How can distributors compete against Amazon? Automate replenishment with eTurns. It’s 10x faster.

How can distributors compete against Amazon? Automate replenishment with eTurns. It’s 10x faster.

Amazon may ship orders quickly, but they don’t do automated replenishment of repeat orders well. So distributors have a huge opportunity to compete and win by making automated replenishment based on actual usage a part of their value-added services offering that enhances their customers’ experience.

It is cumbersome for a business with hundreds of part numbers to replenish those parts through Amazon’s Marketplace. AmazonBusiness currently requires customers making repeat purchases to go through a laborious process of walking to the bins, writing part numbers on a clip board, walking to a computer, signing in, keying in part numbers, selecting the item, checking out, etc. This process is fraught with opportunities for mistakes and it is time consuming. eTurns TrackStock stockroom replenishment software and smartphone apps allow customers to scan the barcodes of bins that need replenishment, which cuts 90% of the time it takes to replenish through an ecommerce site like Amazon’s.

Amazon doesn’t yet offer an effective barcode scanning replenishment capability

The Amazon Dash Wand, their only barcode scanning option to date, doesn’t offer visual confirmation that an order was scanned correctly or ordered in the right package quantity. That makes it an okay product to use in a kitchen where scanning the wrong soup can isn’t a life-threatening situation, but if you are an EMS company ordering supplies and you get the wrong item in the incorrect quantity, lives could be on the line. And if you’re a supply chain manager walking the stockroom and scanning multiple bins with the Amazon Dash Wand, you wouldn’t be able to see if you forgot to scan a bin or scanned it twice. In contrast, eTurns TrackStock gives audible and visual confirmation of each scan while also capturing all necessary information about the customer, item, package quantity, and location -- all in one scan.

Experts agree that one of the best ways for distributors to compete against Amazon is by offering value-added services. Susan Bloom from TED Magazine quotes industry expert Justin King (www.B2XPartners.com) in her article Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid, “We're recommending that distributors drive customer relationships with ... services including ...vendor-managed inventory.” He continues, “Amazon is a force to be reckoned with and one that's not going away fast...it's imperative that [distributors] optimize digital experience”

So there’s a clear opportunity for distributors to compete against Amazon by offering a value-added service of automated replenishment. eTurns TrackStock is the best choice because it offers a proven, enterprise-grade cloud platform for automated replenishment using smartphones, scanners, RFID or IoT weight sensors, depending on the customers’needs. Distributors can co-brand eTurns TrackStock and offer it to their customers as a way to say ‘We don’t just sell products, we are helping you manage your inventory.’

Before AmazonBusiness figures out their own easy automated replenishment solution (and we know they will because they are...well… Amazon…) distributors can gain an competitive advantage by delivering automated replenishment services that provide convenience, time savings and an optimal customer experience.

eTurns’ four replenishment solutions:

  • eTurns TrackStock Replenish — (Scan to order) customers scan bins of items that need replenishment using a smartphone or scanner. Orders are sent through eTurns cloud software to distributors for replenishment.
  • eTurns TrackStock Manage — (Scan to consume) customers scan items as they are used. eTurns software records the usage and constantly compares the quantity on hand to the min/max and reorders when a minimum is triggered. Provides real-time inventory quantity-on-hand information.
  • eTurns TrackStock RFID — customers wave bins or items with RFID tags past the eTurns RFID inventory management tower to trigger an order/pull/receive.
  • eTurns TrackStock eVMI — bins of product sit on weight sensors and as inventory is used, replenishment orders are automatically triggered when the weight of material in the bin falls below the minimum. Complete physical inventories can be taken 2x a day with this fully-automated solution.