August 28 2020

'FIVE FACTORS' - 5 ways Covid-19 has altered the way distributors work

Direct-to-consumer supply

As wholesalers have seen their usual customers close and therefore their routine deliveries halt, they have had to switch their supply routes direct to communities in rural areas, and straight to consumers based on daily orders/van sales-type stops. This is to prevent stock stagnation which as been a major concern throughout the Industry, resulting in massively increased wastage and major losses.

Van Sales

Another by-product of routine stops and regular orders being stopped, van sales for distributors have become a necessity. Any irregular methods of keeping the supply of goods flowing mean improvised orders each day and stops to new customers have risen.

Increased e-commerce

Thanks to improved communication methods through novel technologies have allowed increased e-commerce marketing and sales to take place relatively smoothly for wholesale and distributors who have relied on more traditional sales methods for decades. This has been a major transition for these industries as a whole, and will likely form future order management systems in the long-term.

Optimise route utility

With staff shortages and fluctuating numbers of deliveries, newer systems use technology and data to work out the most efficient usage of routes, drivers and orders. Again, this has been a massive evolution and will no doubt continue to be used long after lockdown and COVID-19 disruptions cease to effect the supply chain.

A focus on stock management

With stock stagnation causing issues for distribution businesses, many have adopted stock management systems to curve losses wherever possible. Some are unavoidable and every distributor has had to deal with this issue in some degree, but digital stock managers have helped optimise re-order levels and combat at least some of the losses by helping organise and plan for fluctuating stock levels.
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