Companies engaged in the wholesale distribution of cannabis continue to integrate leading-edge technologies into their workflows. By mid-2019 most of these companies have adopted ERP’s and CRM’s – and many more continue this trend by adding other modern technologies like shipping and inventory management applications that let them manage their customer data better and gain valuable insights into their business. The final result of this is a better customer experience all around.
In a recent report from a global consulting leader, Clarkston Consulting, 2019 will be a year in which cannabis manufacturers and distributors will continue to incorporate wholesale ordering software (more commonly known as B2B eCommerce) into their technology stacks and round out their full suite of business technology. This movement towards improving wholesale ordering processes is, in fact, one of the first mentions on Clarkson’s list of Wholesale Distribution Trends.
how is Wholesale Ordering Software important?
All B2B technology is meant to achieve at the bare minimum, one of these two things: it either cuts costs, or it increases sales. Every piece of software a company purchases must stand up to this test to be a warranted investment.
Wholesale cannabis ordering software reduces costs by removing unnecessary manual steps in your system for obtaining customer orders. Consider the number of hours your staff will get back once they are free from the phone calls, emails, texts and data entry tasks that occur while B2B customers are trying to order.
how does wholesale ordering software INCREASE SALES?
Wholesale cannabis ordering software increases sales by making it more straightforward and more accessible for buyers to place orders from your company.
An image-rich digital catalog, clean ordering interface that’s available on desktop and mobile devices, which gives buyers quick access to all your products, will result in larger orders coming in more frequently.
Your B2B cannabis sales reps will also be able to sell more product in a faster time frame since access to critical information will increase through the use of wholesale ordering software.
Caryn Hecht from Clarkston Consulting says, “The e-commerce sales capability can be made vastly better with order history, order status, purchase order, and invoice visibility.”
Wholesale cannabis ordering software is becoming an integral part of your 2019 tech stack. Thanks to the expertise and specialization of B2B eCommerce advisors like Treetop—wholesale ordering software is even more accessible to cannabis companies of all sizes than its ever been. The reason this type of software is more affordable is that the upfront and maintenance costs of building a custom solution no longer exist in the overall equation.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that even though commercial cannabis ordering software can cut costs and improve revenues, the software still needs to co-exist and integrate with your existing systems.
how does wholesale ordering software integrate into your current tech stack?
One of the primary reasons that we see wholesale ordering software incorporated by cannabis manufacturers and distributors is because it can seamlessly integrate with your current B2B systems. Those systems may include ERP, CRM, inventory management, and shipping management systems.
Even though there are undoubtedly other crucial connections that need to be set up, for now, we will focus on how wholesale cannabis ordering software will add value to the four technologies just mentioned.
- ERP DATA FLOWS
Whenever you are adding new technology to your tech stack, one of your main concerns should be how easily the addition can integrate with your existing ERP. Wholesale cannabis ordering software is undoubtedly no different in this regard.
Most of the leading wholesale ordering systems easily integrate with today’s most popular ERP’s.
Wholesale ordering applications improve the customers’ access to vital info you want your purchasers to see, like products and pricing, while automating the ERP order entry process to save you time and resources.
Product information stored in the ERP can be streamed directly into the backend of your wholesale ordering software and forwarded to your customers through a simple interface.
Customer information is kept in either location, and orders placed by purchasers and sales representatives and flow directly from your wholesale ordering site or smartphone app straight to the enterprise resource planning software.
Any other custom information from your enterprise resource planning software that you’d like to display to your buyers is allowed through customizations provided by the software integration team.
- CRM INTERACTION
CRM systems, like Salesforce, are essential to wholesale distribution sales teams. The ability to access vital customer information, such as notes from previous sales visits, can be beneficial as sales agents prepare for upselling and other value-added openings.
This CRM’s function is improved when all this info is displayed through wholesale ordering software on a mobile device, allowing purchasers and sales reps to see pertinent information as decisions are happening.
It’s essential to be able to differentiate between what both buyers and sales rep see when they login to your wholesale ordering application, so make sure the product you choose can handle this type of workflow.
The best kinds of wholesale ordering software are even available offline so that orders and updates can occur even when WiFi is inaccessible. When purchasers and sales reps regain internet access, all orders and updated information syncs up to your CRM.
In this regard, wholesale ordering software optimizes your other business systems by enabling offline access to specific information vital to customers placing orders successfully.
- REAL-TIME INVENTORY VISIBILITY
Crucial to B2B eCommerce is the power to control backorders through a proper inventory management system.. Making inventory levels accessible to sales reps during sales visits and managing purchasers’ capability to order products that are on backorder is achieved through tight integration between wholesale ordering software and these systems.
Again, it’s essential to monitor what your customers and sales representatives see when they access this feature. While on the sales agents’ end, you may want them to see precisely how many units of each item are in store, you may want to let purchasers only see whether a piece is in inventory or not.
By empowering backorder controls, you may choose to allow consumers to purchase goods from you to be sent at a separate date when they’re accessible again.
All of these elements and more are in your control when wholesale ordering software and inventory management systems occur in tandem.
- SHIPPING ENHANCEMENTS
The customer experience is not complete until consumers receive your goods. The faster this procedure is, the happier your patrons will ultimately are.
A significant piece of the puzzle occurs through faster order processing times that result from an eCommerce integration to your ERP. To shave the most time out of this process, however, wholesalers are also syncing up their shipping management systems, like ShipStation, to their wholesale ordering software.
Wholesale ordering software works hand-in-hand with this technology to print shipping labels and fulfill orders as fast as possible. Immediately after wholesale orders are placed and approved, the shipping and tracking information your buyers need can be directly made accessible to them.
As a result of this harmonization, shipments happen on the same day that orders come in, which provides improved fulfillment speeds.
Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Business
In 2019, cannabis manufacturers and cannabis distributors will continue to embrace wholesale ordering software to increase revenues, cut costs, and get more value out of the systems they have invested their money into.
As you finalize your wholesale business’ budget for 2019, consider the benefits of adding wholesale ordering software to your B2B tech mix—especially if your customer ordering and sales process could use a boost.
Realize the full potential of your wholesale distribution business by having a chat with one of the wholesale ordering software experts at Treetop. We would love to help you and your company capitalize on this significant trend.