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New Rules of Competition for Today’s Distributor: 3 Ways to Drive an Efficient Bottom Line and Accelerate Top-Line Growth

The wholesale distribution industry is changing. Those able to tackle disruption and market challenges will stay ahead of the competition and solidify their place in the value chain, both up- and downstream.

It’s a digital economy, and intelligent technologies and optimized processes are imperative to compete and win. Digital transformation is a must for survival and growth amid changing customer behaviors, political factors and supply chain disruptions.

Enter the new rules of competition for today’s distributor.

How can distributors drive a more efficient bottom line and accelerate top-line growth?


1) Deliver best-in-class customer experiences

B2B customers expect an elevated customer experience; they want personalized buying, timely delivery and near-instant responses across all channels. They’re using search engines and websites instead of the phone and assume self-service models exist for everything from product information to pricing to billing.

Distributors who fill orders quickly while decreasing order cycle time are those who have streamlined order-to-cash (O2C) processes in place throughout the organization. Automated processes that churn out orders in real time, offering customer service teams more time to proactively serve customers, instead of spending a good portion of their day entering data.

CSRs can spend up to 48% of each day performing data-entry tasks.

MDM and Conexiom Survey, 2021


Automating business-critical processes is imperative to deliver real value… fast. It’s the transformation your business must undergo to win (and retain) more customers through personalized experiences, seamless interactions and frictionless relationships.


2) Create resilient operations that scale with your business

In any organization, it’s no longer acceptable to have valuable and expensive human capital performing non-value-add manual processes. It overwhelms resources and creates a humdrum customer experience, where it may take days to process an order only because a customer emailed it at 5:02 pm on a Friday.

Performing tedious administrative tasks erodes business value, but requires significant resources and, therefore, expense. In fact, it serves as an often-overlooked catalyst to a vicious cycle of unhappy customers, unhappy employees, lost revenue and eventually lost market share.

To achieve any sort of resiliency as an organization, de-couple operational capacity from the size of your workforce. Automation frees up your customer service team, enabling them to delight customers (going back to tip 1), which not only helps your retention rate, it also gives you the ability to woo market share away from competitors.


3) Make your company easy to do business with

Amazon is so easy. Robust search functionality, 1- or 2-day free shipping, subscription models and one-click ordering… Luckily, you don’t have to model your website after that Goliath, but you do need to build enduring, frictionless relationships with customers and suppliers and never ask them to change their processes in order to work with you.

The use of modern technologies will change the foundation of the business for the better, allowing you to do more with less. For distributors, this means creating more efficient and effective operations to reach “intelligent enterprise” status.

What is an intelligent enterprise?

According to Forbes, an intelligent enterprise describes a company that uses modern cloud-based technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), to better use its data to gain real-time insights about operations, market environment and customers.

The intelligent enterprise uses modern strategies and processes, powered by an intelligent suite of technology solutions, to integrate and streamline processes, manage spend, improve the customer experience through personalization and offer value-added services.


Shifting your business to one that’s future-ready requires technologies like machine learning (ML), IoT, and AI, which may seem like a monumental, impossible project requiring a systemic enterprise-wide reset, but don’t fret… experts are here to help.

SAP® and Conexiom® have partnered with companies like Grainger, Honeywell, and Lonza on their digital journey to become sustainable, scalable and future-ready.


Learn more… straight from industry experts

Ready to learn how to stay ahead of the competition and solidify your place in the value chain?

Watch this on-demand panel with industry all-stars:

  • Ian Heller, Founder and Senior Partner, Distribution Strategy Group

  • Judd Marcello, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Conexiom

  • Magnus Meier, VP and Global Head, Wholesale Distribution Business Unit, SAP®

  • Erik Severinghaus, EVP of Business Development, Conexiom


These B2B heavyweights will show you how to:

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