At our SuiteWorld conference in May, I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with a number of our wholesale distribution customers. Wholesale distribution is one of the oldest and most successful verticals within NetSuite, and represents one of the most diverse and interesting sets of customers among the more than 10,000 organizations running NetSuite.
Wholesale distribution companies are ideally positioned to leverage the full power of NetSuite, often utilizing all aspects of the solution including ERP, CRM and ecommerce. At a presentation I gave called “Running a Wholesale Distribution Business,” I was surprised by the large standing room-only audience of customers interested in hearing our latest perspectives on this vertical.
Bill McBeath, the Chief Research Officer of ChainLink Research, a leading supply chain research and advisory firm, wrote up an excellent in-depth report on wholesale distribution highlights from SuiteWorld, including some of the sessions I participated in. For details and expert perspective on how wholesale distributors are using NetSuite, check out Bill’sSuiteWorld write-up.
For wholesale distribution, a SuiteWorld highlight was a customer panel with executives of three wholesale distribution companies running NetSuite—EndoChoice, a medical device manufacturer and distributor; Ridout Plastics, a plastic goods distributor; and Mariner Supply, an ecommerce distributor of marine-related products.
Each of these companies turned to NetSuite to solve problems of unintegrated on-premise systems that were hurting their performance and efficiency. Each realized gains in reduced costs, higher productivity and increased sales and echoed similar comments we’ve heard in past NetSuite webinars with wholesale distribution customers.
While these companies on the SuiteWorld panel shared similar challenges and benefits, they also reflected the richness and diversity of the wholesale distribution industry and NetSuite’s flexibility in enabling them to address challenges unique to their businesses.
For Lou Malice, the COO of EndoChoice, the move to NetSuite has helped empower its mobile and distributed workforce with anywhere, anytime access to critical and real-time business information:
“We have people traveling all over the world. All they need is a browser and bandwidth—it’s great to have access anywhere, anytime. Everyone can see the exact status of orders, even from their iPhone.”
For Elliott Rabin, the President of Ridout Plastics, the conversion to NetSuite has enabled a huge increase in productivity:
“It is satisfying to see my people being productive. When we implemented NetSuite, we reduced paperwork by 75%, saved one FTE, and increased sales efficiency by 45%. It has enabled us to grow by 65% over the past four years.”
Keith Fetterman, the CTO of Mariner Supply, described how his company streamlined its drop ship processes via NetSuite and EDI:
“When we converted our first two suppliers to EDI, it was transformational. We no longer have to rekey their invoices. Only when there is an exception alert, like double billing or incorrect amounts, do we ever have to touch the invoice. We also do a lot of faxing. Now we use the eFax plug-in for NetSuite to automate those transactions as well.”
It was gratifying and inspiring to hear of the success of these companies. Interestingly, the SuiteWorld customer panel mirrored the priorities of wholesale distributors we surveyed for our report, The State of Wholesale Distribution: A Survey of Key Business Objectives and Challenges Among Mid-Market Companies. That survey found that more than 50% of companies were focused on making their employees more productive.
In summary, the SuiteWorld panel showcased the richness of customers within wholesale distribution and how they are solving their challenges with the power of the suite.