Disrupting the supply chain through a hybrid business model powered by QuickBooks Commerce 

The supply chain is going through phenomenal changes today and no business is spared from this wave of hybridization, restructured sales strategies, and the transition to using smarter and more agile software.

It's no longer enough to build supply chains that are efficient, demand-driven or even transparent...They must also be smart.
IBM Corporation, The Smarter Supply Chain of the Future

We want to help you make better business decisions by tapping into the collective expertise from decision-makers like yourself. To achieve that, we have asked 200 wholesalers across 28 countries about their plans for 2015. The results we received were compiled into the infographic below - full of valuable insights that will go a long way towards helping you benchmark your company's practices and performance against other similar businesses. Based on our findings, you might even reconsider how you can improve the way you run your business in the near future.

Introducing the Wholesaler 2.0

This survey marks the entrance of the Wholesaler 2.0, who is more interested in experimenting with a combination of eCommerce and wholesale business models using technology. 

The Wholesaler 2.0 does not just negotiate to close deals and widen their profit margin. They focus on offering a value-added service by providing a better purchasing experience for their distributors and retailers. This includes managing multichannel sales by reaching out to both customers further down the supply chain and end consumers.

In addition, they are willing to invest in systems that will no doubt disrupt their operations for the short term, but streamline processes and bring about more efficiency and productivity in the long run.The tendency to employ better strategies and use more flexible, customizable systems has pushed these new-age wholesalers to look for low-cost solutions on the cloud. Motivated by business growth and empowered by technological tools, these wholesalers have started disrupting their own business model and industry, with resounding repercussions for the entire supply chain. 

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1. Overall, wholesalers are looking to use online sales to drive business growth 

Out of all of the wholesalers who participated in this survey, a large proportion (41%) of them are going to be using the hybrid business model by focusing and selling via e-Commerce and online marketplaces in 2015. The rest will direct resources into reselling and building partnerships (21%), field sales (19%), trade shows (7%), and others. 24% of the wholesalers who intend to focus on online sales are adopting a hybrid business model for the first time.31% of all respondents stated that online marketplaces were the top channel for revenue from new customers last year. Field sales, resellers and partners were the top revenue generators for 24% and 17% of the participants respectively.

2. Developing long-term relationships with customers is key to scaling organizations 

The majority (52%) of all trade businesses made more than half their revenue from long-term customers, and 41% plan to continue to increase sales and revenue from existing customers.To increase earnings, 46% also indicated that they intend to expand sales channels and sell on B2B marketplaces. Another 37% will move into and develop their B2C e-Commerce streams.This signals the transition to online sales, especially on B2B marketplaces for the wholesale industry.

3. Inventory management wise, more businesses are planning to use cloud-based SaaS systems 

68% of survey participants also shared that their biggest operational struggle lies in having too many systems and processes which are not in sync. They experience many errors due to manual entries and make sub-par business decisions due to a lack of business intelligence.In fact, more than 74% of survey participants spend 6 hours and above monitoring and managing their inventory per week.For those spending more than 20 hours per week on inventory, an astounding majority of the wholesalers still depend on tools like spreadsheets, pen and paper, and ERP systems, while only 9% use cloud-based SaaS platforms. 


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