Transformation in the wholesale distribution industry
Wholesale distributors are under intense pressure to adapt to a fast-changing industry. They’re turning to new technologies to transform, protect profit margins – and remain competitive.
B2B e-commerce and marketplaces intensify competition
Due to disintermediation and retail giants like Amazon entering the B2B market, distributors are being pushed to find new revenue sources in value-added services – such as product consulting and kitting.
Personalised B2B customer experiences
B2B customers are demanding a modern, personalised e-commerce experience that includes a wider range of products and services. They have also come to expect shorter delivery times and more delivery options.
Collaborative wholesale distribution networks
To differentiate, top distributors are acting as trusted partners to their customers – collaborating closely with them and wider networks to deliver all the products and services needed for every phase of a project.
Resilient and sustainable supply chain
Complex distribution businesses need more than supply chain visibility. They need flexibility too. New AI-powered tools are being used to quickly mitigate risk and disruption – and even keep sustainability goals on track.
Featured wholesale distribution solutions
SAP S/4HANA Cloud
Achieve operational excellence in core financial and engagement management practices and across your business as a whole.
SAP Commerce Cloud
Engage and transact with your customers anywhere, at any time, and on any device with the built-in omnichannel versatility offered by our B2B and B2C commerce software.
See how customers are succeeding with wholesale distribution solutions from SAP
Learn how agricultural supply cooperative Growmark runs efficient HR processes to attract and nurture its talent.
Read how furniture e-commerce brand Zinus unified planning processes to support automated forecasts and real-time simulations.
Explore how electronics distributor Powell Electronics provided a better e-commerce experience for customers and suppliers.
See how electronic component distributor Arrow Electronics is creating a unified customer experience with context-driven services.
Explore how we can help your wholesale distribution business run better
Companies face volatile customer demand and heightened expectations for responsiveness, while supply chains grow more complex and extend across the globe. Innovative technologies can provide vital business information across the network, improving real-time data analysis and enabling better collaboration across departments and companies.
>50% faster order processing.
SAP S/4HANA helped us stop driving in reverse. We can now look forward, plan, and execute on the plan.
Scott Knote, CIO, Powell Electronics Inc.
Today’s procurement professionals are bombarded with increasingly complex challenges. They need to manage global supply risk and protect profitability – despite volatile pricing in many supply markets – and contribute new innovations to the business. These are just a few examples of the imperatives they face.
>20,000 fewer operational working hours thanks to automation.
Source: The Central America Bottling Corporation
Our teams have the transparency they need to create better relationships with our suppliers. New insights from SAP Ariba solutions enable us to make the right procurement decisions.
Fernando Molina, Procurement Center of Excellence Manager, The Central America Bottling Corporation
By gaining the visibility needed to make efficient logistics and order fulfilment decisions, you can optimise freight, shipping, and warehouse operations. You can improve speed, efficiency, and sustainability by aligning distribution and fulfilment processes and collaborating with logistics participants using SAP solutions.
50% less time from order creation to invoice.
Source: Schukat electronic Vertriebs GmbH
SAP Extended Warehouse Management gives us total process transparency and flexibility to keep pace with market changes and continue innovating to deliver the high-quality products and services our customers expect.
Thomas Reichmann, Project Lead for Logistics, Schukat electronic Vertriebs GmbH
Throughout the buying journey, you can engage with customers in more meaningful ways. With an automated, mobile-enabled, and cloud-based sales and customer relationship management solution, you can give sales teams the insights needed to accelerate productivity and sales performance and make quick, informed business decisions in the moment.
20% forecasted sales growth through targeted promotion.
If we could put the sales ordering process in the hands of the pharmacists themselves, with online commerce integrated with digitalised processes, we knew that we could cut error rates and enhance customer satisfaction.
Dr. Mohab Gazzarine, Chairman of the Board, PharmaOverseas
An omnichannel experience that exceeds customer expectations builds customer loyalty. Our wholesale distribution software helps you connect service teams with the right expertise and tools at the right time. You can also provide value-added services and empower field technicians and call centre agents to increase productivity and responsiveness.
20,000 quotes issued every month using a customer quote generator application.
Source: Van Marcke BV
We are providing a growing portfolio of digital services to our customers that showcases our total solution expertise and extends our SAP application functionality without disrupting the current workflows for our business users.
Stijn Hoegaerts, CIO, Van Marcke NV
Get started with SAP's cloud solutions for wholesale distribution
SAP can help you start or enhance your wholesale distribution digital transformation – no matter where you are in your journey. If you have yet to move to cloud ERP, you can get started with the RISE with SAP solution. If you already have cloud ERP – from SAP or any other vendor – you can enhance your wholesale distribution capabilities with our industry cloud solutions.
RISE with SAP
RISE with SAP provides customers with complete business transformation as a service (BTaaS) in a single package. At its core is SAP S/4HANA Cloud, business process intelligence, technology credits, and more. RISE with SAP also includes solutions for:
Industry cloud solutions
Built by SAP and our partners on an open platform, SAP’s industry cloud solutions address specific industry needs for the wholesale distribution sector. Designed to work with your existing SAP and third-party systems, these specialised cloud applications can help you drive cost-effective transformation and sustainable growth.
Featured cloud solutions for wholesale distribution
SAP Data Maintenance for SAP ERP by Vistex
Simplify maintenance of product, pricing, and vendor master data with software workbench tools. Nontechnical business users can use these tools to maintain master data within SAP ERP – with no need to rely on IT experts.
OMS+ Cross-channel Order Management Solution
Reimagine the user interface to reflect real-life customer engagements and provide a platform for making SAP ERP the foundation of a truly unified commerce strategy.
Zilliant Price IQ
Account for multiple factors that influence price, measure price elasticity, and rationally align prices in accordance with business rules to produce optimised price guidance for each unique selling circumstance.
Explore your wholesale distribution resource centre
Discover how our innovations help transform the wholesale distribution sector.
Support sustainable and profitable businesses that deliver products, solutions, and services – anyplace, anywhere, and anytime.
Reset and recalibrate for a constantly changing market by staying on top of wholesale distribution industry trends for 2023.
Explore progress the industry has made in e-commerce investments and what distributors are doing to boost online brand awareness.