A study conducted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in 2013 found that opportunities for growth are still available in the wholesale distribution sector. It further states that this industry will continue to grow around 5 percent from 2014 to 2018. Combined with a stronger currency, this growth will lend greater opportunities to importers in the US market. Many companies within this industry are on the look for new methods of increasing revenue while acquiring a broader market share. However, companies should anticipate future risks and rewards of their overall business plan.
What can businesses do?
Employ Automated Operations
Productivity within the industry grew by 30 percent between 2001 and 2010. This was driven by advances in technology and communications. Wholesalers can continue to reap benefits from additional automation of non-value-added operations, and by focusing on higher value services to boost margins.
Collaborate with Overseas Vendors
The balance of trade is expected to give slightly more benefits to exporters. An investment opportunity present in this current economic climate is to increase collaboration between US and Chinese or Indian suppliers. Chief-level executives should take into consideration overseas purchasing or establishing offices in the respective countries in order to strengthen relationships with buying agents. These investment opportunities require the wholesale distribution industry to ensure transparency and efficiency along the supply chain. This is a result of combining the US retail sector and heightened popularity of retail chains’ direct relationships with the same potential vendors, which in turns drives prices down while encouraging economies of scale.
Maintain Close Relationships with Customers
It is customary for the wholesale distribution industry to know very specific details of its customers. Maintaining close relationships with customers and suppliers is extremely beneficial; and in this global world, these relationships are becoming increasingly complex.
Make Timely and Accurate Decisions
It is crucial for businesses to sufficiently compile all available information and draw a picture used to best service customers at that particular moment. Timing is critical and sensitive to many customers who are in search of something today but not necessarily tomorrow. Make timely decisions to apply the appropriate systems and processes, as well as infrastructure, to increase gains today while simultaneously maintaining growth for the future. Distribution ERP software is a practical tool to stay ahead of the curve.
Benefits of ERP for Wholesale Distribution
Practical and Modern
Wholesale distribution ERP (enterprise resource planning) is a practical tool brought about by the digitalization of the wholesale distribution industry. Wholesale and retail markets play a key role in the future of production and import. The giants of wholesale are taking an online service-oriented approach with their customers, allowing for easier purchase options.
Automated and Timely
Distribution ERP software can be a valuable asset to companies of all sizes in this industry. Small-, medium- and large-sized enterprises in the wholesale industry could benefit from programs which automatically offer real-time data analysis and trend spotting for distributors.
What does this mean for Small Businesses?
A large number of analysts have predicted that this trend will continue. As for smaller organizations with considerably smaller revenues and business transactions, how can they address this potential threat? For these organizations, facing this challenge involves diversification, creating additional revenue streams through e-tailing operations, and deployment of trustworthy wholesale distribution management software.