Digitally Connecting the Three-Tiers

April 27, 2020

Digitally Connecting the Three Tiers

The three-tier system was designed with good intentions to promote a fair market, while efficiently getting product to the end-user. As the industry becomes more competitive and evolves as consumer preferences change, it’s imperative that the three-tiers work together to further the good of the industry.

Although the fast-moving technology developed over the last 30 years has created significant efficiencies for each tier, it has also created functional gaps between suppliers, distributors, and retailers. In order for the industry to grow and thrive, a mutual understanding of a shared technological landscape must be established to drive the industry forward. The industry has unified goals, but often fractured execution.

Fortunately, communication is key and can help rectify the challenges that currently exist with tier-to-tier communication when coupled with technology. Below, you will find out what effective communication practices look like at the retailer, distributor, and supplier level.

Retailers now have access to efficient ordering tools like DSDLink. The e-commerce platform streamlines the beverage ordering process, allowing retailers to order from all of their distributors at once, anywhere, on any device via a platform that communicates directly with distributors. With the current restrictions in place, there’s no need to send sales reps to each retailer, allowing everyone to stay safe and practice social distancing while continuing to do business in a responsible way. The distributor’s route accounting software, like Encompass Technologies, funnels information relevant to pricing, promotions, popular products and more to the app, so the retailer is able to browse new products then communicate their interest and other needs.

Suppliers also have access to the aforementioned online ordering platforms, allowing them to advertise new products, communicate product information, and use data to suggest the right products to the right retailer. The platform provides suppliers with an easy way to efficiently communicate with retailers on a large scale without losing customization. Taking things a step further, supplier reps can record interactions with retailers via CRM platforms like Lilypad and Salesforce, which directly integrate with the distributor’s route accounting system. For example, if a supplier rep gets a commitment from a retailer, they’re able to document that in a way that funnels the information directly back to the distributor. Eliminating unnecessary calls and emails mitigates information loss.

Digitally connecting the three-tiers will open new doors for all parties involved. There is true power in collaboration, and we together can move the industry forward with e-commerce solutions.

We’re committed to being a reliable business partner to help our customers make it through the toughest of times. Although external circumstances have changed, our mission as a company has not. We’re here to provide innovative solutions to help your business become more efficient as we collectively solve industry problems. We hope you and your families are staying safe during these difficult times.

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