Take the First Mover Advantage

The hyper connectivity of people, processes, data and things disrupts traditional data management and analytics. Today, the data driven culture is a must for the next generation enterprise to win in the complex and heterogeneous competitive landscape. The availability of relevant Information as the key to decide on the right strategy is based on analytics of a huge amount of data from devices, sensors and processes.

Bill McDermott stated that “Every Company will become a software company” and this takes time while speed matters in the digital world where the pace of adoption has gone from 10 years to as a little as a week.

What does that mean for Wholesalers?

Adding value to their suppliers on the one hand side and to their customers on the other hand side is the only reason for existence. So wholesale industry remains vulnerable to one of its most enduring trends, the need for efficiency and effectiveness of the entire marketing channel.

About 80% of wholesale companies are small to medium-sized businesses! Cloud- first is key for their future success. With cloud small businesses have access to the latest technologies and capabilities. They can adopt cloud faster than big companies and are able to leverage latest technology to innovate their business processes and business model.

Small and Medium sized wholesalers really have the chance to take a first-mover advantage.

Many wholesalers are aware that they need to invest in latest technology and that data is not just relevant for the IT department but for all departments as parts of the end-to-end value chain, from procurement, product development, product management and marketing to sales, so that the entire workforce can explore, evaluate and take action.

While in the past the wholesalers’ business has been mainly driven by: “Deliver the right products and services at the right time with the right quality and the right quantity to the right price”, it now turns to:

“Leverage the right information at the right time with the right quality to serve the right customer right”.

Finally it means that wholesalers need to matchmake their business strategy with their data and information strategy.

Looking on SAP’s latest product portfolio for wholesale industry it is a combination of 2 modes: the stable core to enable wholesalers to run their business, and the SAP Leonardo including Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of things and Blockchain to build a key differentiator and win in competitive markets by enabling new business processes, new business models and new work.

Using these kinds of innovative technology, offers the opportunity of creating new business models like “product as a service”. In the past mass production was key for the efficiency of a value chain, today the success criteria is more to be able to serve the “segment of one”, 3Dprinters at wholesale branches will be one way to execute on that.

Wholesalers should take into consideration the bi-modal innovation, means investments which are described by a CEO with “Help connect the supply chain to the demand chain in any channel on any device—that keeps me in the game.
Then help me disrupt my own business with the latest break-throughs so I can be ahead of my competition.”

One of the wholesalers recipes to win is to take the right balance between what will be done by machines and where people need to jump in to deliver value to suppliers and customers. For example where we see Q&A documents for plumbers today, everything could be done by a kind of intelligent and self learning chatbot; problems which appear for the first time might be solved by people.

Walking the path of bi-modal innovation means more than a change it will really be a movement of the whole company! To identify how to move from today’s application landscape to the “New” landscape Wholesalers can use SAP’s transformation navigator, the bridge to the S/4 HANA centric application world.

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