For wholesale distributors, visibility is the name of the game. Without a strong enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, that visibility can be hard to come by. NetSuite brings visibility to the table, along with a wide range of other benefits, from efficiency and automation to intelligent, data-driven insights. To get all those benefits, you’ll need to take some steps to align your business and your ERP.
We’ve put together a few tips to keep in mind when using NetSuite as a wholesale distributor so you can take full advantage of this powerful program.
How NetSuite Can Benefit Your Wholesale Distribution Company
NetSuite provides unparalleled oversight to a wholesale distribution company and can help businesses better understand nearly every aspect of operations. It can connect your supply chain, inventory management, customer relationship management (CRM), finances and more into a single source of truth.
One of the biggest trends impacting wholesale distributors is increased competition and new disruptions. NetSuite can help distributors gain an edge over their competitors while providing the flexibility needed to respond to disruptions. It offers strong forecasting features so you can better predict and respond to changes in demand. Then, you can implement those changes through flexible, cloud-based tools available on any device with the help of highly visible data for easier decision-making.
Whether you’ve already implemented NetSuite or are still considering it, below are some of our top suggestions for optimizations for wholesale distribution companies. These strategies can help you take advantage of some of NetSuite’s most powerful capabilities:
1. Reevaluate Your Business Model
The first step to optimizing your wholesale distribution business is to start from the ground up. Break your company into different components and spend some time identifying what works and what doesn’t. Collect data points such as:
- Key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Customer lifetime value (LTV)
- Customer acquisition costs (CAC)
- Net promoter score (NPS)
Look at how these data points have evolved and whether your business model needs to change with them.
Consider if your organization has kept pace with digital mediums. As the world has become more digitized, consumers expect seamless digital channels and high-tech operational tools. Whether you’re able to track products throughout your facility or implement automated marketing campaigns based on customer activity, digital mediums and technologically advanced systems can make a big difference.
If your business model is still working with paper-based records or disconnected departments, it might be time to rework things.
2. Automate What You Can
Take a look at the most time-consuming processes that occur in your organization, or all processes, for that matter. Can any of these be automated? An ERP can automate a variety of processes, from eliminating busy work to starting a corrections process when defective products are identified during production.
Automation can be applied across sales, marketing, production, warehousing, shipping and other aspects of business. Wherever it’s used, automation processes can help you:
- Reduce errors: Automation is less prone to human error, helping to keep your data pristine.
- Reduce operating costs: By automating unnecessary paperwork or tasks, workers can spend more time on what’s important for greater efficiency.
- Increase safety: If you link up your ERP with machinery on the production floor, you can create a safer workspace that completely removes workers from the environment when not necessary.
- Collect more data: Automated data collection can be performed much faster and more accurately than collection performed by humans.
New technologies are being created every day, so do yourself a favor and stay up to date with tools that can help you automate.
3. Use Your Strengths
Recall in step one when we broke down the components of your business? Revisit those components and try to identify your strengths — specifically, your sales strengths. What areas do you excel in?
Now, look for gaps in the market. Is there an opportunity for you to meet demand and find yourself a niche? Identify sectors that are in high demand, and look for ways to align your business to these opportunities. If you’re wondering how to grow your wholesale company, these opportunities are an excellent place to start.
4. Create a User-Friendly Experience
Consumers today are accustomed to attractive, easy-to-use websites and customer-focused functionality — and that includes your buyers. Consider their experience. Is it simple and straightforward, or do they need to jump through hoops to contact an agent or use slow, clunky ordering software? Think about how their experience can be affected at different stages of the buying process. Do the availability of products, the dependability of information provided and the ease of finding your company make it more difficult for them to work with you?
NetSuite’s CRM module is great for collecting information about the customer experience, so you can better take steps to improve it. The user experience has a huge impact on factors like profits, conversion rates and general customer satisfaction. If you really want to beef up your user experience, take some time to read up on it.
5. Train Your Employees Well
No matter how powerful an ERP is, it doesn’t work unless employees know how to use it. To ensure employees use NetSuite to its fullest potential, back them up with the proper training. With NetSuite training for employees, a company can experience:
- Better utilization: Your software is an investment, and you want to get the most value possible from your investments. When employees know the ins and outs of their software, they’re better able to use all the valuable features and get the most out of the program.
- Faster results: Simply put, more program knowledge means speedier interactions. When employees know their software like the back of their hand, they can zip through their work for more efficient processes.
- Employee satisfaction: No one wants to be frustrated by not knowing how to use their work software. Training allows employees to gain more confidence and enjoy ease of use while working with the ERP.
Partnering With Cloud Genius Advisors NetSuite Experts
If you want to grow and improve your wholesale distribution business, NetSuite’s wide-reaching tools are an excellent resource. This investment can have huge dividends for your distribution company, and Cloud Genius Advisors’ NetSuite Experts are there to help with every step of the process.
With decades of experience, our team can implement and support this powerful system to make day-to-day business management easier, more efficient and more profitable. We also offer training, consulting and tech support services and are proud to be an ongoing partner in your success.