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The Need For Speed Is Paramount In Drinks Distribution

The Need For Speed Is Paramount In Drinks Distribution

To say that Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software can speed up buyers’ decision making is an understatement.

In many cases, it goes a long way towards doing the decision-making for them.


ERP can help quicken the pace of decision making on both sides of the B2B relationship by predicting buyers’ preferences and helping your sellers sell.

Data-driven Personalisation = Quicker Decision Making (and more sales)

For sales reps, ERP software can suggest delivery days and products based on the client’s previous outlet interactions. It can also use customer data to effectively predict decisions before the client has made them, thus enabling the rep to put the right offer on the table at the right time.

The same data-driven approach can also create personalised promotion and pricing info for each customer.

Let Your Reps Do What They Do Best – Sell

The main value of a drinks sales rep lies in their interpersonal and selling skills,  both of which remain some way off being automated. Aside from logistical aids, sales rep decision making can be better enabled through:

  • Information on targets and target periods
  • Profit indicators for each sale
  • Trade intelligence features, such as surveys

Of course, while some decisions are still in human hands, an ERP sales app can play a role in these too, particularly by facilitating rapid, account-specific communication between rep and office. The provision of real-time business intelligence that aids the reps’ ability to upsell and cross-sell, while also updating central systems, is a huge advantage to improving efficiency and hitting sales targets.

According to a study by Forrester Consulting 80% of buyers noted that having access to credible, up-to-date product details and information is crucial to their decision-making process. With this in mind, delivering real-time ERP interactivity via your sales rep’s smartphone or tablet, makes good business sense.

Order-Makers. Not, Order-Takers

To bring selling back to the fore, it’s necessary to simplify decisions and admin tasks where you can. Or, better still, render them obsolete. Order capture apps, which link to centrally-held software, play a key role.

A rep may historically have had to source information from the central office to determine which drinks and prices to offer a client. With an order taking app or iOS app for sales tracking, the best choice at any given moment is in the rep’s hands and ready for implementation in a few taps. Facilitating on-the-spot decision-making by providing rich info on alternative products when something is out of stock and ensures that sales aren’t lost.

If a rep cuts down their daily decision-making time by just thirty minutes, they could then use that time to focus on their sales strategy. Instead of asking customers about stock, they could be asking themselves incisive questions that enable better selling.

Which craft beer sells best in the client’s area? At what time of day should I pitch to X? Which drinks are in the media today?

Quicker Decision Making Also Matters To Warehouse Managers

An accurately informed sales team, supported by an order capture app not only has an impact on the quality of customer care, but helps with distribution logistics too.

Quicker decisions and fewer admin tasks can also reduce your sales cycle and fulfilment times, allowing for agile logistics that help with warehouse management.

In practice, this means you can:

  • Have the right amount of stock in the right place, at the right time
  • Sell overstock from depots, freeing up space to deal with incoming shipments
  • Increase timings of order fulfilment and stock movement


Buyers like having control, but they also like that you can predict their preferences and offer solutions to their individual problems. In so doing, drinks distributors might also find a solution to their own warehouse management and logistics problems.

Making gains on any of these fronts has the potential to create competitive advantage for your drinks distribution business.

Did you miss out on last week’s blog? Find out how Gaina’s ERP can help to improve the cash flow in your drinks business. Click HERE to find out more!

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