The term distribution management platform could seemingly sound confusing or exaggerated at the first glance. So, let’s define what it entails.
A distribution management platform is conceived to stimulate and manage your entire stock flow and processes throughout your retailer-distributor network.
But then, why it’s so important?
In case you are a distributor or wholesaler, your profit margins are essentially dependent on the turnover of your collective goods.
In simple words, the more you sell, the better it is for your business.
At the same time, you are also handling a repository of perishables. This simply means that you cannot afford to store more than adequate stocks at any point of time. Otherwise, your excess stocks may turn into a burden that would demand to be distributed within their shelf-life.
Here, you need to strike a balance between demand and distribution. For this, you need to a have a comprehensive distribution system that understands diverse aspects of your marketplace. By handling all incoming and outgoing goods through a single platform, you could learn to maximize your product sales.
Before understanding the operations of a distribution platform, let’s examine the critical challenges in the distribution process. It will help you derive a comprehensive system that is conceived to tackle these issues with the distribution processes.
Main Challenges faced by the Distributors
In the hindsight, these are the chief challenges that are faced by the distributor. With an understanding of the crux of these challenges, you could become adapted to negotiate these problems.
- Too many Retailers to Cover
Even with the rise of multiple retailer options, the number of retailers continue to rise steadily. This also means that you have more feasible opportunities to sell your products.
- Streamlining Supply Chain
In the case of most industries, you would be facing large scale fluctuation and changes in the volume of order taking and distribution. A supply chain management CRM lets you understand and incorporate these fluctuations at the earliest, enabling you to easily manage your orders.
- Product Overcrowding
In the present day, most industry verticals are positively overcrowded. A product is not only competing with similar products, but all products that offer a similar utility.
In simple exposition, it means that if you are selling chips, you may need to consider biscuit manufacturers as your direct competitor.
You are required to achieve shelf space with optimal visibility to acquire the requisite product turnover volume.
- Managing stats of available Goods
Most distributors suffer from disconnect between available inventory list and retail demands. This could alternately mean lost orders or orders taken for unavailable stocks according to available inventory.
This lack of information management also has an effect of delay over your entire sales pipeline.
- Maintaining prompt Order taking
If you are a distributor in competitive product space, the difference between success and failure may come down to retailers’ interest level in your product. You may also need to present an easy-to-access product catalogue for every prospect.
In hindsight, you are basically trying to sell products that are similar to your product.
- Creating an Ordering Cycle
If you can learn anything from this blog, it’s about the significance of establishing an order cycle that could bring-in repeated and periodic orders. It also practically ensures a regular turnover for your products without active prospecting.
How a Distributor platform negotiates these Challenges
In most industries, a smart distribution platform accelerates and streamlines the entire flow of goods. It helps you maintain a healthy level of goods across the entire distribution network.
This process lets you create a well-organized stock flow that helps you build solid distributor-retailer relationship. The distribution management process also avoids wasting of precious resources in your distribution platform.
But, how exactly is this possible. Let’s examine?
Order Taking and Stock Handling
As already discussed, the gap between order taking and stocking capacity can easily turn to be costly!
The distribution CRM consolidates and brings-down your entire order hierarchy to a single dashboard.
At first the distribution manager can update the available stocks on a single dashboard. Afterwards, the field sales reps can update order at each point.
Let’s consider that you have a repository of 100 units. After the field reps update order for 100 units, a distribution platform allows the distribution manager to oversee the order intake and dispatch throughout the day.
Further, the distribution manager can approve each order to create a customer order.
This protocol of order taking avoids false orders or stock mismanagement.
Managing Customer Visits
Even with numerous alternatives, the retail network management is still dictated by individual store visits. This requires you to maintain a time line for managing visitation with each individual retail store.
The daily planning system establishes a clear hierarchy for your daily or
periodic customer visits.
It allows you to pre-determine an optimal frequency for visiting each store.
It also helps you to systematically derive a connected system to manage your daily on-field visits.
Establishing your Wholesale-Retail Touch-point
If you are looking to create a supply chain, you should establish a well-organized process pipeline. A distribution system lets you connect and collaborate within a single platform.
This involves creating a connection between retailers and wholesalers. It allows you to organize and manage flow of goods between multiple touch points.
The system of distributor-retailer-consumer relationship has been tested and derived through ages. The ongoing product overflow and retail level saturation has made the role of a distributor incrementally important.
The distribution management platform lets you manage your daily duties and simulate stock flow through a single CRM interface.