It's no longer enough to build supply chains that are efficient, demand-driven or even transparent...They must also be smart.
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 above infographic - 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.
This survey marks the entrance of the Wholesaler 2.0, who is more keen to experiment with a combination of e-Commerce and wholesale business models using technology.
The Wholesaler 2.0 does not just negotiate to close deals to widen their profit margin. They also 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.
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.
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.
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.
At TradeGecko, we have noticed the rise of the Wholesaler 2.0 when we helped many of our customers scale their business in the past two years. They have encountered similar issues as to what you are facing right now.
Bruce Brown, co-founder of American Bedding Solutions, started looking for cloud-based solutions for his accounting and inventory management processes when he experienced difficulties with managing these aspects of his business.
He did have a desktop accounting software at that time, but it was unable to keep up with his flexbile schedule and business needs.
Bruce gave TradeGecko a try and was pleasantly surprised that the software was suitable for his business model, allowed him to expand his sales channels by selling to more distributors, and was able to support the international growth of his organization.
We're using Xero together with TradeGecko, and that has changed my business dramatically by streamlining processes tremendously. It's been a huge help, a huuuuge help. The less time I spend on manual processes, the more time I can spend with the stores helping them sell more beds. And it's certainly doing a wonderful job for us.
He was particularly pleased with using our private B2B e-Commerce software, where he could customize and personalize the purchase experience for his distributors, and make more sales because they can place orders directly on the portal.
It has an intuitive interface and our customers like it so much. It gives us the ability to put together a mock lineup for them, where they can just log in, go through, and check out our products. They can very simply put in an order on the platform, and they love that.
Besides streamlining Bruce's stock management operations, TradeGecko also provided an avenue for American Bedding Solutions to increase their business customer base and better manage sales orders to increase revenue.
This is where TradeGecko comes in. As an intelligent inventory management platform with powerful add-ons, we provide the all-rounded support that you need to grow your business.
Looking to sell online to distributors and retailers? Our private B2B e-Commerce software is perfect for that.
Hoping to maintain strong business relationships with your existing customers? Our CRM module will put you at ease.
Want to be more efficient at handling your inventory and sales orders? We have you covered.
Our integrations with other SaaS systems (such as Shopify and Magento B2C e-Commerce platforms, Xero accounting software, ShipStation shipping platform and many more) ensure that you can access information and data across all aspects of your business in real time, and fully control all your operations from a single dashboard.
For more information on how we can help you grow, check out our Product Tour.
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