Proving itself once again to be among the most resilient of industries in the US economy. The wholesale industry avoided 2016’s overall economic downturn. Total US wholesale trade excluding Petroleum, Metals, and Minerals rose 1.2% year over year according to the National Association of Wholesaler Distributors (NAW).
Wholesale Trade rose to encompass 5.9% of Key US Industries Share of GDP. This was accomplished despite downturns in construction and mining. Wholesale trade remains buoyant because of its key role in the supply chain for even larger industries such as Manufacturing (11.7% of US GDP) and Health Care (7.4%).
The NAW points towards business-to-business (B2B) trade as the area where wholesalers and distributors can expect to make their best gains in 2017 and beyond. Corporate profits are on the rise, meaning businesses will seek to expand their operations and their customer bases going forward.
How can wholesalers and distributors meet this rising demand for services? The answer lies within business technology and the ability to wield it effectively. So as to gain the reputation of being utterly reliable, efficient, and effective in every interaction with clients wanting to move their own businesses forward as swiftly as possible.
The days of month-long invoice cycles, accounting done by hand, complicated customer service procedures, and lengthy, error-filled paper trails for orders must end for wholesale distributors who desire to compete with their contemporaries and earn the business of an expanding market.
The way forward is paired with a shift to digital.
The utilization of cloud-based business applications that can easily integrate all of your company’s business components into a single system, ensuring that interaction between units is swift, error-free, and allows customers to receive end-to-end service in minutes instead of hours, days instead of weeks.
If you’re unfamiliar with business applications, such as ERPs. It might be the barrier that’s keeping you from investing in it. Many business owners carry the flawed opinion that cloud technology ‘puts everything out there’ where anyone might see it. In fact, the opposite is true. Cloud technology effectively gives your company a vault of unlimited size in which to place every part of your business. Not only is it held securely, but it is always available to you and your employees regardless of where you are physically. Unlike local servers that tend to fail at precisely the wrong time, cloud servers average less than eight hours of downtime per year.
As for digital integration, you might have the best salesmen in the city. Although when they are hampered by having to fill customer order sheets on paper in triplicate, fax one copy to the warehouse and another to the inventory manager. It’s wasting their time and bringing your business processes to a crawl, and risking the ability of adhering to rising market demands.
Digital integration through cloud-based business applications that provide ERP capabilities can combine all of your pre-existing processes into one system, this allows everything from tracking orders, online catalogs, customers database and business analytics to be automated and readily available.
In turn, this allows you to make better business decisions. Maximize revenue, and deliver smart, effective solutions to your customers each and every time you do business with them.