Smart supply: An analytics tool to support strategic growth in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
Mayani, Edith Martha Amayo
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1.0. Problem Statement Wholesale distributors occupy a middle position in the supply chain between manufacturers and secondary distributors or retailers for a wide range of durable and non-durable goods, industrial goods, and consumer products. This positioning presents unique challenges to their profitability. In today’s Uganda marketplace, where supply networks are becoming increasingly complex and customers demand more choices, faster fulfilment, and lower price, wholesale distributors often find themselves squeezed from both sides. Increasingly, satisfying diverse customers means providing more custom products. A growing number of items and stock keeping units can add complexity and cost to inventory management. Due to daily rising competition, retailers can, and do, demand faster service, lower prices, and compliance with requirements basing on the end users’ needs. To survive and thrive in this pressured supply chain position, a wholesale distribution company needs to control already tight margins by increasing efficiency and eliminating waste. Yet many distributors find themselves hindered by information delays, excess inventory, and purchasing information that’s locked in the minds of individual employees. In order for a wholesale distributor to gain more profit, he would require to • Manage stock to avoid excess inventory • Know who his profitable customers are and devise strategies to retain them. • Identify the amount of products to stock based on customer demand trends. • Identify the trend of service to be provided such as when to offer discounts and to which customer category. 2.0. Proposed solution An analytics tool that shall provide strategic information to the wholesale distributors using analytics and alerts to help them understand their customer purchasing preferences, make decisions vi based on respective customer categories, track and provide the right discounts or offers to the right customers at the right times, identify their best customers and their demands, track spending patterns of their customers and their product preferences, and identify the marketing campaigns that shall bring in the high-spending customers. By gaining insights on the customers and the products that contribute to the business, this solution guarantees to increase profit and revenue. 3.0. Scope The proposed solution will be limited to Uganda and it shall focus mainly on providing strategic analytic information to wholesale distributors in Kikuubo Business Centre.