The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world economy, with the global industrial lifting equipment industry being one of the worst hit markets. However, although slow, the industry is finally showing signs of recovery.
In 2019, the global industrial lifting equipment market was worth $ 55,390 million. At a CAGR of 2.6% from 2021 to 2026, it is likely to reach $ 66,240 million by the end of 2026.
In turbulent times like these, perhaps the biggest challenge you will face as an industrial hardware supplier is maintaining a robust distribution network. Although the pandemic hit a deadly blow to supply chains worldwide, suppliers with a strong distribution network managed to weather the storm.
And with the worst likely behind us, it’s time to focus on reinforcing your supply network. It’s the only way to deliver your orders on time, keep your customers from leaving, and even generate new leads.
To help you make an informed decision, let’s check out a few benefits of a strong distribution network.
- Reduced Distribution Costs and Increased Profits
An efficient supply network, as well as features like loading docks at each point along the way, facilitates quick and uninterrupted movement of goods between the distribution centers and your consumers. It is perhaps the biggest benefit of investing in an automated and flexible supply chain.
Shipping heavy lifting equipment like wire ropes requires special packaging, transport, and permits. In the end, it all boils down to how much time, money, and human resources you can invest aka distribution costs. The larger your supply network is, the higher your distribution costs will be.
Unfortunately, this also makes you vulnerable to unpredictable delays, resulting in losses. But with a highly efficient distribution network, you can avoid unplanned delays, curb losses, and bring distribution costs down. And these reduced distribution costs will make you a highly profitable industrial hardware distributor.
- Rapid Expansion of Your Business
It’s a competitive industry where every industrial hardware wholesaler fights tooth and nail to tap into a new market. You also need to invest time, money, and human resources in identifying new business opportunities.
How else will your business thrive?
That said, if you are busy dousing supply chain fires every day, where will you get the time to find and capture new markets.
But if you have a time-tested distribution network, you can focus on expanding your business.
You can enter new markets with confidence, take up new customer service initiatives, and develop your industrial hardware supplier business resourcefully.
- Effective Order and Inventory Management
Even in the lifting hardware industry, last-minute bulk orders and unpredictable fluctuations in order volumes are more common than you think. Many projects often pick up momentum, asking you to fulfill orders in shorter delivery windows.
As an industrial hardware supplier, you’ve to make sure your network has the flexibility to accommodate unpredictable fulfillment windows. That’s where a strong distribution network comes in. With your marketing, sales, and supply channels in sync, you wouldn’t have to worry about out-of-stock inventory.
With automated communication and process, you’ll be able to manage orders of all sizes and delivery timeframes without a hiccup. It not only increases your profit margins but also helps build a recurring revenue stream.
- Optimum Use of Resources
Another undeniable benefit of a strong distribution network is resource optimization. With real-time shipment tracking, communication, and automation, all moving parts in your supply chain can communicate with each other flawlessly. This might be the reason why big companies tend to take the services of Material Handling Solutions that can help in their distribution fulfillment and warehousing function in an organized way that is automated and with less human interference.
Plus, minimal human intervention reduces chances of errors or delays in order placement, delivery, returns, and payment. In other words, as an industrial hardware wholesaler, you can make optimal use of all your resources. A strong distribution network removes friction and lends exceptional flexibility to your supply chain.
In addition to this, digitalization allows you to monitor and improve your supply network 24/7. You can reallocate your resources depending on the order volumes, seasonal market fluctuations, and new business opportunities.
- Ensure Highest Customer Satisfaction
Whether you are an industrial hardware distributor or an ecommerce store, your end goal is to keep your customer happy. A strong distribution network makes it easier to offer the highest customer satisfaction.
- It comprises streamlined communication, allowing all the parties, including your customers, to communicate effortlessly.
- It ensures flawless delivery and returns with a well-timed feedback system.
- It provides quick and accurate documentation/approval, an inevitable part of this industry.
- As an industrial hardware supplier, you can use your distribution network to upsell and cross-sell.
- An efficient network also comes with a timely and comprehensive reporting system. It allows everyone, including your customers, to set business goals, share forecasts, and strategize.
Given these benefits, you can see that a well-established distribution network can help you foster long-term relations with your customers. That, in turn, can result in mutual growth.
An efficient supply chain network is at the heart of running a successful business in today’s fast-paced globalized market. As an industrial hardware distributor, you must realize the importance of a robust supply network and get yours streamlined as soon as possible. It will help you expand your business, increase your profits, optimize your resources, and retain customers.
Is your distribution network living up to your expectations? Tell us in the comments.
Author Bio: I am Randy Gonzales. I am the President of Elite Sales Inc, a rigging equipment and wire rope distribution company based in Miami, Tampa, Houston, and Dyer. I have more than 30 years of experience in the distribution and supply of industrial hardware industry.