2017 turned out to be an extraordinarily successful year for EDC Wholesale, but as we learn in our interview with Eric Idema, the CEO of the Dutch company, he and his team are determined to take it up another notch and surpass those results this year. The course is set, and all preparations have been made, as Eric tells us. Of course, EAN was curious to find out more about the strategy EDC intends to implement in 2018.
Eric, are you satisfied with the 2017 business year?
Eric Idema: Yes, very satisfied. Many dreams came true in 2017: We celebrated our 10th anniversary while opening the doors to our new warehouse which opened many international opportunities. Our team has grown bigger than ever and has become a strong professional team. I’m satisfied that, despite the growth of the company, we still manage to work with a logistics system driven by people and not machines. Our work environment is still a positive place where people work hard but also come together for a drink on Friday afternoon. We developed many new house brands, which are being sold globally. We also closed amazing partnership agreements with third-party brands and successfully introduced them to our customers. 2017 was a great business year, and it will only get better.
EDC has grown a lot in 2017 compared to 2016. Do you have some concrete figures that illustrate the development?
We started the wholesale department in 2016 and in 2017, we accomplished tremendous growth relative to the previous year, thanks to our house brands and many new partnership agreements we made. But regardless of the outstanding results in 2017, we are still determined to accomplish better results in 2018.
How do you explain this growth and success?
Our team is devoted, ambitious, and focused. In my opinion, these are the key elements to success. The new warehouse also made it possible to grow in many ways as our previous capacity was exceeded. We continue to look for new opportunities and dare to take risks, we’re not afraid to be the first to cross the bridge.
“Our team is devoted, ambitious, and focused. In my opinion, these are the key elements to success.”
Is this growth all the more important because the environment for wholesale and distribution is currently not the easiest?
We are new in this segment, and we compete with other wholesalers who have been around for quite some time now. We bring new and fresh ideas to the table, and when we see an opportunity we take immediate action and don’t wait for others to fill the gap. We want to satisfy our customer and still make them successful in their business, this requires a different approach and that is what we do best.
You follow specific plans and set goals with your growth and expansion strategy. How does that work, exactly?
We basically pave the road as we go. Up till now, we had some ideas and goals of what we wanted to achieve by the end of the month, quarter, or year, but things kept changing and developing so rapidly that we constantly had to readjust our plans or came up with new plans. For 2018, we want to work more strategically, with a long-term plan.
Is it correct that every single department develops its own growth plan and then implements it afterwards? What are the benefits?
Yes, I have asked each department to give me their plans and targets for 2018. By involving them in the process, the plan is based on the departments, making them part of the process which they are responsible for – the benefit being that I’m not the one telling them what to do. They tell me what they believe they can accomplish as a team and it’s their responsibility to reach the target they have set for themselves.
What goals does EDC have for the year 2018?
The purchasing department has set goals like optimising stock, and to that end, we implemented an automatic stock system. More collections will be developed for our house brands, reducing transport costs and such. Design will be creating new house brands this year, catering to new target audiences with the new lines. The sales department has raised their turnover target for 2018, made plans to expand their sales area, and will be working on a marketing strategy for launching new brands. These are just a few examples of the interesting goals we have set for each department.
How are these goals to be achieved?
Like I said before; by working hard, focusing on the targets, and by working together. The team believes in the goals they have set, and by starting at the beginning of the year, they know exactly what they need to do each month and each week to reach their goals by the end of the year. I will guide them through the process, making sure the goals are met.
Must companies move beyond Europe and do business overseas in order to ensure further growth? Or do you still see potential in Europe?
I see a lot of potential in Europe, and I’m sure we haven’t reached the end of that potential. But I also see potential overseas. Our brands are very well received by consumers on different continents, so for us, there is no limit as long as we can keep up with our production and supply levels. For an ambitious company like EDC Wholesale, it’s a must to see how far we can go – only the sky is the limit.
Your own brands are an important pillar of your company. What can the market look forward to this year?
We are launching new brands throughout the year. This month, we have introduced our newest house brands, Sinner Gear, with a collection of cold hard steel for the more experienced fetish toy users, and Boners, offering a collection of products to stimulate the penis and balls, offering an assortment of cock rings, ball stretchers, and drugstore items, including masturbation creme, penis cleaner, XXL creme, erection creme, delay crème, and delay spray. Next month, we will launch masturbators in discreet packaging, called FPPR (pronounced Fapper). These brands were introduced at eroFame 2017.
Later this year, we will introduce a line of glass dildos and a line of massage oils and candles. Design is also working on some exciting new products to add to the existing house brands. Many developments can be expected in that area.