The importance of visbility for distributors

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According to the UK’s Office for National Statistics, as a percentage of total retail sales, internet sales may not have remained at the all-time high of 37.4% that was reached back in February 2021, falling to 25.3% in June 2022, but they’re still substantially above pre-pandemic levels of 19.7%. As bricks-and-clicks retailing showing no signs of disappearing any time soon, distributors are still trying to navigate their way through this ever-evolving business model, putting the processes in place to adapt their businesses accordingly. But we’re all operating in challenging times. As well as trying to adapt their businesses, distributors are faced with ongoing supply chain disruption that’s resulting in longer lead times and increased costs, not to mention more dissatisfied customers. 

Ultimately, the challenge is still the same for distributors: how to fulfil demand quickly and accurately, getting the right products to the right place at the right time. To do this, regardless of bricks, clicks or both, requires optimum levels of business visibility. Access to timely, accurate information from right across the supply chain is now a must-have for distributors who are serious about adapting to market changes whilst staying one step ahead of the competition.

A comprehensive view of the business

To achieve the right level of visibility requires the unification of all parts of the business, bringing together key information from across the business and, ideally, the wider supply chain too. The right centralised management solution can do this, lying at the very heart of the business and amalgamating business-wide data to provide a comprehensive and accurate view of the organisation at any one time. With this in place, it’s possible to quickly and easily identify where problems and inefficiencies lie, allowing distributors to tackle any issues before they have a negative impact on customer service. 

This depth and breadth of visibility boosts efficiency too. Access to up-to-date stock information gives the sales team a renewed confidence in the data, ensuring they never over-promise and under-deliver when it comes to customer orders and expectations. Traceability capabilities have a role to play too, delivering the levels of transparency across multiple departments and sites that are needed to increase business visibility further still. Go one step further and this visibility can be opened up to customers as well, giving them access to the information they need to optimise their own operations.

Better, faster decisions

Enhanced visibility paves the way for better decision-making, across all areas of the business. With the right system in place, it’s no longer necessary to wait for monthly or weekly reports before making key decisions, with access to accurate data in real-time underpinning rapid, robust and well-informed decision-making. This is what delivers the agility that distributors need to succeed in an evolving marketplace. A comprehensive, in-depth view of the business, available at the click of a mouse or the tap of a screen, is what informs better, faster decisions, enabling distributors to react quickly and effectively to market challenges, as well as putting them in the ideal position to seize any opportunities as soon as they arise. 

Increased visibility leads to increased forecasting accuracy too, the holy grail of the distribution sector. Access to a comprehensive view of every aspect of the business in real-time furnishes distributors with the depth and breadth of information they need to boost forward planning accuracy, as well as helping to inform contingency plans to deal with even the most changeable of market conditions and customer demands.

An increasingly agile business

It's only by uniting the organisation and wider supply chain that this visibility and resulting agility can be achieved. Silos of information or time delays and errors caused by the manual integration of multiple reports are no longer acceptable or efficient, certainly not for distributors who are dealing with a rapidly evolving and fast-paced marketplace. Responsiveness and agility are key when dealing with a bricks-and-clicks retail model and optimal visibility across the business and supply chain provides the perfect foundation to boost these capabilities. By delivering the accurate information that the business needs, the right solution can underpin optimum levels of business visibility, helping distributors to meet and even exceed customer expectations whilst keeping pace with an ever-evolving retail landscape.

For more information about how Pegasus can help your distribution business adapt in-line with evolving market demands, contact us today.

Posted On: July 28, 2022