With Amazon breathing down their necks, many distributors are busy trying to defend their revenue against the e-commerce threat.
In today’s market, that may be the biggest mistake a distributor can make.
Defense may win Super Bowls, but in the world of wholesale distribution, not being proactive can cost business and even long-term customers.
And being proactive means putting digital technology to work for you and your customers.
Change is always hard, and that is certainly true when it comes to exchanging a fundamental way of doing business for unfamiliar technology. But for distributors hoping to stay competitive today, not going digital simply is no longer an option.
There are two primary reasons for this:
For distributors, time is money. And few tasks take more time, and have more potential for error, than writing down part numbers with pencil and paper, or typing them in on a keyboard. eTurns’ TrackStock automated inventory replenishment, which digitally scans all those long part numbers and automatically triggers a request to replenish inventory, is up to 10 times faster than pencil and paper or using an e-commerce site like Amazon to replenish. Plus, it eliminates virtually all chance for error.
One long-time customer told me that he had sales reps dedicated to helping customers with inventory replenishment. What, that customer asked, will those sales reps do if they aren’t helping out with inventory?
The answer is simple. Automatic inventory replenishment frees up your sales team to do what they excel at, and what you pay them for: selling, cultivating new customers and generating new revenue. Read this case study about how one eTurns service contractor customer moved 7 of the 8 people they had working on procurement to customer-facing jobs taking orders.
When inventory replenishment orders become automatic, it’s as if you’ve put a protective moat around customers. They won’t have the opportunity to price-shop or compare you with Amazon, because they won’t be shopping, period.
I know executives are under pressure to generate increased revenue, and that can make them reluctant to invest in technology.
But the reality is, by saving time and freeing up your high-priced sales team to focus on bringing in new revenue, automatic inventory replenishment pays for itself in under two months.
Being proactive is the best way distributors can protect themselves from losing money and business to competition, or to e-commerce. And that’s how they can win in today’s market.