Data analytics software can turn your wholesale distribution data into actionable intelligence.
NB: This is an excerpt from our latest eBook: 'Data analytics software for wholesale distribution businesses'. To download the eBook, click here.
The wholesale distribution industry is a massive business, totaling over $5.35 trillion in 2015, and according to some estimates, there are more than 330,000 companies in the industry.
While the market decelerated at the end of 2016, leaders of the National Association of Wholesalers expect the trend to reverse as we move into 2017, driven by an economy that sees employment rising, banks lending, retail sales increasing and construction improving.
A growing economy also means that competition is fierce with so many companies fighting for the same customers. Never has it been more important for distributors to build and maintain a competitive advantage. To set themselves apart from competitors, some distributors are doing more with their data, leveraging their wholesale distribution software to mine actionable intelligence for better business decisions.
Distributors generate large volumes of data every day from a variety of sources and departments. In many cases, the data is stored in disparate silos that make it difficult to aggregate and use the data to better the business. Information is becoming critical to help companies understand how their businesses are performing and where they can improve. Data is a driver of revenues, and according to a Capgemini survey of 1,000 C-suite and senior executives, is as valuable to the business as products and services.
You need better software
Most businesses rely on their wholesale distribution software such as ERP systems to aggregate their information in a central location so that it can be accessible to everyone in the organization.
While ERP systems collect the information and improve accessibility, they aren’t known for making the data usable. In some cases, legacy ERP systems may be causing more harm than good, particularly if they are difficult to use, aren’t kept up-to-date and don’t reflect the current state of your business.
Many companies in the wholesale distribution sector are family-owned and multi-generational small and mid-size companies. In many cases, wholesale distribution software which collects, stores, and manages business data was built 20-30 years ago; prior to the Web, the cloud and the emergence of the digital age. It was fine when the company was a fledgling business, but fastforward to the demands of modern business today, and many of the legacy wholesale distribution software simply can’t keep pace with the speed of commerce.
Business data needs to be accurate and current. This should be a top priority for every company because what your development, supply chain and sales teams don’t know about their products, trends and customers can hurt them. Armed with outdated sales analytics and legacy ERP systems can ultimately cost sales and damage customer relationships.
In addition to updating ERP systems, an increasing number of distributors are adopting business intelligence (BI) systems to turn their raw data into actionable insights and support the critically important function of business analytics. A robust BI system can have a positive impact on a company’s competitive edge and growth by providing management with unprecedented new insights into their business processes and performance. Data mining, analysis, querying, and reporting can provide the intelligence your staff needs to actively reduce costs, identify new opportunities, develop targeted strategies, and improve overall decision-making, even for companies that already perceive themselves as efficient, up-to-date and successful. How can your wholesale distribution business benefit from a modern and powerful BI system?