Distributors uncover the power of the SPS Retail Network

by | Apr 22, 2016

Lately, we’ve been talking to industrial and automotive distributors about the power of product attributes, the importance of inventory management and how automated fulfillment can save time and reduce errors.

We’re telling them that thanks to the size of the SPS Retail Network and the number of suppliers and manufacturers already connected, it’s likely that we have the majority of their vendors in our network, making doing business with these trading partners faster and easier. In most cases, we’ve already integrated approximately 60% – 75% of a distributor’s vendors.

Our network has grown through the years as retailers sought out suppliers to trade with electronically, and then these suppliers saw the benefits and wanted to connect with other retailers and brought them onto the network. This growth means that any distributor who’s thinking about integrating to the network already has a lot of the business partners already connected. That’s the power of our network.

We like to tell the SPS Commerce story about how we only had a handful of retailers on our Retail Network when we were first starting out (we now have more than 1,000). In turn, this small group wanted as many of their vendors as possible to share their information electronically with them, asking us to work with their vendors to make this happen. The rest is history.

As we spoke to those vendors, they were impressed with the network and our cloud-based solutions and ultimately joined. They asked if we could put them into our system and if we could we speak to their retailers. We were happy to do it, with retailers leading to suppliers leading to more retailers and more suppliers, and so on.

As more retailers and vendors joined, they found their businesses growing and integrating with their new trading partners easier, especially if they were one of the tens of thousands on the SPS Retail Network. Suppliers were easily able to connect to retailers, and retailers were easily able to receive information from suppliers. It’s grown our Retail Network into the most powerful of its kind. Each time a new retailer, supplier or logistics provider joins, everyone benefits.

We’ve seen this in every vertical we’re involved in: sporting goods, health and beauty, athletic wear, footwear, even industrial and automotive distribution, and the list goes on and on. When we bring on a new retailer or distributor, a vast majority of their vendors are already in the network.

For example, when we started working with new distributor, we had already been working with another leading distributor. And since they both work with many of the same vendors, 80 percent of the new distributor’s vendors were already in our system. Later, when our third distributor joined our Retail Network, 90 of their 100 major suppliers were already in the system. Now we have dozens of distributors on the network, so you can imagine the opportunities the network offers today.

The end result was that faster deployments, orders placed and fulfilled by vendors using a single connection, and businesses more easily sharing documentation and shipping information because those vendors were already accustomed to working with our fulfillment solutions. It saved them time and money, while reducing the need for special orders and the chance for errors.

If you’d like to learn how our Retail Network can help you, please contact SPS Commerce today.

Scott Bolduc

Scott Bolduc

Director of Supply Chain Strategy at SPS Commerce
Scott Bolduc is a multi-time winner of the Supply & Demand Chain Executive Pros to Know. He has worked with e-commerce retailers on their growth strategies and helped retailers transform their freight spending strategies to maximize efficiencies.
Scott Bolduc

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