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Posted January 25 2018
Written by Alexander Sbaite

Big Changes Mean Big Challenges in the Distribution Industry

For the last 50 years, business models have been quite stable in the distribution sector. However, several elements such as new customer behaviour and expectations has recently been a real game-changer. While customers were used to buy products in brick-and-mortar stores during opening hours at specific locations, new technologies have completely reshaped this landscape. This means they expect “stores”, or suppliers, to be opened up for business 24/7. Needless to say, the distribution sector now needs to adapt to thrive. 

The wholesale and distribution industries, as well as the people they employ, are in a state of change. Online commerce and the prevalence of third-party logistics partners have altered the ways that organizations take orders and get their products into the hands of their customers.

How can distributors adapt to the new digital economy?

First of all, it is important to understand today’s state of business key components:

  • Constantly evolving business models;
  • Agility being a must;
  • Required global view of your organization;
  • Expectations impacted by new technologies;
  • Crucial employee engagement.

As you reach more customers online, you need to get more organized to properly serve your clients. Thus, in order to stay competitive, businesses must increase gross margins while decreasing inventory and IT support costs. But how can those objectives be achieved?

Adopting a different kind of distribution model is a good step forward. As such, automated solutions driven by new technologies, can help your business to succeed as it: (Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order)

  • Centralize your order management;
  • Provide enterprise-wide inventory visibility;
  • Add intelligence to your order allocation.

A stairway to heaven

No one wishes to replace their ERP system. At the same time, no one wants to be left behind either. As mentioned before, one of the main challenges is to meet customer expectations. Many people will simply try to add tools designed to enhanced customer experience. Aside, a more global approach based on building a solid foundation, designed to recognize that the business model is all tied together, would be the way to go. Then, functionalities can be added to optimize some of your business’ key pain points. 

In today’s world, the best way for companies of any size to remain competitive is by putting the right person at the right place with the right tools. Look for this when evaluating business management systems for your distribution companies.

The following video showcases key Netsuite’s components required in today’s distribution sector, as well as a demonstration of how it works:

 

Please, do not hesitate to contact us, should you wish to have more information about NetSuite and how this solution could bring value to your business.

 

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