Faced with economic volatility, ever-increasing customer demands and a necessity to do more for less, wholesale and distribution businesses are in for a rough ride. The most successful players in the wholesale and distribution sector find that margins and customer service come together to create business excellence. For businesses still searching for this winning combination, a good place to start is by looking at the systems which underpin the business to help them increase efficiencies while improving customer service. When it comes to business systems, integration is key. Linking up various and often very different business processes and functions to provide full visibility into not only all parts of the business, but into all stages of the customer journey. For example, integrating sales, purchasing and stock control can automate delivery of customer orders while ensuring effective stock management. This enables a faster, more accurate and consistent response to demand for certain products, improving customer satisfaction. It also delivers a greater level of control over pricing and margins and a firmer grasp on the management of the supply chain as a whole.
One of our customers, Bell Lighting, a leading manufacturer and supplier of light sources and fixtures to the electrical wholesale industry, invested in a new warehousing system to sit alongside their Opera 3 platform. By implementing a barcoding solution to enhance picking and packing across the warehouse, Bell Lighting increased efficiencies and boosted order fulfilment across the board. The barcoding system automates the entire picking process, from PO creation through to labelling and dispatch, showing what’s being picked, at what time and by whom. This increased level of visibility led to vastly improved inventory levels and reduced the number of missed deliveries to zero, which for a business with 1200 different SKUs, which processes approximately 300 POs each day, is no mean feat.
It’s not only through supply chain management that warehousing and distribution businesses can make a real difference to margins and customer service levels. The right CRM tools again integrate with the rest of the business, providing a clear line of sight of the customer from prospect stage right through to taking delivery of items. By never losing sight of a customer, businesses can ensure they never miss an opportunity to proactively manage the customer relationship, boosting customer satisfaction levels, greatly increasing the longevity of customer relationships, and ultimately paving the way for future business growth.
For wholesale and distribution businesses to increase efficiencies and customer service levels, investing in robust, scalable business solutions is a must. It’s only with such systems in place that organisations can have access to the comprehensive, business-wide information that’s key to underpinning the right business decisions, ensuring profitable margins. These very same systems also bring process automation, helping to improve accuracy and delivering real efficiency while guaranteeing optimum levels of customer satisfaction. For businesses looking to lead the way it really should be a case of all systems go, with wise investments today ensuring success for the future.
For more information on how o-a-sys can help your wholesale and distribution business, email email@example.com.
The rise of mobile and cloud technology has made the possibility of flexible working a reality for many businesses and their employees, who would have once needed to be at their desks in order to get the job done. Cloud software and technological developments mean that employees really can now be anywhere and get on with their job as efficiently as if they were at their desk, as long as there is an internet connection. With this in mind, we have taken a closer look at some of the pros and cons of flexible working from the employer point of view.
Pros of flexible working for employers
1. More motivated employees
2. Greater efficiency if staff are working instead of commuting
3. Reduced turnover of valued staff
4. Lower absenteeism rates
5. Looks good for you as an employer – putting employees first
6. People can work when they feel most productive, even if this is outside the 9-5 hours
7. Attract talented workforce to whom flexible working is appealing
8. Promotes a diverse workforce
Cons of flexible working for employers:
1. Arranging group meetings can become difficult
2. Trust required
3. Disjointed projects can occur
4. Some people may take advantage
5. Disgruntled employees who need to be office based6. May become difficult to monitor performance
7. Communication breakdown may occur
When it comes to flexible working, there are many pros and cons but ultimately your business structure will determine if flexible working will truly benefit your organisation. Some employees might be needed in the office for meetings and to communicate regularly with other departments, whereas other employees might be fine to adopt a flexible approach. However, whatever your structure, technological developments have certainly made it possible to work anytime, anywhere.
Guy Atkins, Managing Director, Jo Bird Ltd
Jerry Anderson, Director, Agripower Contractors
Amna Ijaz, Financial Controller, Rigby & Peller
Russell Bartlett, Payroll Manager, Celtic Manor
Paul Goldfinch, Managing Director, Polar Krush
Jerry Anderson, Director, Agripower Contractors
Sandra Lay, Finance Manager, Swift Clean