Four Ways Analytics are Helping Distributors Win in Today’s Marketplace

Submitted on: Tue, 12.20.2016 10:26pm - Annie Eissler |
Four Ways Analytics are Helping Distributors Win in Today’s Marketplace

For wholesale distributors, the current business world is fraught with growing levels of competition, razor-thin margins, and unexpected challenges around every corner. Facing these and other challenges on an almost-daily basis, distributors need access to accurate information—and a knack for transforming that intelligence into good decision-making—at every turn.

Achieving that goal in today’s information- and data-rich distribution environment isn’t always easy, but the companies that do take the time to understand and use their data are reaping the rewards of their efforts.

“They may not always realize it, but distributors have a plethora of data and information at their fingertips,” says Gary Owen, CEO of MITS. “When that data is efficiently gathered, analyzed, and then used to make good forward-looking decisions, the results can be downright phenomenal.”

Getting the Most Out of Analytics
Here are four ways that wholesale distributors can use data analytics to work smarter, faster, and more efficiently in today’s competitive business environment:

  1. Extract the data that’s buried in your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system: These enterprise-wide systems are literal data goldmines, yet few companies take the time to extract and use the information that’s stored in these solutions. A software solution that offers interactive reporting capabilities, for example, can help “free up” the data and turn it into useful, actionable information. Equipped with this information, distributors can identify root causes of problems, past and future trends, and potential business opportunities.
  2. Break down the silos and get everyone in the organization on the same page. Many distribution firms are grappling with the “silos” that they set up decades ago…and that are still standing tall today. Unfortunately, these silos make the seamless sharing across different departments, managers, and/or employees extremely difficult. Using business analytics, companies can get everyone on the same page with a consistent set of information and one solution that manages both the analytics and data-sharing functions. That way, when Mary in accounting needs a sales report from Bob in sales—and that John in the warehouse needs to be in on the conversation—all three individuals can work from the same playbook.
  3. Level the playing field for companies of all shapes and sizes. Having good access to reliable, accurate, actionable data is a key competitive advantage in today’s marketplace. “Companies of all sizes can benefit from making their organizations more data-driven,” says Paul St. Germain, co-author of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors’ Facing the Forces of Change. "It doesn't matter if you're a multibillion-dollar business or a $10 million business. The opportunities are there for both."
  4. Gain more visibility into the distributor’s end-to-end supply chain. Supply chain analytics is a growing priority for firms that want more visibility into the products they’re shipping to customers on a daily basis. “[Companies] are trying to create a profitable response to the market demands,” says Noha Tohamy, a Gartner analyst, in CIO’s Data analytics are ‘gold’ for pharmaceutical distributor, “by taking into account the entire supply chain, not just their internal operations.” Wholesale distributors are in a particularly good position to gain from an analytics platform—namely because so much of their operational focus is on getting the right product to the right customer and at the right time.

​Here at MITS, we’ve been helping distributors use the data in their systems to make better decisions since 1996. From the types of reports you run to the data that’s in those reports, MITS Distributor Analytics gives you the answers and insight you need to take action. Please contact us today to learn more.