Article provided by Javier Loya, CEO of OTC Global Holdings.
Every supplier wants to expand so that the Increasing sales increases can power growth, which in turn leads to more expansion. However, as good as growth is for an organization, it is only a boon if the company prepares for some of the challenges that come with more retailers and buyers. Let’s look at some of the challenges suppliers face when adding new clients:
Multiple requirements from retailers
It is fair to say that no two retailers will have the same requirement. The processes, expectations, and requirements will vary from each client. The issue is bigger if you handle drop shipping, where different customers of different clients will each have different requirements. The operational and mental overhead is immense. The only way to get around the issue to have an understanding of their requirements in advance, so everyone is prepared.
Maintain transparency of your inventory with your customers. With technology like EDI, orders come in every second and customers expect the items to ship out the same day. Update the client with your inventory and keep them in the loop for any changes. Also, take seasonal requirements and other trends into account when maintaining inventory.
As soon as you establish a relationship with a new retailer, don’t expose your entire catalog. Present only a certain amount of your catalog and scale up the availability as you and the client become comfortable with the systems and processes. Failing to ramp up gradually can result in overwhelmed systems and staff.
Javier Loya is the Co-CEO of OTC Global Holdings (OTCGH), an independent interdealer brokerage. He is also the founder and owner of Choice Energy Management.