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Wholesale Distribution

Retailers and manufacturers both count on wholesale distribution to supply goods rapidly, cost-effectively and according to high customer service requirements. Faced with increasing costs and decreasing margins, efficiency throughout the wholesale distribution supply chain in this fiercely competitive industry is critical.

As customer demands change over time, adaptability is vital to driving growth. And with wholesalers’ labor costs often higher than the goods they distribute, streamlined picking processes – which make up most of the manual time and labor – are paramount to profitability.

Case study - Harbor Wholesale

Grocery distributor sees productivity increase 50%

From small distributor to major power player, voice enables company to grow exponentially

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Industry challenges

The mix of products distributed is a key challenge within the wholesale distribution supply chain. Different equipment is needed to handle varying products, sizes and weights. Order picking, packing and palletizing also need to be carefully planned to prevent the damage of smaller or more delicate goods.

Managing inventory presents a fine balance between tying up cash flow in excess product and having insufficient stock, leading to stock-outs, lost sales and unhappy customers. Within the warehouse, picking, packing, and shipping different product types for multiple customers all require tightly controlled processes and real-time statistics.

The safety and regulatory compliance of some food and beverage products requires full lot and batch control traceability and stringent recall management processes. Real-time data visibility helps wholesale distributors manage their labor requirements and monitor their performance against stringent customer service level agreements.

The Körber difference

Körber solutions provide the crucial visibility you need across your wholesale distribution supply chain. Our warehouse management systems (WMS) and transportation management systems (TMS) help you automate and integrate your stock picking and distribution workflows, essential to managing your labor costs.

Our flexible “pick path” and “palletization” optimization strategies are based on attributes such as weight and dimension. Real-time visibility of warehouse activity will improve your order-to-invoice time and significantly reduce payment-delaying errors.

Supported by full batch traceability and recall management, you will also be able to address any specialist food and beverage products throughout their wholesale distribution supply chain journey and respond to recalls in a thorough and timely manner.

Voice-directed automation solutions further increase your stock picking efficiencies. These allow your warehouse staff to batch-pick multiple orders simultaneously. With clear instructions on where to go and what to pick, voice-directed technologies bring real improvements to your productivity and accuracy. You can also change order and dispatch schedules in real time and manage your stock rotation through defined cold and dry storage rules.


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