Connect the dots with BlueBridge One

Download your Free guide

5 trends disrupting the traditional wholesale distribution model

Multichannel Distribution Specialists

Integrating Wholesale Distribution alongside In-Store, Online and Machine-to-Machine to let today's multichannel businesses increase efficiency and reduce costs while achieving flexible and agile control of the supply chain.

Trusted by:
  • Orlebar Brown
  • Get Geared
  • Consumables.com
  • Warmup
  • WBC
  • EUROPART

Archive for 2017

Black Friday and Christmas multichannel season off to a flying start over August Bank Holiday weekend

1st September 2017

UK Black Friday now in 8th year… the story continues

The Christmas multichannel sales season kicked off over the August Bank Holiday weekend with major mid-market chains such as Tesco and those at the top of the market, such as John Lewis, featuring instore and online festive themes.

The current promotions launched the ongoing activity that is set to ratchet up the anticipation of the 4-day weekend period of Black Friday through to Cyber Monday at the end of November.

Black Friday 2017 falls on 24th November. It’s the eighth year that this has been recognised in the UK after it was pioneered here by Amazon in 2010. Since then, just about every multichannel business selling goods has had to participate, or face projecting the perception that it is getting left behind, or somehow not entering into the spirit of Christmas like Ebenezer Scrooge!

New Year sales likely even before the turkey is polished off

The 2016 period saw UK shoppers spend £5.8 billion, a 15% increase up on 2015. While the pound remains weak driving up prices of imported goods, savage discounting before Christmas and in the New Year’s sales (which are bound to kick-off before the Christmas turkey has been polished off!) is likely to be a strong trend.

Slimming margins with aggressive discounting means, that more than ever, multichannel businesses need to be highly efficient and that technology systems need to be truly joined up.

Co-ordinating activity instore, online and Click-and-Collect is a challenge in itself. However, it’s important to be able to accommodate alternative fulfilment and business models such as 3PL and drop-shipping. Such demands means that piecemeal solutions of different technology systems and applications held together with manual processes simply won’t do.

Maximising profit from seasonal multichannel with BlueBridge One

In the face of stiff competition, NetSuite ERP provides the end-to-end capability of connecting up all the different elements required for multichannel businesses to succeed in today’s world.

BlueBridge One is a NetSuite 5-Star Award winning system integrator with a compelling track record of delivering solutions that integrate and co-ordinate multichannel business processes. Once their operations are properly orchestrated through NetSuite, BlueBridge One’s multichannel and wholesale distribution customers enjoy new levels of efficiency that were previously unobtainable.

To see how our cloud ERP solutions transform efficiency to maximise profitability, simply get in touch today.

Do you need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our consultants today and we’ll be happy to help.

Talk to us ›

New TCO calculator enables companies considering switching to Oracle NetSuite see how the numbers play out

18th August 2017

A better fit for your wholesale distribution business

If there’s one thing that might seem more challenging than migration to an ERP system for the first time, it’s changing from one ERP vendor to another.

The ERP market is contested by some of the global IT heavy hitters. Development, upgrading and increasing functionality is a continual process. Also, just like there is more than one way to skin a cat, there’s more than one way to overlay ERP onto a business and its processes.

That’s why it is well worth reviewing the marketplace to see which vendors have what to offer, and whether any of them might be a better fit for your wholesale distribution business.

An exciting time for technology

Trends such as the Internet of Things and M2M offer great potential for creating efficiencies with automation. As Big Data, Machine Learning and their siblings Artificial Intelligence and robotics continue to develop, technology watchers are in for an exciting time.

Disruptive change is becoming increasingly dominant in shaping the operating environment. Opportunities to gain a competitive advantage may sometimes only be there for the first-mover. So, ERP that provides flexibility and embraces a progressive approach to business process management and delivering customer value is a really important consideration.

The logic for wholesale distributors of regularly reviewing processes and their choice of systems is pretty clearly defined. However, one of the problems of comparing systems from different vendors is that of gaining realistic evaluations of financial advantages.

Better cost indications with the TCO Calculator and BlueBridge One

BlueBridge One now has access to a great online tool from Oracle NetSuite. The ERP TCO Calculator is a partner resource designed to facilitate the decision process for companies considering making their first move with ERP or for those considering switching to NetSuite.

One of the really good things about the TCO calculator is it provides a virtual form of evidence-based data, enabling more accurate assessment of the budgetary requirements, and facilitating more confident decision making when choosing NetSuite.

BlueBridge One is a NetSuite 5-Star Award winning system integrator that provides the services to adapt NetSuite ERP to deliver outstanding efficiency. To see how we can help you get a better indication of the costs of NetSuite, simply get in touch today.

Do you need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our consultants today and we’ll be happy to help.

Talk to us ›

5 ways for multichannel distributors to improve service inspired by Amazon

26th July 2017

Testing the market with new ideas

Amazon offers a lot of services, however, this is no accident and the internet giant is no accidental empire. Amazon was not a tech triumph that came about because some geek got lucky in his dad’s garage!

Amazon is restless and always seems to be testing the market with a new idea. Some - take drone delivery for example - are truly innovative. Others, such as Fresh (grocery delivery) show it flexing its muscles, trying to leverage the brand and disrupt markets and steal market share from companies that have become complacent and take customers for granted (we can all think of examples of companies like those…).

We looked at one overarching element of its business strategy in a previous blog, ‘Lesson from Amazon: Never stop seeking opportunities to disrupt’. Here we look at some of Amazon’s specific services to see what we can learn from those.

1. Giving premium service with Amazon Prime

Introduced in 2005, Amazon Prime offers next day delivery for members paying an annual subscription fee. In some territories it provides music and video streaming services. As well as the subscription fee this makes it ‘easier’ to order from Amazon and garners loyalty.

How might your business model be modified to roll in uplifted delivery and complementary premium services for a fee?

2. Making it easy with Amazon Prime Wardrobe

Buying fashion and clothing online has always come with the downside of returning unsuitable items. Amazon Prime Wardrobe sweetens the pill by letting members try clothes on before buying and then return them for free. It’s in beta in the US but it looks certain go global in all the developed economies.

How could you make it easier for your multichannel customers to buy from you, especially where there is an unknown (like will it fit) in the purchase?

3. Style policing with Amazon Echo Look

Worried about whether your outfit matches and want to avoid making a fashion faux pas? The Echo look is an Alexa (Amazon’s Artificial Intelligence voice avatar) driven camera and speaker device that can photograph and video your outfit and provide advice and sense check your choice of dress. Bad hair days might be a bit trickier…

How could you offer advice and notes about your products through technology?

4. Discounting products with Amazon Warehouse Deals

Amazon Warehouse Deals are how the online shopping giant disposes of SKUs that it wants to offer at reduced prices. They might be brand new, returned or those that otherwise can’t be sold as brand new.

