This is the final post in a series in which we discuss the impact of the digital economy on the wholesale distribution industry. This posts will focus on mobile capabilities and its potential to fuel real-time engagement. Imagine empowering a salesforce with real-time information at their fingertips, creating an environment of swift and informative decision-making.
There are instances where sales associates are still carrying heavy catalogs and reports as they make calls to customers. However there is an evolution taking place with the use of tablets, laptops and smart phones supporting the sales associates; but there is much to be desired with this early stage, leaving room to improve through the adoption of technology and leveraging the investment in mobile to its fullest.
By enabling a mobile salesforce, engagement with the customer can be improved and real-time information can be shared across the business. With mobile capabilities, a sales associate can open a digital catalog, or perhaps a personalized version of it, and maintain customer engagement as they review it together. The sales associate can evaluate purchasing history and place an order with ease, or simply accept a suggested order the system provides based on history and market intelligence. The sales associate can also be prompted to suggest complimentary items as well as access competitive pricing schedules. Updating account profiles, checking credit standing and even collecting payment on an open invoice – all scenarios that can be accomplished through mobile. For a wholesale distributor, this level of real-time engagement with the customer is the differentiator in a competitive market.
Now imagine the delivery driver out on a route. Instead of operating on only predefined routes, they can be nimble enough to respond to a route update due to a dissatisfied customer calling with a return or perhaps about a delivery of damaged goods. The driver can immediately create a return and react to the situation, providing another level of differentiating customer service. Pricing, invoicing and discount calculations could be done on delivery, ensuring accuracy on discount application.
Digital Economy in Summary
The time of digital economy is now. Innovation has arrived and can empower distributors to grow in a competitive market if they enable and adopt technology and mobility.
- Predictive analytics is a key means by which distributors can increase profits in the ever-evolving landscape of the digital economy.
- The Internet of Things (IoT) enhances operations across a distributor’s business, leading to several competitive advantages from increased supply chain transparency to improved customer service.
- Mobile enables distributors to bring real-time information on the go and provides agility at the point of interaction, creating a higher level of engagement with the customer.