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The changing face of wholesale

As an intermediary between manufacturers and business customers, wholesale makes up the backbone of the economy. Wholesale traditionally makes up the bulk of all trade. The offers range from beverages to hammer drills, from spaghetti tops to capacitors. Hardly any other industry is so diverse. However, competition is more intense than ever before: In the fashion sector, manufacturers are increasingly turning to online marketplaces - or selling directly to end customers via their own online shops. Conversely, online marketplaces are increasingly targeting corporate customers. At the same time, the internet is reducing customer loyalty. It has never been so easy to compare prices and delivery terms. These are good reasons to take going digital seriously.

Figuring out which strategy is the right one depends on many factors. For example, on the target group or on how much of the road to digital has already been covered. Many wholesalers have been active in the market for decades. They know the needs of their customers and over the years have achieved a high degree of recognition and a comfortable market position. This can be expanded on in the process of going digital.

Online shop
Wholesale - Selling products via online shops

A question of the overall concept

In most trading segments margins are fairly slim - volume is the name of the game. Wholesale is therefore dependent on efficient, cost-effective business processes. As a result, most workflows are already supported on the software side - such as finance, customer relations, logistics and strategic management. But software alone is not enough. The individual solutions should be perfectly matched to each other. This is the only way to avoid media discontinuities, process gaps and manual intervention. In order to reduce the process costs in e-commerce, orders must be billed automatically and picked and dispatched in just a few steps. The prerequisite for this is that the web shop, ERP software, high rack storage, hand scanners and the shipping systems of the transport service providers are seamlessly networked in a common process. Due to the large number of individual processes, additional solutions for document management and business intelligence are particularly useful in wholesale. It is good to have a partner that can manage the systems and technologies along the trade chain.

Exchanging order data with EDI

Wholesale in Microsoft Dynamics NAV
Screenshot - Import mappings in Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Many industrial companies send electronic dispatch notices, orders and invoices. This has two advantages for the wholesale trade: you are always up-to-date concerning changes in status and you can transfer electronic documents directly into the ERP system. On the other hand, many larger retail groups expect order and accounting information in electronic form. The data is transmitted via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). With the add-on module cc|edi, your company is fit for electronic data exchange.

Trader portals save time

For small and medium-sized commercial customers, however, the EDI connection requires too much effort. However, you do not have to do without electronic data exchange. Add a trader portal to Dynamics NAV. Instead of sending order confirmations, delivery notes or invoices via e-mail, your dealers can download the data themselves from the portal. You can also use the portal for support and return processing - and relieve your employees of burdensome routine tasks.

Keeping an eye on business

As a wholesaler, you should always keep an eye on the market and your customers. The information you need for this is already available: Take advantage of Dynamics NAV's extensive reporting to identify the top customers in each market segment. Monitor the success of individual articles to tailor your product range to the needs of your customers. Find out which traders are marketing new products best. For comprehensive analysis, you can extend Dynamics NAV with Microsoft Power BI and QlikView / QlikSense reporting and business intelligence systems. 

Be very customer friendly

Do you like it when the person you are talking to hides behind a laptop? In sales, mobile devices are not only very practical and efficient, they are also very customer-friendly. Provide your employees in the field with tablets and smartphones. The additional module cc|mobile solutions provides your sales staff with current sales and the complete contact history. If new orders come in, you can deliver them the same day. Your customers will be amazed.

Documents always ready

The wholesale business often has to deal with countless documents and transactions. With additional document management assistance, you can bring order to the archive and transparency into ongoing transactions. Your employees can work in a structured manner that can be understood by third parties. The add-on module cc|dms connects Dynamics NAV with the portal server Microsoft SharePoint. All documents that you save on SharePoint are also available in Dynamics NAV in context-sensitive fashion - for example in the customer's file or the article data. 

Any questions regarding this subject?

Shaping the digital transformation

The digital transformation requires us to rethink our private and professional lives. It is a question of how we use software and how our idea of the "digital" company is changing. For COSMO CONSULT the digital company is no longer just a vision of the future. Already today, our solutions can connect all areas of your company together. With our digital solutions, you can keep an eye on the entire supply chain.

New ideas for the workplace of the future

Most companies work with a variety of different systems. What is often missing, however, is uniform information management. Instead, the different solutions work side by side, without a common reference point. However, a modern work environment should actively and directly provide support for all tasks and work processes, whether in the office or on the road. With COSMO CONSULT solutions, you can create digital working environments that do the following: 

  • Provide optimal support for teamwork
  • Promote individual productivity of your employees
  • Enable comprehensive process automation and
  • Help ensure that the entire company's knowledge is available at all times. 

In this way, your employees are able to do their jobs in the best way possible.

The simplicity of digital enterprise solutions

The cloud is a simple, reliable and secure way to drive digital transformation in companies without having to think about IT infrastructure or database systems. The digital solution portfolio of COSMO CONSULT can be relocated to the Microsoft Cloud in whole or in part as needed. You decide which tasks and processes remain in the company, which areas are outsourced, and which additional services are required. You can use your resources to expand your business - and let us do the rest.

Ask our experts

COSMO CONSULT has many years of experience in taking wholesale companies digital. What we offer is based on a clear methodology, on detailed knowledge of the processes in the industry, and on outstanding know-how when it comes to products. Our experts would be pleased to advise you about the opportunities of modern software technologies. Just call us or send us an e-mail. Then we can discuss how your company can benefit from our digital solutions.

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