Success Strategies for Small & Midsize Wholesale Distribution Companies

How to leverage the current economy to help achieve your goals

As a small or midsize business, with a focus in the wholesale distribution industry, you may be considering how you can leverage the current economic situation to help you achieve your goals. After all, it seems that in the large enterprise space, where industry players measure revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars, there is no shortage of activity, growth, and innovation.

Here are some of the key drivers and tools that organizations are using across the industry to scale and stay competitive as the market recovers.

Tactics Before Strategy

We often talk about the idea of implementing strategy before tactics, but often it’s the tactics (executed by competitors or similar businesses) that can provide the best guidance on where opportunities exist for those in the SMB space. Start with the end in mind and work your way back to the goal.

A report from Deloitte, a large top tier accounting and consulting firm, noted that many businesses in the wholesale distribution industry are grappling with tactical questions on things like acquisitions, brand and/or product range expansion, managing margin erosion and wrangling selling, general and administrative expenses (also known as SG&A). These types of questions help them form the targeted end state that they want to accomplish so that they have a more effective plan in place.

For many of these organizations, the answer lies in technology and how corporate teams can better use data within the business to effectively compete in the broader market.

Ask the Right Questions

Asking the right questions prior to investing in technology is important to ensure that your short- and long-term goals are met. Consider the following when getting started:

  1. What is digital transformation and how do I plan for, deploy, and use the recent technologies that other companies are adopting?
  2. What are the new business models that digital technologies can enable, and how can I deploy these cost-effectively in my business?
  3. How much should I worry about disrupting my current business model? And if I don’t disrupt my business, am I missing opportunities to better engage my current customers and add new ones?

Commit to a Start

The one thing we’ve seen time and time again is that organizations constantly look externally for answers and solutions, particularly when it comes to technology. Oftentimes, companies should look internally and think about ways that their existing investments can be used to address current challenges with little to no additional spend. The first step towards digital transformation is to evaluate your current solutions to see if there are any areas that you’ve missed or haven’t leveraged yet.

Take the time to review and understand what is currently happening with the technology that you have already deployed – reach out to your software provider to understand system capabilities and resources available to you. There may be more opportunities than you think!

Providers often have existing solutions that easily integrate into your current solution, which can provide quick integrations and increased functionality, without requiring you to find another product or partner.

As an example, companies that utilize one of the most popular ERP solutions, SAP Business One, can further extend their investment by looking at the SAP ecosystem to enhance their product value. Business One is a leading Cloud ERP for SMBs, providing a centralized, scalable platform to support your digital transformation. For those in the Wholesale Distribution space, SAP Business One & Resolv, VistaVu’s add-on solution, extends Business One’s existing functionality with features in Distribution, Logistics, Warehouse Management and Business Productivity driving efficient end-to-end supply chain processing.

Add-on solutions, such as Resolv, provide extended capabilities within the same platform making implementation seamless as you are already familiar with the service provider and interface of your original system.

To learn more about ways to optimize your distribution, logistics, and warehouse operations, reach out to our experts today.


About the Author

Tim Singleton, VP Business One

With over thirty years of experience implementing and supporting ERP & WMS software, in the distribution industry, Tim has industry expertise and the technical know how to implement SAP Business One and Resolv to help distribution organizations become a best run businesses.

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