How Wholesalers and Distributors must Compete against Amazon

Feb. 26, 2013
A new whitepaper claims the personal touch and a focus on core material handling and logistics strengths are powerful strategies.

The launch of to serve the B-to-B ecommerce niche is seen by many independent wholesale distributors as a major threat. However, according to Brian Strojny, CEO and co-Founder of Insite Software, wholesalers and distributors have strengths this new entity doesn’t, and they should be developed.

In his new whitepaper, “ Can Today’s Distributors Compete?,” Strojny answers in the affirmative, offering several strategies. One of the chief advantages established wholesalers and distributors have is the ability to let customers select specific shipping carriers to ensure the best rates, consolidate orders to reduce shipping costs, and invoice for orders in the customer’s preferred format, the author maintains. They should also leverage their experience with coordinating less-than-truckload  and full truckload shipments—something Strojny says is foreign territory for

“A positive personal relationship with an organization will increase the switching costs associated with moving to any new supplier— or otherwise,” he writes.

He adds that wholesale distributors’ comprehensive knowledge of the products they sell, how they are used and how to troubleshoot them, put them a step ahead of amazon.

Where material handling and logistics are concerned, Strojny recommends overhauling fulfillment and shipping processes to improve speed and efficiency.

“Examine your order fulfillment process from start to finish and fix any issues you discover along the way,” he advises. “Integrate your commerce platform with your enterprise resource planning and shipping systems to improve speed-of-service and eliminate errors. If there is a way to make your fulfillment process faster and more effective, now is the time to make those changes.”

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