There are things you can do right now to increase profits. Your competitors are doing them. If you don’t, you will be left behind. 5 Things your distribution business can do to grow profits can provide solid ideas to get your wholesale distribution thinking about ways to improve profitability. Don't forget to request the full document below.
1. A Connected Web shop & customer self service portal. If by now you don’t have a web order entry and customer self service site set up for your customers and have it connected to your
There are really multiple parts to an ecommerce and client self service portal. The first part is pretty simple. You need to have an integrated system for customers to place orders. What does integrated mean? Integrated means that a customer places orders on your ecommerce site and then they are magically transported to your order management (ERP) system. It should be automated so that there is not any manual (expensive) intervention of the order to read it from your web site either by email notification or other means.
As you know there really is no magic to get the order to your system. The order should simply flow into your ERP system in an automated way. From this point it can be checked by an employee and then released to be processed. This should be a very simple and fast process. After all, the more orders you process with as few people touching them as possible, the more money you make.
2. Automated Order entry. If you want to make more money you need to have an automated order entry system. An automated order entry system allows you to take orders from your customers with little or no intervention from you or your employees. This automate also makes your customers happier because it saves them time and therefore money as well.
An automated order entry system can be something very simple or it can be a complicated EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) system. Even if you are currently using an EDI system, there are customers that want automation but don’t want the complexity or cost associated with a traditional EDI system.
3. Mobile Sales: If you have an outside sales force and they don’t currently have a way to place orders in your system from wherever they may be, you are behind many of your competitors. Believe it or not, many distributors today don’t have a way for their salespeople to place orders or service their clients remotely. There are two parts to this that will make you more money.
Your sales team needs to have a way to place orders and to easily look up customer information and history while out of the office. Think about how much more they will get done in a day and how many orders they can process. Who knows maybe the can even increase the number of products and/or services purchased by your customer.
Once your customer sees how quickly and how well you can take care of them, they will surely be back for more. The other benefit is employee satisfaction. Think how this change will impact your salesperson. They will be more self sufficient, efficient, and professional. They certainly won’t mind the increase in commission either
4. Sell your products through other channels: Many distributors offer their products through other sales channels such as Amazon, Ebay, and many others. You may think that it is too hard or it takes too long or you just won’t make as much money this way. While it is true that you could possibly make a smaller margin on a few of
these channels, there may be higher margins in some others. If you can automate the flow of information sent to these other channels and make some money, why not? The key is to automate the exchanging of information.
Most if not all of the other channels have a way to connect to them electronically. You can set your system up to share information on a regular basis to update:
- Inventory levels
- Shipping information
- Order status
- Customer updates
5. Warehouse Improvements: There are so many areas for improvement in a warehouse. The first thing is to make sure that you are using an automated warehouse management system. Let this system manage your warehouse! Many people think that having a bar code on a shelf and a scanner is good enough. Ask around and visit a distribution company both large and small doing it right. They have a system that controls the warehouse and knows where everything is not matter what.
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Posted by iCepts Technology Group a