How might you present an offer for shifting lines that you want to run down quickly, or for returned and unpackaged items?

5. Slimming operations with Fulfilled by Amazon

Fulfilled by Amazon is simply Amazon using its infrastructure, staffing and capacity to deliver 3rd Part Logistics (3PL) services to companies that sell through Amazon Marketplace.

How could you utilise overcapacity and sweat the assets in your business to generate additional revenue?

Exploit opportunities and disrupt markets with BlueBridge One

Whatever ideas you have for introducing new service offers and driving growth, its more than likely you’ll need to leverage technology. ERP is critical to the efficiency of multichannel distributors and the best solutions are flexible and adaptable.

BlueBridge One is a NetSuite 5-Star Award winning system integrator that provides the services to adapt NetSuite ERP to deliver new service offers for your business. If you’ve got a great idea for a new service that you want to move forward with, why not talk to us?

To see how our cloud ERP solutions could help you set up new service offers inspired by Amazon (or anyone else!), simply get in touch today.

Click here for the blog ‘Lesson from Amazon: Never stop seeking opportunities to disrupt’.

Do you need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our consultants today and we’ll be happy to help.

Talk to us ›

9 trends and 3 strategic considerations showing the way forward in distribution and multichannel

19th July 2017

Insights for wholesale and multichannel businesses

Keynote speaker R “Ray” Wang, Principal Analyst and CEO of Constellation Research at SuiteWorld 17 earlier this year provided some interesting insights. They highlight the need for wholesale distributors and multichannel businesses to make sure they keep up with new technology and continually review what they do and how they are doing it.

The choice is to adapt, or fall into decline, fail or get swallowed…

Firstly, referencing the US Fortune 500, Mr Wang noted that 52 percent of companies in the Fortune 500 have either gone bankrupt, been acquired or merged or fallen off the list since 2000. He stated these organisations failed to respond quickly to the change.

Consider how this period over the last 17 years or so, incorporates the 2001 dotcom bubble and the overheated market relating to technology stocks and shares; it becomes clear that the failure to respond to change illustrates the deeply disruptive effect which new technology may have.

Nine trends happening right now

Secondly, Mr Wang identified nine trends that he sees happening right now which reflect new realities of business models.

1. Shift from product margins to services margins

  • Leveraging value added services to improve profitability

2. Develop post sale business models

  • Designing after sales services to drive growth

3. Invest in direct to consumer

  • Cutting out middlemen in the channel to increase margins

4. Forecast precision demand

  • Better inventory management to be Just in Time

5. Move back to domestic production

  • Repatriating manufacturing to local facilities

6. Maximising equipment value

  • Sweating assets to maximising cost/benefit analysis

7. Streamline order to cash

  • Reduce drag on cash inflows from sales

8. Increase automation and robotics

  • AI-enabled software automation and robot devices

9. Improving uptime and optimization

  • Greater systems resilience and more efficient processes

Key considerations for succeeding in a multichannel mobile world

There are a few unifying principles that link these trends and which serve as key considerations for distribution businesses already pursuing a multichannel strategy, or those planning to diversify operations and execute one.

1. Investing in the right technology

  • Make sure the right systems are in place to execute the strategy that incorporates these trends

2. Aiming to achieve operational excellence

  • Appropriate technology should be able to support efficient supply chain operations and the supporting workflows

3. Providing seamless mobile and multichannel

  • For end users customers and channel partners, as well as internal teams and departments, systems should provide seamless experiences

Execute your business strategy more effectively with BlueBridge One

Do you worry that the ERP technology in your business doesn’t perform well, is too costly and doesn’t provide value, or simply past its sell buy date?

BlueBridge One specialises in integrating NetSuite ERP to provide the flexibility, agility and capability today’s distributors and multichannel businesses need. To sustain growth or to re-boot operational processes and workflows, we have worked with 100’s of businesses, enabling them to adapt and succeed as technology disrupts markets and creates opportunities.

To see how our cloud ERP solutions help you execute a business strategy that incorporates the key considerations that link the nine trends, simply get in touch today.

Click here for the article ‘Full Speed to Next: SuiteWorld Reveals the Future for Manufacturers and Distributors’ at netsuiteblogs.com

Do you need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our consultants today and we’ll be happy to help.

Talk to us ›

New BlueBridge One guide looks at tough questions to help wholesale distributors be more resilient in the face of disruptive change

19th July 2017

For immediate release and publication: July 2017

BlueBridge One has released a new guide, ‘Disrupted trading relationships: Gain competitive advantage from disruptive change’. This is aimed at helping wholesale distribution firms to navigate the choppy waters that are brought about by disruptive events.

Today’s operating environment may be characterised as uncertain and this is due to disruption brought about by events in politics, business and society which cause rapid change. Issues for businesses may be precipitated by specific events, such as the UK’s Brexit vote, or reflect more generalised phenomena, such as rapid currency fluctuations for currencies across the globe.

The guide sketches the background to disruptive events and then provides a snapshot of how many wholesale distributors use technologies to manage processes. It then goes on to pose a series of questions to help business owners and senior managers understand how the best ERP technologies ease and may even overcome the problems that sometimes arise from sudden changes to the operating environment.

Partnering with customers to deliver the full benefit of NetSuite, BlueBridge One has seen some customers tackle change issues more easily. Others have been able to pursue strategies of turning disruptive change in to competitive advantage. The guide has been developed to explain and bring the benefit of these experiences to potential new customers that do not have NetSuite, or those with NetSuite that are looking to engage with a new partner.

The guide aims to steer WD through the logic and value of making sure they have systems that are adaptable, flexible and supported by responsive technology partners.

Download link for the guide: ‘Disrupted trading relationships: Gain competitive advantage from disruptive change.’

A leading partner for the industry’s leading ERP business software

BlueBridge One has been a leading NetSuite solution provider since 2003, when it was the first UK and EMEA appointed partner. Over a decade later, having grown substantially to include a multi-disciplinary team of experienced NetSuite certified consultants, we continue to help customers successfully grow their businesses on the NetSuite platform.

Contact:

www.bluebridgeone.com
www.twitter.com/BlueBridgeOne

Managing Director: Jon Ryan
Phone: +44 1932 300000

How do you turn disruptive change into competitive advantage?

Download our white paper to find out what steps you need to take.

Download now ›

Lesson from Amazon: Never stop seeking opportunities to disrupt

4th July 2017

Love it or hate it, you can’t ignore Amazon!

Love it or hate it, Amazon is a company which you just can’t afford to ignore. From its simple beginning of selling books online in 1994, to today’s global domination of online product sales, and massive compute capacity supporting its data centre web services offer, the story of Amazon is truly compelling. Never more so than if you are an entrepreneur and owner, or the manager of a product distribution business.

