Tuesday, 11 September 2012

How the Shaky World Economy Influences Wholesale Data

The sluggishness of the world economy has done few favors for the wholesale industry. Between countries on the continent struggling to absolve their debt crises and the perpetual specter of a double dip recession in America, it’s no wonder that the wholesale industry has been struggling all over the globe. So many consumers and businesses depend on wholesale goods for any number of reasons; food, construction supplies, raw materials, manufacturing goods—the list goes on. The volatility of today’s market has thrown regular inventory rates and prices into a veritable disarray, making it hard for wholesalers and buyers to come up with any solid long term business plan.
Let’s take a look at some of the current events that have influenced wholesale production, costs, and management over the past few months.

Fluctuating Inventory Stockpile
For one, the slowing and uncertain worldwide economy has had a great influence over the buying and stockpiling habits of many wholesalers. A recent article in The Washington Post explains that wholesalers had only slightly increased their stockpiles in recent months, the principal reason being the uncertain economic climate. Specifically, the article states that wholesale stockpiles in the US increased by only 0.3% in March, at a fraction of the rate a month before. The reason has all to do with the overall perception of the country’s economic growth: wholesalers purchased more stockpiles in the beginning of the years when employment numbers were higher and the economy looked as if it were well on the road to recovery.
But if there’s any takeaway from the current economic slump, it’s that nothing is certain. The recent months in the US economy have shown little sign of huge growth in areas of job growth, causing many wholesalers to hedge their bets and stock their inventories a little less.

Variable Wholesale Prices
Pricing amid wholesalers in various industries have fluctuated in the face of uncertain economic times. In the UK, The Financial Times reports higher wholesale prices in the energy industry which will translate to higher gas prices for consumers. The move, announced by UK energy giant Centrica, is part of a growing trend in higher gas prices in the country. And yet while the UK wholesale gas market is experiencing a price increase, many wholesalers across the pond are enjoying a general decrease in their prices. The publication USA Today reports that wholesale prices in the US have enjoyed a recent (if slight decline). The reason for the overall price decline is complex, but most analysts point to the gradual decrease in gas and energy prices in the US for at least the past month. With lower gas prices, wholesalers spend less on transporting and storing goods, which results in a better product price for consumers.

What’s your take on the current wholesale industry?
Clearly things could be worse for wholesalers, but the shaky economy is making any makeable growth and expansion difficult for most players in the industry. For those directly in the industry, what is your take on the prospects of wholesaling in the current economic era? Let me know in the comments!

This is a guest post by Eliza Morgan who is a full time blogger. She specializes in writing about business credit cards.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Streamlining Your Wholesale Business With Point Of Sale Software

When most people think of wholesale businesses they will typically picture large and probably dingy warehouse, filled to the roof with goods. Whilst there are still some businesses that fit into this description quite readily; the reality is that the wholesale business has come a long way in recent years. In order to meet ever stricter health and safety regulations, wholesale businesses have had to modernise their warehouse operation to minimise the chance of accidents in what has been a traditionally risky working environment. We have also seen the introduction of new technologies into the wholesale sector; a must for companies looking to survive in the current economic climate. One popular choice has been the implementation of point of sale software, which can provide numerous benefits to the business and their customers.
Stock management:
Perhaps the most important assistance that point of sale software can provide you in running your wholesale business focuses on stock management. By inputting data regarding stock as it arrives in the warehouse you can accurately track the level of stock that you have. This of course means that you can ensure that you never run out of those popular goods. The ability to pullout relevant information on past transactions means that you can also monitor performance levels of specific lines and stock them accordingly.
Account tracking:
Any wholesaler will have to at some point offer credit to their customers – especially new business that are just starting out. It is of course important to record all invoices an accurate manner in order to maintain the balance of accounts. A good point of sale software solution will automatically log new transactions to the relevant account and calculate the balance; removing the chance of human error.
Quick transactions:
In order to keep customers coming back to your wholesalers you want to provide them with the best possible experience. An easy to navigate warehouse is essential, as is the ability to quickly get through the checkout. Point of sale software with integrated barcode readers makes the till area a faster moving environment and reduces queuing time. Again you have the plus of removing human error when inputting prices.
Staffing levels:
Less man hours will be required in all areas of your wholesale business thanks to point of sale software. Less administration will be required, there will be no need to undertake regular stock checks and due to quicker payment processing less open tills will be needed. This of course means that you will require less staff; a saving which you can put towards the cost that having point of sale software installed.
This post has been written by Martin. Martin has a great experience in wholesale racking and shelving.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

