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Seven trends that will mark the distribution sector in 2022

Next 2022 it could be a year of great growth, after the outbreak of the pandemic. And in this optimistic move, they include wholesalers and distributors. In this sense, Datisa presents seven clear trends.

Some as consolidation of previous movements. This is the case of digitization. Other things that we will see, such as opening up to new clients, even the final client, or geographic relocation, are also part of the new post-pandemic business model.

1. Customer digitization

We must talk about omnichannel and its impact, both in wholesale and retail. The pandemic has accelerated the use of multiple purchasing channels. It is logical that wholesalers and the distribution environment, in general, continue to bet on the opening of new sales channels. Also for the optimization of existing ones.

The digital customer is affecting all companies, and regardless of the sector in which they operate or the volume of billing they have.

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It is not just a matter of internal digitization. The environment itself is also digitized. Suppliers, competitors or organizations such as the AEAT, for example, or banks.

2. Opening of the business to the end customer

Although the wholesale activity has traditionally focused on the professional customer, more and more, we are seeing a progressive approach to the end customer. Now it is common to see how, for example, different points of sale are installed in the warehouse, also for end customers. In this sense, the role of the ERP is important to apply the correct rate depending on the type of client.

But not only with the rates. Many other variables come into play in the equation. For example: the control of discounts that must be applied according to the customer’s profile. Or commercial commissions. Taking into account this “diversification” of the wholesaler, it is important to facilitate work in real time, technical connectivity, centralization of information, etc.

3. Geographical relocation of the business

The digital customer is a customer that is everywhere. This is accompanied, not only by the channel being digital, but by a true logistics revolution. This potential means that many SMEs are making decisions in this regard.

For example, SMEs that want to grow in customers, either by expanding their scope of action to the end customer or by opening new lines of sale. Or simply because they want to go further geographically. To implement any of these strategies, SMEs can choose to invest in their warehouse and a delivery fleet. Or by outsourcing logistics and transport spaces.

4. Process optimization

In an activity such as the wholesaler so mature and with so much competition and such narrow margins, it is essential keep an eye on profitability. That necessarily leads us to process optimization. And that inevitably leads us to the technology that it is, the one that allows to accelerate the optimization of processes: purchasing, warehouse, administrative billing or control of boxes or financial profitability.

SMEs must focus on each of these processes to provide them with the best possible tools. Solutions that allow the company to be profitable. That is why it is important that these processes are linked in the ERP itself. An ERP that is capable of growing with the organization. And, even more, to do it in the same direction. That is, it is the ERP itself that adapts to the management of the business and its way of moving the merchandise.

5. Data analysis

It is becoming more and more necessary. First, because the competition is very prepared to analyze the data, draw conclusions and react. The analysis of the data is what gives options to react. And second, because, in the case of wholesalers – a mature market with narrow margins, in which it is necessary to expand sales channels – it is crucial to analyze and control the profitability of each channel.

If the company has a physical store, a small POS in the warehouse, a Cash or an ecommerce, commercial en route, etc. It is important to see what level of profitability each of these lines of sale has. Because each line has a specific cost structure associated with it. Costs that must be known so that profitability is always under control.

6. Integration in purchasing centers

In a mature activity, profitability will be marked by the purchasing power that you have. This capacity will be less if decisions are made alone. And even more so if one acts under the umbrella of central purchasing bodies with more bargaining power. When one decides to join a purchasing center, we often see that the need for integration arises – dumping orders, capturing information, etc. – In fact, it is the purchasing centers themselves that ask businesses to join their system.

7. Search for new recurring billing formulas

It is a global trend. Something that is happening, not only at the wholesaler level. For example, what Netflix, or Amazon Prime are doing, perfectly exploiting the philosophy of the subscription. Platforms with very affordable fees that provide high-quality products. This allows positioning, recurrence in billing, income forecast … Each invoice is itself small. But accumulation provides great stability to the business.

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