There are many lessons that can be learned from Amazon’s success. Sure, it receives its share of negative MSM (Main Stream Media) coverage and social comment, but this reflects the level of success which the company enjoys.

It might be easy when you happen to have got in on the ground floor and are now generating a net income of over $2bn and have assets of more than $83bn with which to support endless market research, invest heavily in innovation and attract top talent. Perhaps it is harder when you have more limited resources at your disposal?

What can we learn from Amazon?

However, just because you run a smaller operation, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn from Amazon’s success and translate the lessons to make your multichannel distribution business more prosperous.

Among the 25 or so main products and services of Amazon.com listed by Wikipedia many are familiar, some because they have attracted a lot of attention. All of the list below is prefixed with ‘Amazon’…

  • Prime - same day/next day delivery
  • Video - video on demand
  • Fresh - groceries and perishable produce
  • Local - daily deals limited by geography
  • Platinum MasterCard - credit card facility
  • Vouchers - gifts and prizes
  • Drive - online cloud data storage service
  • Studios - programming and original video content

If Amazon didn’t invent Black Friday, who did? Is the prospect of drone deliveries really likely, or is it just pie carrying robots in the sky?

We could go on, but you get the picture. So, what can we make of it all and learn?

  • First and foremost, Amazon is a technology company, and it goes without saying that its outstanding tech is absolutely pivotal to its success.
  • Secondly, Amazon is absolutely relentless in the way it explores for new opportunities, and being disruptive clearly plays a key part in its strategy.
  • Thirdly, Amazon has no respect for the status quo; if you are an established business, especially one that is complacent, it is likely to consider muscling in on your action.

Exploit opportunities and disrupt markets with BlueBridge One

If you want to disrupt the marketplaces in which you compete or exploit new markets and opportunities like Amazon, have you got the right technology tools?

BlueBridge One is a NetSuite 5-Star Award winning system integrator that specialises in partnering with product distribution businesses. Many distribution businesses with which we work find they are better able to disrupt markets and exploit opportunities once they have the right technology tools at their disposal.

To see how our cloud ERP solutions can help you apply the lesson of Amazon to your multichannel product distribution business, simply get in touch today.

Do you need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our consultants today and we’ll be happy to help.

Talk to us ›

Don’t be reactive and get distracted by the tide of chaos and uncertainty - think and act strategically

26th June 2017

Some things you just can’t change!

Chaos and uncertainty seem to be dominating current events. One of the symptoms is that macroeconomics is taking a bit of a hit. The delicate balance of keeping inflation in check and pitching the bank base at the right level are all part of the mix. There’s less consumer confidence which is driving down sales.

Some distribution businesses may find they are less busy and owners and managers may have a bit more time on their hands. However, it is important to avoid getting swept away by the tide of negativity attached to big political, economic and social news stories filtered down mainstream and social media channels.

Echoing the sentiment of the famous wartime slogan ‘Keep Calm and Carry on’, when those around you are losing their heads, one of the best things to do is knuckle down and concentrate on the things that you can affect and try not to worry about the things you can’t change or directly influence.

So get ready for the opportunities disruptive change brings

Chaos and uncertainty can be a harbinger of disruptive change, so focus on running your business with a proactive and strategic approach. This gets get your business more ‘ship shape’ - efficient and streamlined. This readies you for the bumps the operating environment throws up and prepares you for the disruptive events or change over which you have no influence.

For distribution businesses, some important strategic considerations include:

  • Stock line rationalisation
    • Adjusting and optimising stock levels and product lines so that your inventory is efficient. Does the technology you use automate this?

  • New markets
    • Can you diversify into new product lines, selling to different market segments and/or territories. Do your systems make sales promotion easy?

  • Cross-selling
    • Can you sell new lines wholesale or to existing trade, or direct to end user customers? Does your technology properly support this?

  • Disruptive change and technology
    • Are your systems flexible to enable you to capitalise on the opportunities change often brings?

  • Integrations and interoperable technologies
    • Are there opportunities to connect the dots by linking Instore, Online, Mobile and M2M?

  • New technology
    • Can you dump manual processes and/or legacy technology to gain more efficiency, flexibility and reduce costs?

Capitalise on disruptive change with BlueBridge One

BlueBridge One is a NetSuite 5-Star Award winning system integrator that specialises in partnering with product distribution businesses. Oracle NetSuite ERP is powering thousands of distribution businesses like yours, making them more efficient, reducing costs compared with legacy ERP and giving them the flexibility to adapt and capitalise on disruptive change.

If you would like to know more about how we help deliver the benefits of ERP to your distribution business, simply get in touch today.

You can click here to download a free copy of our guide ‘Disrupted trading relationships: Gain competitive advantage from disruptive change.’



How do you turn disruptive change into competitive advantage?

Download our white paper to find out what steps you need to take.

Download now ›

BlueBridge One guide - Disrupted trading relationships: Gain competitive advantage from disruptive change

12th June 2017

The wind blows and change comes

Disruptive change has the capability to provide major shocks. What such changes may mean for individual markets and the businesses which contest them depends on the nature of change. They often upset the status quo and bring opportunity.

For example, a new vacuum cleaner manufacturer comes up with an important innovation that causes an upheaval. Some contestors of the market may be losers and some might be winners, but the impact is just limited to that market sector.

However, macro-economic change releases widespread disruptive forces that impact entire markets and economies. For example, Brexit is impacting the value of Sterling and political events in South Africa are continuing to impact the Rand.

While this has implications for all businesses, it is of far greater significance for those that have been riding the wave of globalisation by trading across borders, sourcing product and distributing in-country, regionally or globally.

Many may have already embraced disruptive change by adopting the multi-channel business model, so the general concept and the risk and opportunity that is coupled to it are well understood.

Now, with another disruptive change upon us, essentially, every wholesale distribution business needs to consider whether it is taking pre-emptive steps to ensure its ERP system lets it manage risk and seize opportunities resulting from Brexit and changes in globalisation.

Be better prepared for disruptive change

Our new guide, ‘Disrupted trading relationships: Gain competitive advantage from disruptive change’, considers how product distributors are better able to insulate their businesses from the shock of disruptive forces and prosper in an ever-changing business climate.

The guide discusses:

  • Brexit, risk and opportunity and the coming changes to international trade
  • Specific questions which help to indicate how well you are prepared for change
  • The importance of flexible ERP software technology based business systems

Competitive advantage from disruptive change with BlueBridge One

Quite simply, the guide helps owners, managers and those with responsibility for technology in multichannel distribution companies to better understand how to turn disruptive change into competitive advantage.

You can click here to download a free copy of the guide.

BlueBridge One is a NetSuite 5-Star Award winning system integrator that specialises in partnering with product distribution businesses. We specialise in delivering the benefits of a flexible ERP application that really adapts to what you need and what’s going on in the wider business world.

