No matter the size of a distributor or the industry, the efficiencies that come as a result of working with wholesalers are plentiful. But despite the countless advantages, jan/san wholesalers still aren’t always recognized as the go-to source for distributors in the industry. That said, as distributors are increasingly looking to reduce capital costs associated with storing inventory and become a one-stop shop for customers, teaming up with industry wholesalers is starting to become a natural fit in today’s competitive marketplace.

A common focus among distributors is to make profit in the least expensive way possible without sacrificing excellent customer service. Distributors that work with wholesalers find that purchasing from them is a perfect match for this business approach.

The role of the wholesaler, which is to help distributors manage their working capital, has remained constant over the years. Distributors of all sizes look to wholesalers to provide the purchasing power to step in and negotiate product prices with manufacturers. This mitigates the need to pass down costs to distributors, who already are looking to reduce operating costs and are being pressured by customers to provide the lowest-priced products.

Wholesalers offer distributors more options for product selection, pricing and delivery without the need to work with several vendors or be tied to multiple contracts. This simplifies the process for distributors and allows streamlining of processes for reduced shipping and warehousing costs.

“In order for a distributor to purchase from the manufacturer, they must meet stricter credit scrutiny and place orders according to the manufacturer’s minimums,” says Charles Moon, director of marketing and communications for Sheppard Redistribution Inc., Oaks, Pennsylvania. “In most cases distributors cannot afford to place large orders and tie up cash in inventory they might not move for several months.”

Maintaining inventory has been and continues to be a problematic area for distributors. Instead of tying up capital on slow-moving inventory, distributors have discovered that teaming up with wholesalers enables them to shed their otherwise taxing inventory strategies. Often referred to by distributors as their second warehouse, wholesalers stock lines and items for distributors that otherwise would cost too much to purchase direct from manufacturers. Buying from wholesalers frees up money otherwise devoted to inventory purchases and associated warehousing costs.

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