How to buy Wholesale Supplies

First off, I expect that if you’re buying wholesale you are a store owner or an entrepreneur – basically, that you should have the ability (with confidence) to sell whatever product you're buying.
A few pieces of advice - take a look at your competitors - a real look at your competitors. Go into their stores, go to their online marketplace - see what they are selling off the racks, or figure out what the "hot" item is online - and see what they're putting in the sale bins. That will give you a pretty good picture of what you will want to acquire in bulk. And remember to see what you have in stock! Know what your similar items are, as well. You don't want to buy in bulk an item that you have a similar one of already. You'd be surprised how many people forget this.
As well as knowing what stock you actually have on-hand - don't jump into buying wholesale before you really understand your slow and busy seasons. There are a lot of entrepreneurs out there who buy an item that they think will sell in mass quantities, only to be sitting on the product for years. Don't do that. Be a little bit more conservative, and take the time to have a slightly more mature business before jumping into buying wholesale. This is not the time to be optimistic and overreach. Realism is more important here, if you wish to maintain a sustainable business model.
These days the virtual marketplace allows you do to much less work - trade shows don't have to be in your annual plan and warehouse tours are no longer necessary.
But buyer beware! The internet allows anyone to publish their listings for "wholesale goods" - you can't always be sure of the quality or the truth of the product - whereas with the old service you were always sure of what you were getting - you could touch it, hold it in your hands and feel the quality and weight of it. You can't always do that now.
At the bottom of the wholesaling situation the most important thing you need to consider is what it always has been - your relationship with your wholesaler. It's just got a different face this time around; emails rather than handshakes, and images rather than a warehouse walk-through.
Jade Evans is a freelance writer who works most frequently with an international shipping company. When considering buying wholesale, they can ship it! Everything from a man and a van to car shipping and long-distance movers. Jade has been a professional writer for the past few years, but has always enjoyed traveling somewhere new.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Efficient Racking and Shelving Can Improve Wholesale Distribution

wholesale racking and shelving

One of wholesale’s largest appeals is its ability to give customers access to large amounts of stock at hugely competitive prices. It’s rare someone would shop within a wholesale environment unless they were looking to buy products in volume. Fulfilling the customer’s stock requirements is paramount to success and as such an effective stock replenishment system has to be in place. There are many aspects to a modern day supply chain and one of the most important ones is maintaining efficient time scales. It may seem obvious to some but even effective warehouses with warehouse management systems in place still rely on racking and shelving at their core. Here is a look at how racking and shelving still form the cornerstone of distribution and how choosing the right systems can directly impact wholesales effectiveness.

Access to Stock:
Individual wholesale environments differ greatly depending on their specific marketplace, however many choose to have a large open, almost warehouse like, shop floor, whilst keeping good levels of stock in the actual warehouse, to replenish diminishing stock lines as needed. Using this wholesale format as an example highlights the need for effective stock distribution. Starting at the first point of onsite distribution which is the arrival of stock via a lorry, racking and shelving begins to play its essential part. Many wholesalers choose to use forklift trucks as pallet deliveries are common place in modern wholesale. With the wrong racking in place, not only are potential health risks greatened, but not being able to sufficiently rack stock can be very time consuming. There have been examples of racking systems buckling under stock load, and this can not only lead to injury but damage valuable stock. Sturdy efficient racking, chosen specifically to hold a desired weight is an almost mandatory requirement in the modern day supply chain.

Making the Most of Available Space:
Having the correct racking in place is a good start, but it’s also essential to choose a racking and shelving system that will maximise you floor space. You need to carefully measure the entire space to give good forklift truck and trolley access, remembering that some stock will be held high on the racking. This will also enable pallets full of stock to be taken to your shop floor for distribution. This principal of space management can be repeated on the shop floor as well, in turn increasing the speed to of stock replacement.

It’s surprising how many business underestimate the humble racking and shelving system, but used effectively it can dramatically reduce distribution times, which will have a positive effect on your profit margins.
This post has been written by Martin. Martin has a great experience in wholesale racking and shelving.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Dropshipping Business - Benefits of this home based profit generating buisness

In the past years, Dropshipping has appeared as one of the most profitable businesses. It is defined as such method of selling in supply chain management in which the retailer or any other person, does not keep products or commodities in his warehouse as the stock. Infact, the dropshipper keeps sample of products or list of catalogues of products in which he is dealing in. When customer orders goods to dropshippers, he forwards customer’s order to wholesaler, distributor or manufacturer, who delivers the product to customer direct from their inventory. Some time earlier Dropshippers were mainly retailers but now-a-days many other people have also started practically dropshipping business.
Dropshipping is a very simple business as anyone can do it as long as he has fare knowledge of supply chain management and general awareness of market trends. Dropshipping is a home based business and can be operated from any part of the world; the dropshipper only needs a system (computer or laptop), internet and a website to start his business smoothly. Dropshipping is now considered as one of the most profits accumulating home based business which can gather high profits easily without any investment.
There are three kinds of dropshipping which are widely known. “Blind Shipping”, in this type of dropshipping no return mailing address is sent to customer, so that the customer cannot contact the wholesaler. The second type is “Private Label Shipping”, in which product is delivered through wholesaler but return address of dropshipper is also sent. The last type is “Customized Packing Slip” in which dropshipper’s name, company logo and contact information is sent as a return address.
The greatest benefit of dropshipping is the inventory reduction. The capital of dropshipper is hoard and in case if dropshipper has to pack up the business then he will be at safe end as he has nothing to lose. This business has no set-up costs; means that the dropshipper has to pay nothing from his pocket to start this business. Dropshippers never face risk to face expiry date products, loss inventory or risk of damaged or broken products as he has nothing to store in his own warehouse so there is no need to spend costs on preventing these.
There are also no chances of frauds or delayed payments as dropshippers have direct contacts with the wholesalers. The only thing to consider while doing dropshipping business is to remain up to date with your wholesale supplier and his inventory.