Why you should future-proof your profitability by investing in digital wholesale solutions
Technology plays an essential role in future-proofing your profitability. Find out why.
When considering new technology, a wholesale business needs buy-in from across the management team. Too often organisations leave it to a small project group or individual to define the product requirements and draw up a shortlist of suitable software suppliers for consideration. This working group may have been given a budget to work with, but that shouldn’t mean that you’re one step removed from the rest of the process.
When dealing with a wholesale management system that has a direct bearing on supply chain and stock levels – and therefore sales too – you can’t be relegated to a back seat. Indeed, as the head of finance you must be deeply involved to ensure that investment in specialist wholesale solutions, including mobile digital solutions, is not wasted.
Why your choice of technology matters
Consider the impact technology has had on the world of retail. More than simply selling goods online, retailers have been forced to unify the on- and offline shopping experience to offer customers more choice and a better class of service.
In order to distinguish themselves from the competition, retailers are investing in technology to support this new omni-channel model. Click-and-collect and same day delivery are only possible when underpinned by a robust operating platform.
Now wholesalers face similar demands from their customers. Having used omni-channel services in their personal lives, wholesale customers are expecting similarly flexible options from their suppliers. But only those with the correct systems in place will be able to deliver, giving them an instant competitive advantage.
Specialist warehouse solutions and return on investment (ROI)
From your perspective, every investment is closely related to the expected returns. Where your warehouse manager is interested in speeding up the picking process, you want to know how much those efficiencies are can benefit the business.
This is why you must be involved in the whole project lifecycle, allowing you to quantify the benefits of wholesaler applications, including:
- How improved visibility allows the business to refine processes more quickly, improving cost-effectiveness and reducing waste.
- How streamlining administrative functions helps to reduce costs.
- How an end-to-end wholesale system allows the business to automate key processes, reducing costly human errors and increasing productivity.
The ROI from these activities is obvious in principle, although quantifying the benefits can be a little more difficult.
Looking beyond raw ROI
The biggest benefit of specialist wholesaler software is greater efficiency. Yes, the time saved by automating common processes will equate to a hard monetary return – but there are longer-term secondary benefits too.
For instance, by increasing customer-facing efficiency, your business stands a much better chance of building brand loyalty. Giving customers what they want, when they want it is absolutely critical to bringing them back. Even in the wholesale sector, it's more cost effective to sell to and retain your existing customers, then constantly find new ones or similar
A specialist wholesale solution also helps you better understand customers and their preferences. Every interaction can be captured and analysed, and those insights then used to personalise the service they receive in future. The importance of personalisation is clear: 89% of business buyers say they expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations. The same report shows that 82% say personalised customer care influences loyalty.
Investing in a solution that encourages wholesale customer loyalty helps to reduce churn and maintain revenue. By the same token, failing to invest in specialist technologies that drive efficiency means your business will find it harder to meet the expectations and preferences of the vast majority of your customers.
Freeing resources for investment elsewhere
The efficiency savings created by wholesale software can be reinvested in other strategic projects. You could allocate additional funding for initiatives that fuel growth, such as implementing new sales channels or simply providing the latest sales tools and devices to help the sales teams to generate leads.
Carefully targeted investment has always been critical to growth. But as the speed of business and customer expectations increase, technology is central to delivering on both.
With so much at stake, it’s clear that you can’t afford to be left out of any project that has such profound implications for the business. And by sharing knowledge and experience, you can actually tailor software to meet the requirements of the business.
- Technology will be crucial to improving efficiency in wholesale operations
- Efficiency gains deliver a clear return on investment
- A personalised customer experience is key to improving customer loyalty
- Savings created by technology can be invested in other strategic growth projects
Topics: Wholesale Distribution Solutions