For years, distributors have acted as intermediaries between manufacturers and consumers by managing the movement of goods from one party to another. However, to cut costs and gain market dominance, manufacturers and retailers are beginning to establish their own distribution networks, effectively cutting distributors out of the picture completely.
The future of distribution, therefore, is left uncertain as distributors are unable to sustain profitability and their position within the market.
How can technology help with these distribution challenges?
1. Inventory Management
Inventory management is arguably the most important aspect to get right to run an effective distribution network – but equally as challenging, particularly as they grow and transform into multisite, intercontinental networks. Without inventory management, there is no way of knowing how much stock is available or how many items have been sold. Without these details, there is no way for distributors to know which products to restock and when leaving customers frustrated with delays and missed deadlines.
Although these problems still exist for many distributors, there is technology available that can help solve these challenges. Specific technology and software enable distributors to:
- Track goods in real-time across multiple warehouses and in different countries
- Rely on accurate data running through the system
- Run demand-driven forecasts with AI to help predict trends, peak periods and commonly purchased products
- Barcoding & RFID tags on products to collect big data and track goods from order to delivery
- Handle returns and case management on items returning to the warehouse
If you would like to learn more about how this can be achieved, speak to one of our distribution team members today - get in touch.