technology, which could help promote safety when used across wholesalers’ fleets. Inexperienced drivers and distracted driving are also concerns for wholesalers.