When it comes to delivering on today's customer demands, some wholesale distributors are really standing out — and it's not necessarily the big names.
Mid-sized distributors are competing on a grander scale, and a recent IDC InfoBrief from SAP sheds light on the trends and efforts these top performers all share that help position their operations for continuing success in the years ahead.
Unsurprisingly, technology is at the heart of these distributors' efforts to overcome the skills gap and to meet customers' shifting demands for value-added solutions. The technology in focus and its role in creating customer success is quite different from those struggling to keep up.
According to IDC's report, a majority of best-run distributors use workforce technology to prioritize empowering their workforce (current and future) to deliver quality customer service, period.
Interestingly, the companies that placed operational efficiency ahead of employee experience did not fall within "best-run" organizations, falling into the "laggards" in SAP's InfoBrief.
Attracting the Right Talent
Compared to operationally focused distributors, those at the front focus on retention and building a stronger pipeline of future talent. Talent management software is a big part of these leading mid-sized distributors' toolkit, with 73% are using digital talent management solutions on a regular basis.
Hiring and on-boarding have become now integrated into many workforce management suites, helping to align clear performance strategies and data with ways to evaluate candidates based on fit and potential. And by tying these next-gen solutions to the same platforms candidates will use for daily productivity helps demonstrate strong attention to their experience as an employee — making a great first impression. Read more about workforce management's role in hiring and managing high-performing talent in our earlier post here.
Turning Candidates Into Engaged Employees
Acting on a clearly communicated strategy (and technology that supports it) in the hiring process helps talent see their own opportunity to create added value as a full-time employee. When automation and mobile accessibility are represented in the first stages of becoming an employee, it sets a strong example for what their experience will be moving forward.
Similarly, data from the hiring process can help build employee records from the very first interaction with secure integration and storing of data across all productivity tools in the tech suite. HR departments and managers can appreciate the defense against redundancy or errors in record keeping due to fragmented data — saving employees a lot of stress and frustration from discrepancies in accruals and performance development.
Empowering Employees to Champion Customer Experience
The benefits of today's comprehensive workforce management solutions beyond talent management, like process automation, can help mid-sized distributors create better experiences for their employees as a whole — securing trusted talent and building them up to make customers proud to be in business together. As distributors face a future with a tight talent pool and shifting customer demands, having an employee base that is engaged and committed to the same goals (empowered by the tools they're given) will ensure the persistence of customers, companies and employees alike.