If you would like to discuss how ERP software lets you adapt to change your business or is able to really support it by enabling response to change the operating environment, simply get in touch today.

How do you turn disruptive change into competitive advantage?

Download our white paper to find out what steps you need to take.

Download now ›

Uncertain times call for flexible technology

26th May 2017

Never a good time…

Uncertainty creates indecision. Indecision causes delay. Indecision leads to paralysis. Paralysis can be the death-knell of a business. For much of the last decade, uncertainty over the future has been very widespread, and it continues to be so. Indeed, it’s not unrealistic to speculate that we may now have just as much certainty as we are going to get ever again.

From the real impacts of Brexit to the influence of Donald Trump on globalisation, the business world may be characterised as uncertain and prone to sudden and disruptive change. One thing over which businesses often exhibit uncertainty-led indecision is technology investment.

Even without the influence of global uncertainty, just like the arrival of the stork with a new-born, some might say there is never a good time to change ERP systems. However, just like we cannot put off accepting the gift of a new arrival when it turns up, software investment decisions cannot be deferred indefinitely, while we wait for more certain times to arrive.

Planning for uncertainty and flexibility

When it comes to selecting software, we can plan for uncertainty by looking for applications that provide flexibility. One might be forgiven for feeling that flexibility is an over-used virtue when it comes to software. However, there’s a good reason why.

The expression ‘Wag the Dog’ means that something of relative unimportance has assumed a dominant position. If we apply it by saying ‘the software is wagging the business’, we mean that a business application is restricting the business by limiting what the business can do and how it can react to a changing trading environment

For many, this is untenable. A business application needs to be flexible and support your business as a continually changing business environment demands.

Quite simply, in today’s world uncertainty is a given. It is something we must keep in mind when making ERP software investment decisions. When a business is able to respond quickly it is more competitive. Being stuck on older, rigid legacy systems will not help the cause.

Flexible ERP adapts to your business and to change

Expanding on this concept of software flexibility, it follows that software should also be capable of adapting to change. Change might be process changes, such as alterations to business operations. It might also be the ability to adapt to changes in the operating environment.

As an example, supposing your business has done really well in opening up in a new territory, so much so that you want to create a new country subsidiary as a separate entity through which to channel, process and report all the business transacted in the region.

Conventional, legacy ERP applications are often rigid and inflexible and cannot adapt to the requirement. You may need to commission two completely fresh systems and junk the existing one. This is a major upheaval likely to cause disruption.

Supposing though, that you had a system that could cope with such a change and allow you to reconfigure the software to match the shape of the business without junking existing investment and without disruption?

If creating another entity is an extreme example, take the case of Brexit, which is likely to create significant complexity to tax reporting and compliance for many UK companies pretty soon. In today’s globalised marketplace, every product distributor needs a flexible ERP application that can really adapt.

Flexible ERP from BlueBridge One

BlueBridge One is a NetSuite 5-Star Award winning system integrator that specialises in partnering with product distribution businesses. We specialise in delivering the benefits of a flexible ERP application that really adapts to what you need and what’s going on in the wider business world.

If you would like to discuss how to plan for uncertainty with software that adapts to changes in our business or the operating environment, simply get in touch today.

Meet BlueBridge One at IT Showcase Wembley on the 23rd May

2nd May 2017

Join BlueBridge One as we attend IT Showcase this month in the capital.

On Tuesday 23rd May, BlueBridge One will be in attendance as an official exhibitor at IT Showcase. The half day event takes place at London’s Wembley Stadium, from 10am-2pm, and is free to attend.

Tickets can be obtained now at:
https://www.itshowcase.co.uk/register-step-1/

Don’t miss out on London’s best technology

The Software Business Roadshow, brought to you by IT Showcase, provides the opportunity for you to meet and source your next potential software supplier. BlueBridge One will be exhibiting alongside leading software businesses in the fields of construction, manufacturing, distribution and the service sector, and our team will be on hand to demonstrate how ERP software could be right for you.

To discuss your needs with BlueBridge One, reserve the time slot of your choice for a meeting with us at: https://www.appointmentcore.com/app/multiservice/b5ETrhYX

The London event promises an impressive agenda of seminars and industry-leading speakers. The key-note seminar is on the informative topic of ‘Laying the foundations for a successful software project,’ led by Bryan Oak, Director at Searchlight Consulting.

You can find full details of the day’s schedule, as well as the full list of exhibitors and sponsors, at:
https://www.itshowcase.co.uk/project/london/

More chances to meet us

If you’re unable to attend the London exhibition this May, we’ll also be present at three other IT Showcase dates throughout the year. Why not join as at any of the following venues:

19th September - Manchester

Old Trafford Stadium, 10am-2pm
https://www.itshowcase.co.uk/project/manchester/

10th October – Birmingham

Details to be announced

5th December – Emirates Stadium, London

Details to be announced

If you’re going to be present at any of the IT Showcase events, why not contact us to let us know we can expect to see you there.

Shake our hand, in person or virtually.

You don’t have to attend an exhibition to find out how BlueBridge One can make a huge difference to your business. It’d be great to see you at any of the five IT Showcase events around the country, but you can also visit BlueBridge One online to see how Enterprise Resource Planning software can help you to manage your business processes and back office activities.

Do you need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our consultants today and we’ll be happy to help.

Talk to us ›

Big data in wholesale distribution

24th April 2017

In the digital age of distribution, data is everywhere. But it’s how wholesale distributors analyse and use this data that matters when it comes to optimising processes and best serving customers. As we continue to produce and gather more and more information than ever before, there’s one thing that companies like yours need to know: data is going big.

What is big data?

Big data is a term broadly used to reflect the acquisition of a high volume of unstructured data that is complex to process; the data sets are often simply too large for conventional storage solutions such as on premise systems and hard drives, and may come from non-traditional sources. As such, companies looking to harness the power of big data need to have the appropriate infrastructure and software in place to cope – scalable storage, and robust technology are needed to locate the relevant data generated in the supply chain from the unwanted noise in order to produce actionable insights. The more accurate your data extraction and analysis, the better your end reporting will be.

However, advancements in cloud computing have opened new doors for wholesale distributors who wish to utilise big data without the infrastructure outlay; now, the storage, handling and security of this digital information can be outsourced to external vendors, allowing organisations to access the tools of big data, without the burden.

What does big data mean to you?

Big data is more than just a term; for wholesale distributors, managing this wealth of sales and product information in the correct way can produce very real results for operations, and ultimately, profits. Brands who monitor and act on data trends create a market advantage for themselves, and are also able to refine their processes to operate at optimal efficiency. For example, compiling extensive histories of customer sales data can help to more effectively analyse and manage stock levels, and spotting patterns and anticipating demand can create more intelligent practices for replenishment and help keep inventory lean. Big data can help identify which clients are the most profitable, and calculate the cost to serve. Retailers are also leveraging big data analytics to personalise the customer experience across channels, target their marketing efforts, and to adapt the way they trade both in-store and online.

