In 2025, much of a wholesale distributor's revenue will stem from customer-specific solutions that transform the business and differentiate it from it’s peers in the marketplace. These solutions include value-added services, infinite inventory with secure logistics, project-based collaboration, and automation to refocus employees on higher-value tasks.
New services and business models will provide additional sources of revenue for distributors and will also contribute to customer loyalty and “stickiness.” Distributors can secure their place in the supply chain and position themselves for the future.
To start down this path, distributors will need to optimize their current processes and tailor services to meet their customers’ needs. Providing employees with real-time insight will help increase their efficiency.
With processes running efficiently, distributors will extend their business with new products and services and become more responsive. They will partner with their customers on strategic projects. They will reduce repetitive activities so employees can spend time on tasks that provide value.
This will lead distributors to intelligent technologies that will transform their business. They will use business models that differentiate them in the market, support their customers with real-time responsiveness and project services, and empower employees to focus on their customers’ brand and product experience.
Distributors of any size face many of the same global challenges, including rapidly changing customer demands, complex product inventories, and fluctuations in the supply chain.
The Value-Added Services Distributor
In the past, wholesale distributors served their customers by breaking bulk and carrying a standard catalogue of products. But in today’s market, that is no longer enough. Customers have many new sources to buy the same products with compelling pricing and delivery options. To remain relevant, distributors need to provide something more: services around products that can’t be offered by online competitors.
The Solution-Oriented Distributor
With so many options in the marketplace, distributors need to establish themselves as a trusted partner. One way to do this is by working with customers not only to understand their needs but also to closely collaborate on larger projects. Through this relationship, distributors can plan for and deliver the products and services needed throughout the lifecycle of the project. In this way, they become more than just a supplier; they become a valuable part of the customer’s success.
The “Anything, Anywhere, Anytime” Distributor
Distributors have always focused on customer service, but today, customers are putting even more demands on the business. They rely on distributors for a wider range of products that are available through a variety of touch points. And they want shorter delivery times, with the ability to have products delivered directly to job sites. Wholesale distributors need to respond to these challenges to stay competitive and retain customer loyalty.
Empowerment of The Modern Employee
All companies focus on employee productivity. But over time, processes can become outdated or broken, and employees spend much of their time on work-arounds and manual tasks. When distributors introduce intelligent technologies and automation into their organization, manual tasks are reduced and employees can spend their time on higher -value activities. And when employees are adding value, they are happier in their role. A positive employee experience will be key when hiring and retaining younger workers.
How do you achieve these Strategic priorities?
Start with reimagining your business together with your customers. Then build a path for even more optimization and intelligent automation to simplify your business and free up resources to invest in even more digital transformation programs and find new business models and revenue streams.
SAP Business one Intelligent Framework is a suite of intelligent business applications that use intelligent technologies and can be extended on a digital platform. This enables next- generation business pro- cesses to deliver breakthrough business value on our customers’ journey to becoming intelligent enterprises.
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