The wholesale distribution industry is alive and well to the tune of over $10 trillion USD in global annual sales. Within the industry, there are many companies vying for position and profits. Any competitive advantage can help a wholesaler move from surviving to thriving.
Added to this are the many pressures facing the wholesale distribution industry. Continual changes to the global environment, shipping challenges, and more all make it a difficult landscape to navigate. To stay competitive, wholesale distribution companies must embrace several best practices.
Omnichannel Shopping Experience
Many manufacturers said they’d never move to e-commerce. Those who refused to do so found themselves scrambling to accommodate the changing business model forced upon them during the pandemic. Adding an e-commerce portal to their business opened up new markets, welcomed new customers, and helped increase revenues.
However, adding a new channel without integrating it fully into the overall operations led to channel disconnect and poor service. Creating a consistent omnichannel experience ensures that customers experience the service both in person and online. For wholesale distribution companies adding e-commerce to their suite of customer ordering tools, ensuring a seamless omnichannel experience is important.
Integrating Workflows Across Global Networks
A good portion of the wholesale distribution network is connected only by technology. Offices may be in one location, warehouses in another. Ensuring that workflows are integrated means that data is exchanged among computers, systems, and platforms. These integrated workflows ensure that timely, accurate data is always available throughout the network. Tools to facilitate integrated workflows include cloud computing, cloud ERP, and similar systems.
One of the benefits of integrating workflows for wholesale distribution networks is better data visibility. With better data visibility, companies ensure that managers can make informed decisions. Customers can be kept apprised of any supply chain issues, order updates, or shipping delays. Clear communication goes a long way to encouraging customer loyalty and repeat sales.
Local Focus in a Global Market
“Go big or go home” is often a motto heard by businesspeople, but does it always work? Many wholesale distribution companies operate in the global market. However, going global isn’t the only route to profitability. Some wholesale distribution companies have found that a local focus is the road to success.
A local focus means building a reputation in your community, state, or region as the go-to partner for your industry. It means developing a solid reputation as a wholesaler companies know, like, and trust—one who responds quickly to community needs.
Having a local focus doesn’t keep you from the global market. There’s no law that says if you focus on growing your local business you can’t conduct business elsewhere. Remaining aware of global trends, interacting at a global level, but focusing on local customers and prioritizing their needs may be just what you need to develop your competitive advantage
Cloud Software for the Wholesale Distribution Industry
Whether you choose a local focus or a global focus, having the right cloud software ensures that data transparency, visibility, and security are part of the equation. Cloud computing technology such as cloud ERP or WMS enables you to meet the industry’s challenges head on regardless of whether you choose to expand offshore or within your local town. It gives you the flexibility you need to grow. In a large and competitive industry, the more flexibility you have in your operations, the better you can pivot to meet challenges head on.
Emerald TC provides software and consulting for manufacturing companies. We can help you choose the right accounting software, ERP system, payroll, or other software for your needs. Contact us or call 678-456-6919 for more information.