Evaluating big data allows for better long-term forecasting, and a greater real-time insight, offering better economies of scale, improved margins and increased opportunities for growth. You’ll have the data you need to make better decisions, manage risk, and to generate more revenue.

Get the most from your big data today

The majority of wholesale distributors already have the data needed to make better business decisions, but may not be using it to their advantage – or may simply not know where to start with using it at all. NetSuite business management software offers a complete end-to-end business platform to help you optimise your data in one application helping to make quicker faster decisions and grow your business faster, and BlueBridge One is a leading solution provider specialising in the wholesale distribution vertical that can help you make your vision come true. To find out more about using the power of big data for your wholesale distribution business, get in touch with the BlueBridge One team.

Do you need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our consultants today and we’ll be happy to help.

Talk to us ›

BlueBridge One at an IT Showcase near you

10th April 2017

Join BlueBridge One as we attend IT Showcase this month in Birmingham.

On Tuesday 25th April, BlueBridge One will be in attendance as an official exhibitor at IT Showcase. The half day event takes place at Birmingham’s Villa Park Stadium, from 10am-2pm, and is free to attend.

Tickets can be obtained now at:
https://www.itshowcase.co.uk/register-step-1

Don’t miss out on Birmingham’s best technology

The Software Business Roadshow, brought to you by IT Showcase, provides the opportunity for you to meet and source your next potential software supplier. BlueBridge One will be exhibiting alongside leading software businesses in the fields of construction, manufacturing, distribution and the service sector, and our team will be on hand to demonstrate how ERP software could be right for you.

To discuss your needs with BlueBridge One, reserve the time slot of your choice for a meeting with us at: https://www.appointmentcore.com/app/multiservice/b5ETrhYX

The Birmingham event promises an impressive agenda of seminars and industry-leading speakers. The key-note seminar is on the informative topic of ‘Laying the foundations for a successful software project,’ led by Bryan Oak, Director at Searchlight Consulting.

You can find full details of the day’s schedule, as well as the full list of exhibitors and sponsors, at: https://www.itshowcase.co.uk/project/birmingham-25th-apr

More chances to meet us

If you’re unable to attend the Birmingham exhibition this April, we’ll also be present at four other IT Showcase dates throughout the year. Why not join as at any of the following venues:

23rd May - London

Wembley Stadium, 10am-2pm
https://www.itshowcase.co.uk/project/london-23rd-may

19th September - Manchester

Old Trafford Stadium, 10am-2pm
https://www.itshowcase.co.uk/project/manchester

10th October – Birmingham

Details to be announced

5th December – Emirates Stadium, London

Details to be announced

If you’re going to be present at any of the IT Showcase events, why not contact us to let us know we can expect to see you there.

Shake our hand, in person or virtually.

You don’t have to attend an exhibition to find out how BlueBridge One can make a huge difference to your business. It’d be great to see you at any of the five IT Showcase events around the country, but you can also talk to us to see how Enterprise Resource Planning software can help you to manage your business processes and back office activities.

Do you need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our consultants today and we’ll be happy to help.

Talk to us ›

Five chances to meet BlueBridge One at IT Showcase

10th April 2017

The Software Business Roadshow, brought to you by IT Showcase, provides the opportunity for you to meet and source your next potential Business management software supplier. BlueBridge One will be exhibiting alongside leading software suppliers in the manufacturing, distribution and the service sectors, and our team will be on hand to understand and discuss your business management software needs.

With IT Showcase being free to attend nationwide, here’s what you can expect from the popular exhibitions:

The Software Business Roadshow by IT Showcase

Now in its 26th year, the Software Business Roadshow, brought to you by IT Showcase, brings together potential clients and specialist software suppliers. The events are designed for those in roles such as Senior Executive, business owner, IT Manager and Finance Director who are looking to source their next software supplier, offering them a face-to-face insight from the people behind the tech brands. Each half day event also offers a unique programme of expert speakers and keynote seminars.

BlueBridge One will be exhibiting alongside leading software businesses in the fields of construction, manufacturing, distribution and the service sector, and our team will be on hand to demonstrate how ERP software could be right for you.

Dates to attend

BlueBridge One will be available to discuss your ERP software needs at any of the following five dates and locations of IT Showcase:

25th April - Birmingham

Villa Park Stadium, 10am-2pm
https://www.itshowcase.co.uk/project/birmingham-25th-apr

23rd May - London

Wembley Stadium, 10am-2pm
https://www.itshowcase.co.uk/project/london-23rd-may/

19th September - Manchester

Old Trafford Stadium, 10am-2pm
https://www.itshowcase.co.uk/project/manchester/

10th October – Birmingham

Details to be announced

5th December – Emirates Stadium, London

Details to be announced

To apply for your free tickets to any of the venues listed, visit:
https://www.itshowcase.co.uk/register-step-1/

If you’re going to be present, why not book a meeting with us:
https://www.appointmentcore.com/app/multiservice/b5ETrhYX

Don’t forget to keep an eye on our blog posts as each IT Showcase event approaches for further information.

Shake our hand, in person or virtually.

You don’t have to attend an exhibition to find out how BlueBridge One can make a huge difference to your business. It’d be great to see you at any of the five IT Showcase events around the country, but you can also talk to us today to see how Enterprise Resource Planning software can help you to manage your business processes and back office activities.

Do you need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our consultants today and we’ll be happy to help.

Talk to us ›

BlueBridge One named 5 Star NetSuite Solution Provider for third year in a row

7th April 2017

Expect 5 Star service from BlueBridge One

Whether you’re just considering beginning your NetSuite journey or you’re one of our long-standing BlueBridge One customers, you can be sure that your business success is paramount to our success. We understand that finding an experienced solution provider with a successful track record is key to your business success. So we are pleased to announce that BlueBridge One has once again been recognised for customer successes by being awarded 5-Star status.

Achieving this prestigious international award for the third year running, BlueBridge One is one of only three solution providers to achieve 5-Star status for 2017 and the only one to achieve it the last three years in a row. “Earning 5-Star status in a particular year demonstrates a solution providers ability to successfully sell, implement and support multiple NetSuite implementations throughout the year. Achieving this status three years in a row is only possible through building long-term successful partnerships with NetSuite customers, something we have successfully strived for since 2003.”

We understand that as a NetSuite customer you have a wide variety of choices in terms of implementation partners. Being able to filter your selection down to one of only a very few UK star award solution providers makes the process easier. By selecting BlueBridge One as your trusted NetSuite partner you will be benefiting from our successful track record of selling, implementing and supporting NetSuite since 2003, as the first UK and EMEA appointed partner.

