Age of Amazons
How to thrive in the new
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With advancing technology, shifting demographics, tight margins, and a tough
economy, it’s not news that wholesale distributors operate in an era of constant,
But this time, change itself is moving faster. Pushing deeper. Opening up
opportunities and introducing threats that would have been unimaginable in the
early years of this decade.
Gone are the days when deals were built on decades-long relationships,
customers stayed loyal to their established supply lines, and “just in time” delivery
still gave you a few days to move a standardized product from order form, to
warehouse, and to final destination.
Today’s distribution business demands drastic customization, mobile access, and
overnight or faster delivery (with distribution drones coming soon to a regional
supply center near you).
And it isn’t just about AmazonSupply® or Alibaba®. More than ever, distributors face
challenges from new entrants to the field, and from customary competitors who’ve
already made the transition to business strategies that are leaner, more mobile,
more social, and driven by up-to-the-instant business intelligence.
The Age of
Amazons is upon
us, and it heralds
rethinking of the
Age of Amazons
It’s happening today. It’s all around you. Understanding the Age of Amazons is
the first essential step in preparing for it. And ERP software should be one of the
cornerstones of your effort to do something about it.
We’ll discuss five proven tools to help you survive and thrive in the Age of
Amazons. Sometimes, you’ll want to stand your ground. Sometimes, it makes most
sense to use your adversary’s strength to reinforce your own. Either way, it takes
agility, precision, speed, insight, and ingenuity to win in today’s hyper-competitive
insight to thrive in
Evolve with the market; respond to shifting customer
expectations, and embrace new technologies
The rate of change keeps speeding up, with e-commerce, social networks, mobile
devices, and the Internet of Things transforming the buying process. Distributors
that can evolve along with the technology will protect their business, gain market
share, and find it easier to engage with the buyer of the future. In today’s business
world, the prize goes to the most agile. To win that prize, you need to:
• Align with customers and employees who expect the same functionality
from your distribution ERP system that they get in their personal devices.
• Recognize that you must have a social business strategy
built on an IT platform that delivers on the potential of social networks.
• Tap the Internet of Things to share data and deploy business intelligence in
real time, for real results.
• What you can do to bridge the
• Why it’s time to get serious about
• What the Internet of Things
Make recommendations that
anticipate your customers’ most
Your competitive advantage is to embody the value
of deep customization. That means using CRM
tools, recommended selling, in-context business
intelligence, intuitive product recommendations, and
customer loyalty programs to deliver more value than
customers can get from a quick, generic transaction.
To succeed in the Age of Amazons, you need to
• Build a brand reputation for getting the job done
by tailoring your products and every aspect of
the sales process to meet your customers’
• Develop an unerring ability to understand your
customers and anticipate their needs.
• Build a new level of business intimacy with
your customers by positioning yourself as a
With e-commerce giants like Amazon
Supply and Alibaba transforming the
market, today’s customers expect
speed, quality, and low prices. In a
hyper-competitive, global industry,
you need any advantage that will help
you attract business, boost efficiency,
and meet unprecedented customer
One way to build that advantage is
through a seamless, omni-channel
approach to sales, distribution, and
fulfillment. It’s all about convenience.
Using modern technology to deliver
what your customers need, when
they need it, and with their preferred
method of payment is one way to
ensure they will keep coming back.
Dramatically improve your:
speed of delivery demand planning stock replenishment price competitiveness
Do you know:
• How to thrive in a hyper-
• What Alibaba’s rise means
for your company?
• The 7 steps to recovering
from a disaster?
Speed depends on deploying real-time data to answer queries and process
orders quickly. To accomplish this, you need:
You need an order processing system that can handle large volumes of data and
information from multiple sources.
A network of physical and online showrooms can build enduring customer
relationships by getting inventory where it needs to go, as quickly as possible,
using the most suitable distribution channel.
Create a self-service model that allows customers to choose their own adventure
through your product catalog
Consistent, speedy delivery also depends on your ability to restore IT operations,
quickly and seamlessly, when systems are interrupted. A recent study showed
that the average business suffers at least one successful cyber-attack per week,
and that each successful attack takes an average of 32 days to resolve at a cost
of more than $1 million.
organize a continuous avalanche of information and
data to spot emerging opportunities and confront
Your business intelligence and performance management systems must
support on-the-spot decision making and give you the flexibility to forecast
and adjust your planning on the fly.
And that means delivering clear business insights on a variety of platforms
and combining business analytics and financial data with an up-to-date view
of any compliance risk.
Insight is about:
Find out how
• Extending your vision and getting
a finely-tuned perspective on your
customers’ needs and wants
• gathering data in real time, then
putting it in a context to help you
spot emerging opportunities and
confront unexpected challenges
Integrate software tools and
front-line operations to make your
business indispensible to your most
In the Age of Amazons, you need a savvy business strategy to take
on competitors. You need tools that make it easier to explore new
markets, expand and deepen existing relationships, deliver ever-
greater value, and make your business an indispensible partner for
your most important customers.
Ingenuity is about committing to continuous innovation. With business
imperatives becoming more difficult to predict, you need an open-
architecture ERP system that can seamlessly integrate new modules
and components. This will help you respond to whatever challenges
and opportunities the future holds.
Integrated supply and effective
store room management can help
you cut costs, streamline delivery,
and maximize visibility across your
supply chain, while turning the
ingenuity of your workforce into a
powerful competitive advantage.
• What keeps Turtle & Hughes
• What manufacturers are still
Putting it all
To compete, established
Agility: evolve with the market
Precision: anticipate your customers’
needs and wants
Speed: process orders and queries quickly
Insight: spot emerging opportunities and
confront unexpected challenges
Ingenuity: make your business indispensible to
your most valuable customers
As you set out to compete in
the Age of Amazons, make
sure you have a reliable
technology partner with a
deep understanding of the
distribution business, which
will help you stay ahead of
contact us today
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mid-size companies improve operations and drive growth across numerous industry sectors. To learn more about Infor,
please visit www.infor.com.
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