Is data analytics the solution for a well-managed wholesale business?
The wholesale industry has been under strife with numerous obstacles in recent years; from rising tariffs on exports and shipping costs to the upturn in online business solutions.
Adapting and learning to manage operations in a way that is efficient and profitable is important in order to survive and grow in an increasingly challenging environment.
In this context, data analytics plays a key role in helping businesses navigate this all-new landscape; one that’s replete with various pressure points as well as opportunities.
The risks facing the wholesale industry
Managing a wholesale business comes with its own set of unique challenges. While keeping customers satisfied is a primary business objective, the journey to it is complex and needs to be navigated with care.
These are some of the challenges wholesale operations encounter, along the way.
- Poor inventory management
Managing inventory is particularly important in times like these, where supply and distribution channels have been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In such circumstances, poor inventory management could—and have—resulted in many wholesale businesses going bankrupt.
There are two sides to poor inventory management; you could end up with a shortage of goods or an overabundance, which are both detrimental to your business.
In most cases, this is the result of a lack of understanding of market conditions. Not being in tune with how market fluctuations affect demand and supply will ultimately impact how efficiently your inventory is managed.
- Insufficient insight into product profitability
While turning profit is a common goal for most business operations, the processes needed to reach a net profit are challenging and complex—especially in the wholesale industry.
If you want to run a profitable wholesale business, it’s important to be aware of how demand and supply shocks affect your bottom line, as they are the primary determinants of the price.
For example, having an understanding of how socio-political factors affect trade between countries and the price of imports and exports will determine your success in the wholesale industry.
- Uninformed sales team affecting customer satisfaction
A lack of transparency in operations can lead to misinformation and misunderstanding across departments that are not in direct communication.
What this means is that your sales team members, who are a crucial part of your business, might not necessarily be well-informed on production timelines, stock availability, or perhaps any changes to the items, leading to lapses in communication between your customers and the sales team.
SAS analytics for a smoother operation
While it is easy to get lost in the numbers and analytics of running a wholesale operation, keeping your head above water is beneficial to all areas of your business.
With SAS Analytics, you can take control of your data and your business without having to meddle with analogue analytical tools, allowing you to leverage quality insights to optimise your wholesale operations.
- Eliminating stock management errors
Using AI and cloud computing, SAS analytics can help organise and make sense of the data collected across your sales, procurement, and management functions.
Predictive and forecasting analytics models offered through SAS analytics can help anticipate trends across different seasons, which can then be used to make informed decisions on inventory requirements, leading to effective inventory management.
- Increasing revenue and profitability
SAS Analytics includes an interactive dashboard that provides supply chain intelligence support, which you can leverage to measure and report key performance metrics across your operations.
SAS also has the capability to generate consensus forecasts driven by statistics, allowing you to make better demand predictions and transform your distribution channels accordingly.
- Improving oversight of operations
When managing a large operation, it is easy to lose transparency between different departments, leading to multiple issues that culminate in poor customer service overall.
SAS Analytics allows for multi-departmental integration, meaning all your teams will have access to accurate data in real-time. This can help you to break communication barriers between your procurement and sales teams, and your customers.
Enhance your wholesale operations with SAS Analytics
Bringing SAS Analytics into your wholesale operations will help you optimise your business by equipping it to not only be increasingly sensitive to trends and forecasts but also by empowering each employee to be in the know about every part of your business.
With the increased transparency that SAS Analytics adds, every member will be able to step up to the plate to fulfil their role with sufficient data and insight, driving your business forward.