Having once again attained this trusted status, BlueBridge One is recognised as a top performing solution provider internationally, consistently attaining optimum levels of sales, service and support for many years. Trust us to be your NetSuite partner.

The trusted partner for your NetSuite implementation

When you’re rolling out Enterprise Resource Planning software from NetSuite, you need a solution provider that understands your business. To talk to our team to find out how we can help you achieve success, simply talk to us today.

Do you need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our consultants today and we’ll be happy to help.

Talk to us ›

AI and emerging technologies for wholesale distribution

23rd March 2017

As the world of wholesale distribution continues to change and progress rapidly, it’s important not to be left behind. One way in which the wholesale distribution and retail landscape is constantly evolving is through the ongoing development, advancement and adoption of artificial intelligence – and if your business is yet to know about, research or even invest in the following emerging technologies, you may find yourself distributing in the dark ages.

Read on for five innovative trends in software and machinery that have the potential to transform the way that orders are taken, fulfilled and delivered.

1. The robots are coming

The use of robotics in order fulfilment is an increasing practice in warehouse premises. Improving the speed of task completion dramatically, artificial intelligence allows wholesale distributors to expand their order fulfilment capabilities, improve efficiencies, and reduce costs.

2. Intelligent analytics

Wholesale distributors already have access to structured data, such as information from past order histories, ERP business systems and CRMs. But cognitive analytics are using more and more intelligent ways to collate, and then learn from, the wealth of unstructured data we produce such as social media output, images, emails, etc. Eventually this will lead to cognitive systems that can form their own hypothesis and predictions based on our digital content and habits – Amazon has now gained a patent for a concept it calls ‘anticipatory shipping’, which starts the process of delivering a package before the customer has even completed the buying process.

3. The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical objects which contain sensors and electronic components designed to gather data that can improve customer service and improve internal operations. Wholesale distributors can capitalise on IoT sensors in areas such as warehousing, transportation and equipment monitoring to automate processes and improve operations. For example, when restocking warehouse bins, the bin itself can advise of a stockout situation, turning an inanimate object into a helpful tool for stock inventory management.

4. Automated checkout at Amazon Go

Amazon Go is a store concept that is introducing the buying public to checkout-less shopping, allow the customer to walk in, select the staple food items they wish to purchase, and walk away without physically paying. Highly advanced tracking sensors identify which items a shopper has selected, which are then automatically charged to the individual’s Amazon Prime account. It’s the ultimate use of technology for consumer convenience, and could revolutionise the way we are served (or not served) in-store.

5. Autonomous delivery

With delivery becoming a key metric, many are looking to make progress in the field of driver-less vehicle technology. Experiments involving convoys of driver-less trucks have already taken place, and in times to come, autonomous deliveries lead to lower shipping costs and improved delivery speeds. Drones are also taking flight as a delivery method of the not-too-distant future – despite current restrictions prohibiting their official use for business, tests are commonplace, and the next few years could see the technology regularly used as an air-borne courier service, and within warehouse spaces for inventory handling.

Read our full white paper on the trends you can expect to see impacting wholesale distribution in 2017, or for further information on Amazon Go and its effect on wholesale distributors, read our blog post.

The future is now with business solutions from BlueBridge One

Knowing that your end-to-end business processes are operating at their optimum levels will ensure that your wholesale distribution business is ready for whatever the future holds. Implementing leading business management software and embracing emerging technology will allow you to realise your potential; to find out how BlueBridge One can guide you through the use of NetSuite to reach your vision of the future talk to us today.

Do you need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our consultants today and we’ll be happy to help.

Talk to us ›

Thinking of expanding your wholesale distribution business internationally?

16th March 2017

As a business owner, you’re used to thinking big – and if you feel that the time is right to expand your wholesale distribution operation, the world really is your oyster. Growing your business in new countries is the next step for ambitious distributors who want to take advantage of a changing market and opportunities for increased sales, and there’s no reason why international trading needs to feel foreign to your company. If you’re looking to go global, BlueBridge One talks you through some of the considerations to think about ahead of overseas expansion.

1. Map out your territories

Once you’ve decided to distribute into other areas of the world, you’ll need to pinpoint where to focus your efforts – after all, the world is a pretty big place. You may look to international markets that are similar to your own to ease the transition, or may choose to limit your initial growth to countries within the EU. With Brexit creating uncertainty over related trade deals, and more political bargaining looming on the horizon, UK wholesale distributors will need to consider how moving into European markets will affect them during times of economic ambiguity, and how they can take advantage of any resulting opportunities which may present themselves.

Wherever you plan to reach out to, you’ll need to research whether the demand is present for the goods you’re offering, and who your target audience is. Talking to local retailers and customers will help you to establish how worthwhile it is to invest in distributing within a certain area, and forging strong local relationships or placing people at the site in question will help things to go more smoothly.

2. Sales channels with a global reach

Having planned the new locations and markets to which you will sell, you’ll need to select the ways in which you will carry out your transactions.

If you opt for using a distributor, you’ll need to source one, or if you choose to control distribution yourself, you’ll need to research legal requirements and distribution agreements in every country in which you operate. You may decide to sell through local retailers, who will need to be approached and negotiations made, or you can sell indirectly to other countries through UK based retailers who run overseas operations.

Online distribution via your eCommerce website ensures that you only need to ship goods directly to overseas customers. Arranging international freight will be your biggest logistical issue, and insurance should be put in place to cover stock lost or damaged in long haul transit. If you’re particularly confident about your expansion project, you may even be looking at opening new retail stores overseas.

3. Lost in translation

When you’re trying to replicate the success you’ve had locally into new areas, you may come up against cultural and linguistic barriers, and your current approach to promoting your products may need to be altered, or reconsidered entirely. Marketing messages may not work as well for foreign audiences as those closer to home, or may lose their impact when translated into another language. Understanding local customs, approaches to humour, things which may cause offence, and looking at popular brands and concepts on the ground will help you to realign the way you try to reach your potential buyers.

4. It’s all foreign to me

Expanding your business isn’t all you’ll need to worry about – you’ll also need to expand the way you think about and approach doing business. Operating in different countries means completely new ways of working, and requires a global mindset that takes into account the nuances of international trading. You’ll now need to think about processing different currencies, creating new pricing strategies, and monitoring exchange rates. Differing time zones will be an issue when communicating with contacts and offering customer service, as well as any language difficulties. You’ll also need to understand and implement overseas tax and selling laws, and customs duties, and be up to date with any relevant regulations and terms and conditions appropriate to every new territory.

Make international expansion less daunting with BlueBridge One

Knowing that your end-to-end business processes are operating as efficiently as they can be, and that your systems and processes are up to date will allow your wholesale distribution business to prepare for international expansion and cope with any economic impact post-Brexit. Implementing leading business management software will help you to grow into a global business and maximise your potential – to find out how BlueBridge One can guide you through the use of NetSuite talk to us today.

