The e-commerce industry is growing rapidly, and wholesalers are key players in the game. Even the slightest issue in distribution can disrupt the entire business chain, impacting your clients, as well as the customers your clients serve.
Here are 5 common mistakes wholesalers and distributors should avoid at all costs.
1. Not leveraging the latest tech
Are you still using pen and paper to maintain records? It’s time for an upgrade. Thanks to the latest SaaS tools, managing your workflow has become easier than ever, and it’s definitely more efficient than manual handling. For instance, you can use an ERP system to automate key business processes and improve operations. From order management, inventory tracking, order fulfillment, and warehouse management, to cross-channel reporting—the ERP does everything, in a single platform.
Your vital information gets stored in a safe, centralized cloud storage with access to only authorized individuals. Implementing tech not only simplifies management but also ensures security. It especially comes in handy when you’re in charge of a large wholesaler distribution company, handling hundreds or even thousands of orders in a day.
2. Not being in tune with industry trends
After wholesalers and distributors have spent a considerable amount of time in the industry, they begin to operate on autopilot and fall out of tune with the industry trends. This is a huge mistake, as you might end up losing to your competitors who are following the latest developments in the industry and implementing new business strategies.
For instance, nowadays most customers prefer to access mobile-friendly websites. If you’re still optimizing your website only for desktop usage, you might be losing out on clients who are having difficulty loading your page when they access it from their mobile phone or tablet. This is just a small example—you have to stay in touch with the latest trends in your specific industry, keep an eye on competitors, and stay ahead of everyone by using innovation.
3. Not focusing on customer experience
When you’re operating in the B2B industry, it’s important to offer a seamless customer experience to your clients. This is something that wholesalers and distributors often take for granted. But it should not be the case. If there is a quality issue with your product, or you fail to meet expectations, it can impact your clients’ customers, and have a negative effect on their business.
In the age of the internet, your clients can look up other distributors and swiftly move to your competitors. To avoid losing business, make customer satisfaction a top priority. In case you’re using an ERP system like Kentro.io, you can improve customer experience by offering seamless order management and multichannel support.
4. Lack of financial management
Another common mistake distributors make is not managing their finances well. As a business owner, you have to take care of your cash flow to keep things running smoothly. While building long-term relationships in the industry is necessary to keep your customer base stable, it’s also important to get payments from them on time. Clients may delay payments for some reason or another, and when it happens with multiple accounts, you find yourself in big trouble.
This is why you have to be more organized with your finances. As a wholesale distributor, you cannot afford to offer an unreasonably long repayment period, even if it’s a long-term customer. So what’s the way out? Use accounting automation to keep track of clients who have cleared all dues, clients who owe you money, and how much cash flow your business is generating. Communicate clearly with your clients and make them aware of your expected payment deadline.
5. Unimpressive fulfillment
Have you ever noticed if your order cycle time is at par with the industry average? Order cycle time is the time period starting from when a customer places an order and the time when you ship out the order. This is an essential KPI that helps you judge the efficiency of your process. In case your order cycles are too long, you may find it difficult to acquire new clients or scale your business further.
As a distributor, you receive orders from multiple channels, and not being able to keep track often results in delayed cycles. This is where automation can help you out. Use ERP software so that you can have a look at all orders in one place, and offer quick B2B or B2C fulfillment.
Stay on top of your workflow as a wholesaler or distributor using Kentro.io. Book a demo to learn more.