In an age of increasing interconnectivity in commerce and wholesale distributing, wholesalers are beginning to find themselves eliminated from the process. Major retailers have more options than ever available for purchasing their products, including skipping wholesalers all together and reaching out directly to manufacturers for their needs.
With the traditional supply chain being threatened from all sides, wholesale distributors may think their days are numbered. Luckily through the advent of technology, that isn’t the case – and there are concrete steps that smart wholesale distributors are taking to stay relevant. By modernizing their business model through the convenience and accuracy of technology, wholesalers are positioned to provide retailers with a stronger service experience than ever. Here’s how.
Improved Supply Chain Accuracy and Transparency
As the world at large becomes increasingly reliant on software, apps and artificial intelligence, so does the supply chain that gets goods from manufacturers to retail outlets. It’s on the shoulders of the wholesale distributors to work technology into their business models, or they risk being left in the dust.
Technology can help wholesale distributors stay current and offer the best value to retail outlets by:
- Optimizing Inventory and Warehouse Management
- Connecting People and Processes
- Creating Transparency in the Supply Chain
Optimizing inventory and warehouse management processes provide a plethora of benefits to wholesale distributors and their subsequent retail customers. The benefits include minimizing loss associated with miscounted inventory, prioritizing warehouse management tasks and establishing an accurate database to ensure inventory accuracy and its timely distribution. When considering a partnership with a wholesale distributor, ensure their drop shipping and distribution processes are facilitated by advanced electronic tracking, automated packing, analytics and redundancy protocols.
Technology also has the power to connect people and processes. This means greater transparency between the distributor and their retail customers, helping all parties remain the same page and in the know about their stock levels and impending shipments. With the distributor-retailer relationship facilitated and supported by technology, both parties can feel confident about their service and supply.
Greater Business and Inventory Management
Logistics plays a major role in commerce; in 2015 spending in the U.S. logistics and transportation industry totaled $1.48 trillion and represented 8 percent of annual gross domestic product for the year1. Wholesale distributors who aren’t able to deliver on a logistical front are going to be rendered obsolete in a market that largely depends on dependable shipping and moving of goods.
By utilizing logistics software, wholesale distributors can give manufacturers and retailers an inside look as to where their products are with amazing accuracy. This allows retailers to sufficiently plan and organize their stock levels, increasing their efficiency as a business.
By creating an interconnected web of communication that speaks to retailers about their products and their transportation status, wholesalers can create an environment of dependability and trust with their clientele.
Reliable and Convenient Customer Service
With ecommerce being a major component of any wholesale distributor’s business model, the need for customer service is as paramount as ever. Technology allows for live chat with customers who may have questions during the process of browsing a wholesaler’s inventory on the web and can address questions quickly and accurately without ever picking up a phone.
In addition, allowing interested parties to contact a wholesaler through a convenient, easy to find form on their website alleviates any anxiety potential buyers may have when considering products. It’s pivotal that customer inquiries that are entered into contact forms or live chats be answered in a timely manner; taking too long to supply a satisfactory solution to a customer’s problem can mean the difference success or failure for both parties.
A Tech-Enabled Partnership for Future Success
If a wholesale distributor wants to remain relevant in the constant throes of change in the field of commerce, they must prioritize and adapt technology into their existing business model. Technology and software allows for accurate warehouse and inventory management, allowing loss on both sides of the spectrum to be reduced.
Technology can improve logistical capabilities and increase supply chain transparency, building trust and confidence in retail outlets that rely on timely shipments to make a profit. It can also help wholesale retailers connect with potential buyers, allowing them to address issues or concerns before they become deal breakers. Technology is unavoidable in the wholesale distribution industry and will only be avoided by those wishing to be rendered obsolete. In addition to staying relevant, the benefits of modernizing a wholesale distributor’s model will be felt by the retailers they supply by increasing efficiency, prices and reliability.