Do you need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our consultants today and we’ll be happy to help.

Talk to us ›

5 ways to increase conversions in your eCommerce store

3rd March 2017

So you’ve dipped your toe into the digital waters, and launched an eCommerce site to support and expand your wholesale distribution business. At this point, hopefully you’re seeing a steady stream of traffic as a result of promotional and marketing activities - but are those visitors converting into tangible sales? If you’re getting the hits, but not seeing completed transactions, here are 5 tips for reducing that bounce rate and improving conversion rates.

1. Putting product in the frame

We all like to know exactly what we’re getting before we buy, and it’s no different online. Just because visitors can’t physically handle your product, doesn’t mean they don’t want to inspect it carefully – which is why high quality, professional images are a must. Provide a range of angles and scenarios in which the item can be viewed, and make sure the product is accurately and fairly represented in order to avoid buyer disappointment, and ultimately, returns. If you can include well produced video descriptions or tutorials to provide further information, customers are likely to be more engaged with your stock, and more prone to buy.

2. Reviews and reinforcements

Turning a browser into a buyer can often be managed with the use of reviews and testimonials, as seeing how a product has worked for someone else, and how great the service was, brings a positive association to the shopping experience. When we’re contemplating a purchase, reading the success stories of others who’ve already parted with their hard-earned cash can reinforce our sense of reassurance, inclusion and desire to buy – by going one step further and including photographs of happy customers, you encourage viewers to visualise themselves also enjoying your wares.

3. Convincing copy

Great sales patter isn’t just limited to the showroom – the copy that is displayed upon your website, and used to describe your products, should be professionally written in order to persuade and inform potential customers. eCommerce sites that display grammatical or spelling errors, or flat, unhelpful or confusing text, product information and calls to action are a poor advertisement for your brand, so invest in copywriting that will be accurate, concise, and that strongly supports your marketing efforts. The right copy can also push the buying buttons – whether you use emotive reasons why a product can change someone’s life, or describe something in convincingly practical terms, your writing should leave visitors in no doubt as to why they should make a purchase. Right now.

4. The shipping staller

Many online transactions nosedive when they reach checkout – usually due to shipping charges. Delivery costs that are perceived to be too high can mean sudden death to a full eCommerce basket, which is why such a large percentage of merchants offer free, or low-cost shipping. Whatever your rates, make your costs transparent and available to view across the site, rather than hidden until the payment stage, as the perceived surprise will have many clicking off, rather than checking out. The time in which products may take to arrive can also be an off-putting factor, so ensure your estimates are as prompt as possible, and that a selection of delivery services is available for those who wish to receive their items quicker.

5. Wait, come back!

Cart abandonment is common among online shoppers, even as we reach the final steps towards purchase. If this is happening regularly on your site, you need to identify why buyers are turning away at the last moment – after all, they like your products enough to select them, so why aren’t they financially committing?

As we grow savvier online, many visitors will be comparing products with rival brands even up until the last moments of checkout, so ensure that your prices match favourably, and that you offer deal sweeteners and differentiators, such as free shipping, discounts, gifts or loyalty schemes. It’s also important to review your checkout process and site functionality – is the registration process too complex, is your site too slow or are you using unwelcome data capture methods? Offering a quicker process using ‘guest checkouts’, or automatically following up by reminder email to those who have abandoned their carts can also yield strong results.

Improve conversions with NetSuite

The CommerceSuite system from NetSuite provides the following key tools for increasing customer engagement and conversions when managing your eCommerce platform:

  • Show real-time inventory data upon your site
  • Promote engagement with social media sharing functions
  • Cultivate brand trust with ratings and reviews
  • Connect your product catalogues directly to customers’ e-procurement system
  • Provide B2B payment methods such as invoice billing, credit limits and ACH processing
  • Devise and implement a solid B2B mobile strategy
  • Password protect selected content such as price lists or catalogues
  • Offer real time self-service customer help and processing centre

The only way is up for eCommerce conversions

BlueBridge One are experts in utilising NetSuite to maximise the potential of your eCommerce store. Implementing leading business management software will help you to stay in control and increase the revenue you generate online, a key metric for today’s wholesale distribution businesses. To find out how BlueBridge One can guide you through the use of NetSuite to reach your operational goals talk to us today.

Do you need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our consultants today and we’ll be happy to help.

Talk to us ›

3 Ways to make the customer the heart of your multi-channel business

9th February 2017

2017 looks set to be the year when wholesale distribution businesses will have to work harder than ever to retain existing clients and win new custom. This is due to disruptive competitors emerging into the marketplace, customer expectations being raised by revolutionary new formats for shopping and delivery, and political and economic uncertainty affecting consumer confidence. With so much choice, and the ability to shop around the clock from any device, attracting and holding on to increasingly unpredictable customers is an uphill struggle.

As such, wholesale distributors are moving their focus away from product, and onto customer service, exceeding shopping and order fulfilment standards in order to differentiate their offering. To help you achieve this, BlueBridge One has compiled the following 3 ways for you to put the customer at the heart of your multi-channel operation.

1. Make delivery a critical metric

Today’s digitally savvy spenders are constantly connected, and the immediacy of our online world has led to a perceived need for urgency in all things. Delivery of goods is no exception – we now want to shop where and went we want, and we want the process of browsing to ownership to take as little time as possible. To fulfil this expectation, retailers and wholesale distributors are reviewing their delivery capabilities, offering next day, same day, or even within the hour drop offs. Improving workflow and inventory management efficiencies will also upgrade the standard and pace of order fulfilment before dispatch.

2. Create a cohesive customer experience

For multi-channel distributors, it is vital that the customer journey is cohesive across a number of different outlets and platforms. Whether visiting you in-store, buying online, or connecting with your brand via social media, selling through a variety of mediums means that your brand messages and levels of service need to be consistent wherever a buyer interacts with you. The best multi-channel distributors have one customer record no matter what touch point the customer uses (talk to us for more information on this).

3. Make mobile a priority

Mobile search queries now overtake those undertaken at a desktop, and according to a prediction by Gartner, by 2018, 5% of customer service enquiries will be initiated using a smart device. Customer service departments need to be operating from mobile-friendly inbound channels, offering digital services such as live chat, to meet the demand for advice and guidance from the palm of our hands.

Ultimately, wholesale distributors need to invest time and money into understanding the changing requirements of their target market, and invest in an improved level of order fulfilment and customer care - or face being left behind in favour of a competitor who can better meet these expectations and provide greater levels of customer satisfaction.

Make customer satisfaction your priority in 2017 with BlueBridge One

Knowing that your end-to-end business processes are operating as efficiently as they can be, and that your systems and processes are up to date will allow your wholesale distribution business to meet and exceed customer expectations. Implementing leading business management software will help you to stay in control and maximise your potential – to find out how BlueBridge One can guide you through the use of NetSuite to reach your business goals, talk to us.

