Is Your Organization Ready To Take On The Distribution Challenges Ahead In 2018?
As competitive forces and margin pressure reign supreme, manufacturers and distributors are bracing themselves for what’s ahead in 2018. While some are embracing the challenges and responding to the current marketplace by taking advantage of those challenges and preparing for growth, there are several who are still scrambling to adapt.
Here are the biggest trends that we are seeing in 2018. By developing a plan for these trends, there is an opportunity for executive leadership to convert challenges into opportunities.
Better Customer Transaction Management
Mundane tasks such as manual order processing offer no incremental value to the customer relationship. In fact, manually keying in purchase orders arriving from customers lengthens order cycle times and introduces an opportunity for errors. This creates a scenario that makes customers open to switching due to a poor transaction experience. Thankfully has the potential to alleviate the burden of manual entries. Sonata’s Modern Distribution Platform, through its integrated B2B e-Commerce portal, helps customers get their orders quickly and with complete accuracy thereby allowing inside sales reps to focus on meeting the needs of their customers and profit-generating activities.
The Elephant in the Room: Amazon Business
The entry of Amazon Business is set to bring about a complete paradigm shift in the Distribution industry. Instead of considering Amazon Business as a threat, distributors can use Amazon as another sales channel for inventory that doesn’t require a lot of customer service or product support. This presents the requirement of speedy order fulfillment and transaction processing. To take advantage of Amazon Business, companies need to adhere to the processing parameters. Sonata’s Modern Distribution Platform helps take your products to any online channels thru its multi-channel capabilities. Apart from B2B and B2C, it helps you to take your products to any e-Marketplace.
Understanding Customers with Unstructured Data
Unstructured data is data that resides in formats such as email. It’s typically not something that most distributors think about when making operational business decisions based on sales channel data. Distributors look to typical digital touchpoints like e-commerce for customer behavior data that informs strategic decision making. Now, we are seeing that unstructured email data can be re-organized and analyzed with the right tools to deliver a true view of customer activity. Distribution Analytics which is part of Sonata’s Modern Distribution Platform is the right tool that delivers a true view of customer activity like buying trends, key customers, volume, timing, etc. which can help with forecasting and inventory management.
Re-examining the Cost to Serve Customers
Distributors most frequently view the total sale or gross margin as a success metric. When customer exceptions within these transactions occur, however, it can significantly increase cycle times and operational costs to serve. Therefore, distributors are now looking at the entire transaction from order placement to order fulfillment, rather than merely the total value.
Sonata’s Modern Distribution Platform has the best-in-class margin protection for unified Digital wholesale operations catering to all modern channels of engagement through unified digital operations capabilities. It has the best cost to serve report that can help reveal where operations are impacting profitability
Addressing the impact of Digital Transformation
A potential downside of digitizing business processes is the possible erosion of customer satisfaction. Companies often implement transformations with a goal of reducing operational costs and increasing efficiency without understanding the risk of compromising customer loyalty.
Sonata’s Modern Distribution Platform is the only solution that allows business to reap the benefits of Digitization and simultaneously maintain high-quality customer service. The platform reduces manual processing costs by 80% and decreases order cycle times while processing orders with complete accuracy. This means customer satisfaction increases, all the while reducing a company’s cost to serve.
Click on the link below to know how Sonata’s Modern Distribution Platform can help to face the disruption challenges in Distribution.