Wholesalers vs. Manufacturers
A couple of months ago I wrote a blog on the problems facing wholesale distributors, and while everything I talked about in that article is still very valid, I figured it was time to address some of the other issues facing wholesalers and DSD sellers.
Competition is far fiercer than is used to be. In order to keep up with the competition, wholesalers are increasing the number of products they sell in order to give more choices to consumers, thereby increasing their customer base. The problem is that having so many different products while also having tight deadlines can stretch wholesalers pretty thin, often leading to late or incorrect shipments. While you probably won’t be dropped after one late shipment, you may certainly be fined, which further hurts your bottom line. As I mentioned in “the Wholesale Dilemma,” customers are willing to pay a premium for good service but will quickly find a new distributor if you can’t deliver. Many inSitu Sales customers I talk to see the need for increased efficiency and a mobile sales tracking system, which is one of the main reasons they reach out to us. inSitu Sales can easily store all of your products with their accompanying price rules in our digital catalog, while also taking mobile orders and invoices which are easier to manage and are less prone to human error than orders taken by hand. These orders and invoices automatically sync up with Quickbooks with our Quickbooks mobile invoicing feature. Additionally we keep track of your inventory, so you’ll always know when you’re getting low on certain items.
These days wholesalers aren’t just facing competition from other wholesalers, but from manufacturers themselves. With today’s technology, it’s now possible and even highly profitable for manufacturers to sell directly to retailers, bypassing wholesalers completely and competing with them instead. In a similar vein, increased consolidation has led to bigger manufacturer/distributor forces with a national scope, making it even more difficult for smaller distributors to compete. Consolidation for large distributors/manufacturers also applies pressure on smaller distributors in that these larger companies can manufacture/buy products in bulk and take advantage of bulk discounts, which enables them to sell their products to retailers for less than smaller distributors.
How We Can Help
Having superior technology goes a long way. If you can’t compete on price, you have to focus on other key sales activities, such as customer service. Make sure that you can always deliver on time and with the right products, and throwing in a surprise goodie is never a bad thing. People remember that stuff. As a wholesaler you don’t need any fancy tricks to get ahead, just delivering on time and with the right products will set you up for success. If streamlining operations and sales rep tracking sound like good ideas, then this salesman app may be the software for you.