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Wholesale distributors play a crucial role in helping manufacturers and retailers hit their mark with every customer. They are a driving force in the economy, moving $6 trillion worth of goods every year – but increasing business challenges are threatening wholesale distributors’ ability to keep up with the changing markets, adding pressure to continuously evolve and optimize their processes.  

Quick shifts in consumer behavior and the rapid adoption of e-commerce tools have been major forces in the supply chain affecting the environment for wholesale distribution. As the global marketplace becomes more competitive, the challenges are increasing, and wholesale distributors are struggling to adapt. But as the great Albert Einstein once said; “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Business challenges are always best approached as opportunities in disguise, to transform and innovate. 

In our white paper, Overcoming Four Key Wholesale Distribution Supply Chain Challenges, we explored the following challenges that wholesale distributors are facing: 

  1. The growing importance of end-to-end visibility  
  2. Omnichannel retailing and new customer purchase patterns  
  3. Managing multi-echelon inventory flows  
  4. Supplier constraints and collaboration 

How can you turn these challenges into new opportunities? Some key takeaways: 

Adopt End-to-End (E2E) Visibility to Unlock Competitive Advantages 

With all the rising complexities within the wholesale distribution sector, the ability to have strong visibility across the extended supply chain has become more critical than ever. The real-time insights that come with E2E visibility are crucial for linking all the various aspects of the supply chain, and they unlock major competitive advantages for responding to unexpected disruptions.  

Supply chain planners with the highest level of visibility are better placed to respond to rapidly changing business needs and complexities, and to ensure high service levels – which are critical for wholesale distributors. 

Embrace Omnichannel Supply Chains for a Seamless Customer Experience 

The global surge in e-commerce following the pandemic shifted consumers’ shopping habits, forcing distributors to shift to more direct-to-consumer models and to find new ways to improve customer experience. An omnichannel strategy provides an agile supply chain that supports online growth and integrates the end-to-end process. 

Supply chain technology that gathers data and converts it into actionable insights provides new visibility, so wholesale distributors can better align information, interactions, and channels with shifting expectations. With the insights at their fingertips, distributors can proactively engage with customers and enhance their experience. 

Achieve Multi-echelon Inventory Optimization (MEIO) to Drive Profits 

Distributors must balance supply and demand based on data and key indicators, to make smart and strategic decisions that lead to profitable results. Inventory is an important buffer for the supply chain but having the wrong inventory is becoming a widespread issue, dragging down working capital for companies across all sectors.  

Multi-echelon Inventory Optimization (MEIO) is an important process in supply chain planning to strategically control inventory across all echelons of the supply chain and optimize stock levels throughout the network. By successfully managing inventory across the supply chain, you can improve customer experience, free up working capital and improve profitability.  

Accelerate the Use of Capabilities to Facilitate Collaboration Across the Network 

Supplier constraints have increased considerably since pre-pandemic times. Disruptions have exacerbated the already challenging process of aligning the supply chain and its partners to achieve peak performance. The key lesson? To accelerate your adoption of advanced capabilities to enable communication, collaboration, and transparency throughout the ecosystem.  

With the capabilities to fully integrate and connect your entire supply chain, wholesale distributors can gain an advantage and address supplier constraints and unforeseen events that affect the supply chain. Solutions that enable digital collaboration with key partners are becoming crucial resources to respond to disruption, increase efficiency, and ultimately support successful transactions for wholesale distributors. 

Key Capabilities to Evolve 

It’s now more important than ever for the wholesale distribution sector to gain visibility across all levels and systems, to get an accurate picture of the source and supply. John Galt Solutions’ market-leading Atlas Planning Platform provides a comprehensive end-to-end supply chain planning solution with advanced analytics and machine learning to automate planning, break down business silos and deliver greater visibility. To learn how implementing our Atlas Planning Platform can make a difference, schedule a free consultation with us now.