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The supply chain challenge

Highlights
  • Small-to-medium wholesale businesses still face a raft of challenges in the current economy
  • Technology can drive supply chain efficiencies and enable effective collaboration among key parties
  • Wholesalers could look at supply chain practices as a way to trim waste and boost efficiency across operations.

Telstra’s Retail Industry Executive Gareth Jude explains how technology can drive supply chain improvements for wholesale businesses in a challenging market.

Although they are growing at roughly the same rate as GDP, small-to-medium wholesale businesses still face a raft of challenges, according to Telstra’s Retail Industry Executive Gareth Jude.

The supply chain challenge

“For wholesale trade, online is a big issue, with the likes of Amazon bringing in a jumbo jet a day worth of stock into Australia. There’s also the challenge of securing lines of supply. Disintermediation is an issue, where the people overseas who you were sourcing product from, or even your local manufacturers, decide to set up wholesale or retail businesses here in Australia.”

Wholesalers are at the centre of the supply chain…so collaboration is really important for them. Being able to communicate with all these parties is absolutely vital if you believe in supply chain management.

- Gareth Jude, Telstra’s Retail Industry Executive

However, wholesalers could look at supply chain practices as a way to trim waste and boost efficiency across operations. The key is collaboration. A business-grade IP network – a robust combination of phone and internet on one network – can provide the platform.

“Wholesalers are at the centre of the supply chain,” says Jude. “They have the retailers downstream, the manufacturers upstream, and they’re surrounded by transport companies. So collaboration is really important for them. Being able to communicate with all these parties is absolutely vital if you believe in supply chain management.”

He cites an example of a wholesaler who has a contract with a supermarket. “Let’s say, for example, they’ve given you their orders for the coming month. You need to see what your supplier can deliver to make sure you can commit to that. If you have a solid platform on which all three parties can communicate easily, you can get that information in real time. Without that speed, that efficiency, you might miss out, or worse commit to a schedule you can’t meet.”

Knowledge, as they say, is power. From closing deals to planning efficient delivery routes, a private business-grade IP network can give your wholesaling operation a great platform on which to build a more efficient supply chain, helping to co-ordinate stock levels, improve inventory and scheduling, plan efficient delivery routes to cut waste and costs and boost efficiency across your entire operations.

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