Q&A: How SMBs Can Keep Pace with Big Distributors

In order to offer the customer experience of an Amazon or a Grainger, small distributors address it the best way they know how – with people. But this might not make financial sense.

For many distributors in today’s chaotic business environment, trade-offs abound: in order to keep their customers happy, they must add to their bench of customer service personnel – a practical challenge in today’s tight labor market. Not to mention, this often comes with an increased cost of service, an added stress when operating margins are tight.

Unfortunately, many small and mid sized distributors often feel their hands are tied… and in order to keep pace with the customer experience being offered by big names like Amazon and Grainger, they address it the best way they know how – with people.

But industry experts are increasingly stressing the benefits that come along with digitizing certain tasks, most notably those that add lots of cost - but little value - to the overall process.

Instead, the latest digital tools can enable distributors to automate these tasks, resulting in some net gains.

So, instead of spending money on non-revenue generating activities, how can companies build them into their digital processes and actually enhance customer satisfaction simultaneously?

Joining us is Frank Heenan, Group Vice President – Americas for Epicor Software. Frank has spent years working with distribution companies as they work to transform their business to become leading edge providers in the markets they serve. Today we’ll be discussing how distributors of any size can have it all: by freeing up resources, saving money and offering better user experience all at the same time.

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