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Wholesale order management refers to any and all actions taken by your business that relate specifically to orders placed by wholesale customers.
Some of the key aspects of order management include:
According to Capgemini, the three main challenges wholesalers face with regard to order management are:
We’ve addressed these points in detail throughout this guide, but let’s unpack them a bit more with a focus specifically on order management.
The “typical” B2B buyer is becoming more and more like their B2C counterparts in a number of ways. Salesforce predicts that by 2020, 75% of B2B buyers will expect to not only receive a personalized experience from their wholesale suppliers, but also that this experience will be delivered dynamically and in real-time automation.
So, the onus is on your company to develop a system that allows your wholesale customers to get what they want from your brand—in the exact manner they expect to receive it.
By providing your wholesale customers with near autonomy as they go through your ordering and purchasing processes (while also making it easy for them to do so), customer acquisition and retention merge.
With multiple agents working with your many wholesale customers at any given time, it’s essential that they all stay on the same page—regardless of what channel they’re operating on.
Because dealing with wholesale customers involves much larger volumes of inventory, having real-time access to current stock levels is imperative. Eliminating salespeople promising the same stock to two different clients calls for the ability to differentiate between available stock versus committed stock … and to do so automatically the moment an order is placed.
Again, this is where visibility comes in—not just for you as the owner or manager of a wholesale retailer—but for everyone involved in the order process.
By ensuring that your entire sales team has complete visibility of all order channels, you’ll minimize the number and severity of any missteps made throughout these processes. Moreover, you’ll also enable your team to maximize their ability to fulfill orders exactly to their customers’ liking.
The ever-increasing complexity of wholesale supply chains is becoming more and more problematic for retailers today. The many supply-chain related challenges modern wholesalers face include …
It goes without saying that shorter lead times are preferable to lengthier ones. The quicker you receive your inventory, the faster you can offload it to your customers. That means you’re making more sales in less time: it’s as simple as that.
Digging a bit deeper, shorter lead times also mean less chance of disaster striking along the way. If your shipment is in transit for 60 days instead of 50, for example, that’s more opportunities for something to go wrong.
Some ways to reduce lead time include:
Accurate sales and inventory forecasting is crucial to the success of any business, but it’s a step that many wholesalers overlook.
Without proper forecasting, businesses are likely to fall prey to stock-outs or overstocked products. While overstocking can result in increased holding costs and spoilage, stock-outs can lead to the loss of a sale today … and then, the loss of a customer tomorrow as they search for more reliable suppliers.
Sales and inventory forecasting is especially useful for predicting seasonal fluctuations in demand, during which time sales and inventory levels stray heavily from the norm. During these periods, competition among businesses increases just as heavily—meaning it becomes even more crucial for you to provide for your customers effectively and efficiently.
Using your business’ historical sales data, market research, and expansion plans, when developing a wholesale forecasting strategy include:
Your wholesale company is bound to face both minor bumps in the road as well as massive roadblocks from time to time.
But it’s not just the size of the obstacles that can derail your order processes. Even the smallest issue can cause major problems if not handled properly.
On the other hand, it’s possible to stem what may seem to be catastrophic events—as long as you have the right approach when doing so.
Having a solid risk management strategy in place is essential for many reasons.
First, a proper approach to risk management will allow you to minimize any damage the disaster ends up inflicting on your business’ ordering processes. Since you’ll know what to anticipate, you can take the necessary precautions to avoid complete peril.
Second, it will enable you to actually take control of the event in question—and potentially use the event as an opportunity to evolve your processes. After encountering and weathering one major inventory- or order-related storm, you’ll be that much more equipped to handle similar issues down the line.
In other words, the more prepared you are for order-related problems to occur, the less likely they are to actually come up in the first place.
With the right software, you’ll be able to head them off or face them with confidence. And then, get right back to business.
All your products, customers, orders and transactions synced and secure in the cloud.