As an intermediary between manufacturers and retailers, wholesale distributors are required to be able to fulfill orders on time.
While some retailers may choose to place direct orders with manufacturers, your role as a wholesale distributor is still significant. It is just that you need special tricks to keep your position as a middleman.
Here are nine factors that will help you grow your wholesale distribution company.
1: Limit Manual Processes
As customer demand increases and retailers require faster shipping from you, the easiest way to cater to them is to speed up your entire distribution process.
You may not be able to eliminate manual work in your wholesale business completely, but you can limit it.
All kinds of complex jobs such as purchase orders, managing inventory sales orders, and finances should no longer be done manually. You should invest in systems such as retail point of sale software.
The time and effort required to carry out these daily tasks should be spent on improving other aspects of your business.
Today, most wholesale companies are using automated solutions to improve their business efficiency. If you have not, now is the right time to implement it.
2: Monitor Cash Flow Regularly
Your wholesale company would not be able to run smoothly without good cash flow management. You need to know every cent you make and your spending.
Make sure you constantly pay your bills on time not to have any piling-up debt. Also, you need to be careful in handling your receivables by ensuring that you get paid on time.
Know the financial circumstances of your business all the time so you can easily decide when to invest and when to reorder stuff.
To help you know your company’s financial condition well, start regularly creating comprehensive cash flow statements.
3: Get Your Inventory Straight
As a wholesale distribution company, it is your business to sell goods in bulk. However, holding too much inventory on hand is not suitable for your business finances.
You do not need to keep the amount of stock beyond your need. You must pay attention to lead times, reorder levels, and the security of your inventory to ensure that you do not keep any stock in vain.
Therefore, you need to have good inventory warehouse management. Inventory management systems built for wholesalers and retailers can help you in this regard.
The inventory management for wholesale systems enable you to check inventory levels, reorder to suppliers and help you control your stock purchases.
4: Apply Credit Policy
It would help if you were wiser in giving credit policy to your buyers. One of the most common mistakes made by wholesale distributors is overextended credit to their buyers.
This is a mistake that could affect your cash flow and damage your business. Your company should avoid this by providing firm payment terms and credit limits to your buyers upfront. You can increase the credit limits based on their payment history.
5: Make the Transition to E-commerce
Today, lots of retailers buy their stocks online. E-commerce provides them with lots of conveniences, from communicating with sellers and making payments to tracking shipments.
Wholesale distribution companies should merge offline and online marketing to help them reach out to more prospective buyers. If you do not have an eCommerce site yet, create one now to facilitate your buyers and boost your sales.
6. Speed Up Order Fulfillment
Retailers want their goods to be shipped faster to help them meet customers’ needs faster. If you cannot provide faster shipping to retailers, then your position as a middleman may no longer be helpful to them.
And they might start buying directly from manufacturers. To avoid this situation, begin to automate your order fulfillment process.
You will no longer need to process every order manually by automating your order fulfillment. Your warehouse personnels can automatically receive orders and process them in no time, even if your warehouses are spread across multiple locations.
Through technology, you can also monitor your couriers and ensure that your buyers receive their orders on time.
7: Optimize Your Customer Service
Even for wholesalers, customer service remains an essential factor in the success of their businesses.
Many wholesalers make the mistake of not following up with their customers after the initial communication. This is a persisting practice even though it’s already proven that getting new customers is much more expensive than maintaining their existing ones.
Consider providing online customer service to stay connected with your customers. You can periodically send personalized messages to your customers to make them feel special.
Ensure that your customers are getting the assistance when and where they need it.
Train your customer service and sales representatives to interact with your customers in a friendly and professional manner while empowering them to make decisions that put the customers first.
8: Attract New Wholesale Customers With a Special Offer
When retailers come across your website, you can capture leads by offering them a one-time special (e.g., discount or free shipping) for their first purchase to entice them to place an order.
Increase the sense of urgency by making the offer a limited-time one to encourage prospective customers to place an order immediately.
Once they have purchased from you, they are more likely to come back and order again.
9: Make Recommendations
Become a valuable partner to your customers by offering insights on their competitors and making suggestions on popular products selling well with other retailers.
This will help you increase sales for your wholesales business by getting customers to order a larger variety of products and also builds relationships and loyalty as they perceive you as a trusted advisor.
Encourage retailers to try out new merchandise by offering a bundle discount with a product they are currently purchasing and provide support to help them cross-sell or up-sell this new item to their customers.
The wholesale sales and distribution industry faces a rapid shift in customer expectations.
With the advance in technology to support an on-demand economy, wholesale customers expect the level of service they get as individual consumers.
You would risk losing customers and revenue if your wholesale business lags in efficiency, sales enablement, and customer experiences.
To grow your wholesale distribution company, you need to cultivate loyalty to increase customer lifetime value while attracting new customers through promotions and referrals.