This past holiday season was a great example of how demanding the distribution industry has become. Not only were suppliers like Amazon shipping for free, they were shipping orders to arrive the same day! Now as a consumer, this is a huge breakthrough, but as a distributor, you may be feeling a lot more pain than gain.
Nurture business relationships
Strong business relationships, from suppliers to customers, are the key to success for busy distributors. Communication and collaboration with suppliers and vendors is necessary when strategizing inventory needs, especially vendor-managed inventory, for customers. Responding to customer needs quickly and taking a proactive stance with customer service can increase customer satisfaction and lead to long-term loyalty. To nurture these important relationships, you need a business management system that can streamline operations and provide access to real-time data.
A powerful solution to support growth
Thruway Fasteners, Inc., a "C" class commodity distributor direct to manufacturers, discovered that growth was creating new challenges that were impacting their business relationships. As discussed in a company case study for Thruway Fasteners, they had reached the limits of existing business systems which began to impact productivity and visibility into the moving parts of their business, including inventory management and the personalized customer services that Thruway Fasteners was known for providing. After an intensive internal review of systems and processes and interviews with software providers, Thruway Fasteners turned to Tribridge for guidance with replacing legacy systems with Microsoft Dynamics, a powerful enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution.
This platform provided Thruway Fasteners with a new look into their supply chain and the services that vendors provide. This insight supports shipping and fulfillment deadlines with fewer errors. Not only are customers pleased when the right products arrive on time, Thruway Fasteners now secures a competitive advantage and lower vendor costs. In addition, Thruway Fasteners can take a proactive stance with customer service, instead of reacting when things go wrong. Anticipating changes in customer demands, such as a spike in usage, triggers the necessary adjustments to avoid a problem in satisfying a customer order.
Time-saving automations within the Microsoft solution, as well as business intelligence and reporting features, offer standardization and access to data that supports decision-makers.
Download the case study and contact Tribridge for more information about strengthening distribution operations and relationships with stronger business solutions.
Matt McNulty is the Senior Director of Consumer & Industrial Products at Tribridge.