When you are selling to retailers, you have to make it easy for them and you. It is important to get the right technology integrated into your business before any agreement with retailers is signed.
Without the right technology you might struggle to attract retail buyers. They might like the product, you and the commercial potential of doing business with you – but if the technology isn’t integrated in your business, then they might not order.
Retailers aren’t trying to be awkward; they are just looking to build partnerships with manufacturers where ordering and other interactions are easy and takes the least time possible. Remember that they might be dealing with thousands of different manufacturers and they have to be as time efficient as possible.
So what technology can you integrate into your business that can make your product more attractive to retailers? Here is our list.
This piece of technology is probably one of the most important pieces of technology you need. The Universal Product Code (UPC) allows a checkout operator to process a product through the till with the least work possible.
The UPC has two parts, the machine readable bar code (the black and white lines), which is all that is normally required, and the human readable 12-digit number. The barcode is typically used and picked up at the checkout by the scanner, but sometimes the packaging might be damaged, and so the number needs to be present so a checkout operator can manually enter the number.
Without these on a product, it becomes a chore for retailers to identify products at the checkout and It makes stock control challenging.
Retailers buy products by the hundreds and thousands, and they like to have a way to assess the incoming deliveries quickly. Information they are looking for will include best before dates, batch numbers, quantities, weights, etc. This information is not easy to read on paper quickly and so they will probably ask for most, if not all, information be placed within a GS1-128 label.
The GS1-128 label used to be known as UCC-128 and EAN-128, but these have fallen out of use.
The GS1-128 is standard across the industry within the Code 128 barcode. It identifies the data with Application Identifiers to help retailers quickly sort and assess incoming products.
There can be multiple pieces of information stored within the barcode that can help retailers. Shipping companies also use this information.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system is one of the most important pieces of technology used today. It allows both you and your retail buyers to interact without the need of paperwork or human interaction; this can save time, costs and reduce errors made.
The system works by their computer system communicating with your IT systems. The most common information exchanged is purchase orders and invoices. For example, a retailer is running low on your product; their system automatically makes an order for another run to your company’s computer system through the EDI. That order is processed, and an invoice sent to the retailer.
The whole process can take mere seconds, and all that is left is your manufacturing and distribution team to do is to process and deliver the requested products.
An effective EDI system can go much further. For instance, it can inform the client when the product reaches certain points in the distribution channel. Not having this system in your business, makes it harder for your retailers to buy from you.
There are many pieces of technology that you need if you want to sell to retailers. These requirements aren’t to make your job harder; they are there to make everyone’s life easier and to ensure that you have a good reputation with your trading partners.
Do have the technology within your business? Do you need help integrating it within your business’ processes?
Let us know in the comments below.