Do you need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our consultants today and we’ll be happy to help.

Talk to us ›

The outlook for Wholesale Distribution in 2017

6th February 2017

Wholesale Distribution is changing. In 2017, disruptors to the marketplace, emerging technology and rapidly changing customer expectations will continue to shake up the way that we do business – but is your wholesale distribution company built on solid enough foundations to withstand the movement?

In the months ahead, wholesale distributors will have to be flexible and well prepared, which is why BlueBridge One has compiled an extensive guide on the trends we predict will have the biggest impact this year. In ‘The outlook for wholesale distribution 2017’, we outline the challenges that your organisation may face, along with practical and actionable steps for not only surviving, but thriving during uncertain times.

The white paper examines:

  • The impact Brexit is likely to have on wholesale distribution
  • Why delivery speed is becoming a critical metric
  • A new competitive landscape, including Amazon Go
  • How to place the customer at the heart of your enterprise
  • Understanding AI and future tech, and its place in wholesale distribution

Although unpredictable economies and the rise of new competitors can make the threats seem bigger than the rewards for 2017, downloading our white paper will equip you with the realistic and workable strategies you need to keep your wholesale distribution business operating at optimum performance, whatever the next twelve months throws at you.

BlueBridge One can keep your wholesale distribution business on track in 2017

Despite Brexit uncertainty, knowing that your end-to-end business processes are operating as efficiently as they can be, and that your systems and processes are up to date will allow your wholesale distribution business to forge ahead in 2017. Implementing leading business management software will help you to stay in control and maximise your potential, regardless of the political landscape. To find out how BlueBridge One can guide you through the use of NetSuite to reach your business goals, talk to us today.

What are the trends for the wholesale distribution industry?

Download our white paper now for predictions and advice for 2017.

Download now ›

The multi-channel resolution: become even more connected in 2017

11th January 2017

As your wholesale distribution business looks forward to the upcoming year ahead, you may have your sights on a more multi-channel approach to selling. In response to the ever-changing ways that customers are consuming information from brands, and the digital demand for buying online, distributors need to be more switched on than ever before. In 2017, you’ll need to keep up with a shopping culture that never sleeps, and ensure that your products are available around the clock, across a range of devices, and that your business is providing engaging content on a multitude of platforms.

Sound like a daunting prospect? Our white paper will help you to scale your operations, explore new territories and sell from different outlets. ‘From wholesale distributor to multi-channel: Lessons to learn on the journey to growth’ gives expert advice on how to avoid the problems you may encounter as you expand your enterprise.

As well as outlining the potential issues that may arise, the guide follows a fictional company that is looking to make the same changes as your own business. Our easy to understand account of how Soap for Sale moved from pure play distributor to multi-channel retailer will help you to realize your own potential in the next twelve months.

The white paper will offer you guidance on:

  • Growing your B2B wholesale service and online portal
  • Developing own brand products and launching an e-commerce store
  • Selling via third party marketplaces
  • Expanding warehouse space and serving new territories
  • Selling via concession outlets and your own store premises
  • Upgrading out of date technology and replacing manual processes
  • Improving order fulfilment and stock management
  • Providing a cohesive customer experience across multiple channels

If you’re ready to make the transition from B2B wholesaler to B2C retailer, kick start your new year by reading our white paper, and explore all the additional ways your business could be running more smoothly in 2017.

Make going multi-channel your New Year’s Resolution with BlueBridge One

If you’re ready to develop your multi-channel strategy, we can help. Visit BlueBridge One online to see how business management software can help you to scale your processes, manage your back office activities, integrate systems and improve working efficiencies for an even greater year of trading.

Do you need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our consultants today and we’ll be happy to help.

Talk to us ›

Speed shopping: The wholesale distributors’ guide to competing with Amazon Go

9th January 2017

Today, wholesale distributors are having to get to grips with an increased pace of trading, with next day shopping services such as Amazon Prime, and the ever growing array of same day or within the hour delivery and package tracking options ensuring that customers are receiving their goods faster than ever – and going elsewhere if expectations can’t be met. Providing a digital solution for browsing and ordering products to arrive as soon as possible is now essential for keeping up with speed-savvy consumers, who want the quickest possible turnaround from tapping the keys of their mobile device, to holding the item within their hands.

But with the introduction of Amazon Go, a physical shopping experience that literally requires zero queuing or checkout time, the retail giant is dramatically increasing the pressure on multi-channel distributors to provide a faster browsing-to-owning process than ever before.

Walk in and Go

Available to the public in 2017, Amazon Go stores will allow the customer to simply walk in to a bricks and mortar environment, select the staple food items they wish to purchase, and walk away without checking out – this is made possible through the use of highly advanced tracking sensors that identify which items a shopper has selected, to be automatically charged to the individual’s Amazon Prime account. It’s the ultimate use of technology for consumer convenience, and could revolutionise the way we are served (or not served) in-stores, or view our shopping trips altogether.

In order to compete with the immediacy of this innovation, multi-channel distributors will need to fulfil orders even more quickly in 2017, without a loss in accuracy or efficiency. For some, this will involve recognising that their digital enablement capabilities are lacking. This may involve launching a B2C ecommerce site, as well as a feature-rich site for B2B buyers, or re-evaluating the end-to-end processes and business systems that may be holding them back from operating at their most efficient levels.

A faster way of fulfilling orders

Assuming that a wholesale distributor is up to speed with its stock management, order fulfilment and back-end processes using the right ERP solution, they can look at raising their game at what is increasingly becoming the critical metric – delivery. The expectation of prompt receipt of goods will necessitate a review of traditional logistics; while the prevailing delivery method of the past two decades has been the hub and spoke approach of courier delivery services, distribution is now embracing emerging systems and technology such as click and collect, robotic stock picking, and even drones, in order to satisfy today’s highly connected and busy consumer.

Compete, or become obsolete

While the impact of Amazon and its digital commerce revolution is undeniably disrupting the wholesale distribution industry, there are ways to compete, and in doing so, improve the way that your multi-channel operation does business. By selling your products across a variety of channels, better managing the way you control inventory and deliver orders, and upgrading your technological systems to improve end-to-end working efficiencies, you’ll be able to cater to an increasingly immediate shopping culture. One where the future may involve walking away without paying at a till point.

BlueBridge One can help you to improve your distribution strategy for 2017.

If you’re ready to develop or improve your multi-channel strategy, and provide a faster fulfilment service than ever before, we can help. Visit BlueBridge One online to see how ERP business management software can help you to scale your processes, manage your back office activities, integrate systems and improve working efficiencies.

Do you need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our consultants today and we’ll be happy to help.

Talk to us ›