How well are you Leveraging Technology for Collaborating with Your Distribution Partners?
Posted on:  Sep 19, 2011

Today’s business environment is driven by the evolution of technology. Large enterprises are gaining real competitive advantage by leveraging technology to collaborate with their different business units. With the pervasive advent of ERPs and software applications, things seem to change for the better. ERPs help companies to share information in a way that they replenish the experience of face-to-face meetings. Manufacturing is a fragmented business unit. Manufacturers have a huge sales channel ranging from C&F agents, Distributors, Sub-distributors, Dealers, Partners and Retailers.

We have two types of groups: Forward looking companies & Laggards. Many forward-looking companies are leveraging the great advantages of the newer technological boom, while there are several laggards who still consider automation and integrated collaboration with their business units & partners cost head without returns. This article has relevance for both the groups. While we bring out nuances from the technologically advanced companies on how well do they leverage technology for collaborating with their distribution partners, the companies who aren’t paced up with distribution management software would also notice some of the benefits that are missing.
Have you experienced increased sales productivity? To cover a large geographical area, a typical distribution channel has to be subset and diverse. This complexity in the product sales & distribution of a manufacturer often creates inefficiencies and hinders productivity. The highly connected distribution management sales team on the other hand, lets you accelerate sales cycle.
Were you able to increase market accessibility with your automation tool? Any sales distribution initiative would need the market share report to boost their sales forecasting. The top management of any manufacturing unit needs a sales funnel to be able to make informed decisions before expanding and forecasting. Only if your Distribution Management System offers intelligent real-time data that lets you know your markets reach, it is worth your time, money and efforts.
Does your ERP/software allow you to push sales promotion to your distribution channel? – A robust Distribution Management Software offers end-to-end collaboration among the company and the distribution Channel. Scheme Management is an interesting and effective module of distribution management systems that allows you to push sales promotion across your distribution channel. You can run, manage and control scheme among distributors and even settle claims with a dealer claim automation module in the system. Effective schemes can be planned and run only when you have complete visibility of Daily sales, opening & closing stocks, top selling SKUs, stocks not in demand, and many more similar sales insights
Does you software help you to break down information silos? - Collaborating with your sales distribution channel doesn’t stop with information on sales and purchase data, but continues to information exchange. Does your software allow you to chunk the information that you need to transmit among different departments? If not, you are missing out on the possible benefits like Bulletin Board functionality. It helps you to segregate and circulate information to different trading entities. So if you want to apprise your distributors of a new scheme, volume purchase deals, reward them on the sales target achievements, you need an effective tool that facilitates consistent flow of sales information in real-time.
Did you gain trading partner confidence with the automation? Given today’s global economy, there are higher probabilities of your working with partners in various time zones and multiple locations. Gain day-to-day insight on your partners working mechanism and you will be able to prevent potential problems before they occur.

The significance of automation is different for different companies. The present scenario sees collaboration with trading partners a burning challenge. Benefits of technology have been adopted by many such companies to align things in the most appropriate fashion. They have switched to Distribution management system that adheres to creating an integrated business communication platform in real time. Have you reaped benefits of shared visibility of data, accurate sales forecasts and dynamic market trend analysis?

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Reader's Comments
 Mar 07, 2012 at 11:56 PM
While conventional application development is a huge industry, IT development is in as much a research phase as it is under development.
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