Let’s face it: there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to running a convenience store. Between all the vendors, distributors, and various company reps, sometimes it’s amazing that you find time to do anything else.
Navigating the challenges of working with suppliers and distributors can be an exercise in futility. However, they don’t have to be. Here are some ways you can manage these tasks effectively, and keep your sanity in check!
Planning, Communication, and Scheduling
If your various sales reps haven’t yet secured regular dates and times to call on your store, make that change as soon as possible. The best way to get a handle on your distribution channels is to eliminate the guesswork and keep things as streamlined as possible.
CStore Distributors says, “Convenience product distributors work in a highly competitive environment where time plays a critical role between success and failure.”
The last thing you want is for multiple delivery trucks pulling into your parking lot during peak business hours. Set specific dates and times at which you want your reps, vendors, and deliveries in your store.
Work with your vendors and be flexible, but remember that you’re housing and selling their products, which means they work for you.
Vendors hold a lot of valuable information when it comes to what products do well in your area. Both in terms of region and demographic, a good grocery vendor can tell you which products are likely to do well in your store, and which will tank.
According to CStore Decisions, “Operators need to make sure they have the best-selling SKUs. The top 50 SKUs, which only represent about six-tenths of 1% of all of the SKUs in the convenience channel, drive 32% of the business.”
Securing those top 50 SKUs can quite literally be a game changer for convenience stores. Use that information to your advantage.
It goes without saying that even the most varied vendors will sometimes overlap in the products they offer. To better manage your distribution channels, you’re going to want to eliminate as much of that overlap whenever possible.
Think of it this way:
Vendor X offers 100 different products, we’ll call them products 1-100.
Vendor Y also offers 100 different products, but he offers products 51-150.
Vendor Z also offers 100 different products, but he offers products 101-200.
All together you have 200 products being offered to you, but everything Vendor Y is offering you is a redundancy of what Vendors X and Z offer. Confused yet?
By eliminating Vendor Y you take out a redundant part of the puzzle. Eliminating that piece of the puzzle means that you no longer need to take the time determining what you get from where.
Using Convenience Store Software Can Help
All of this can be a lot to wrap your head around. Luckily, we’re here to help! When it comes to everything inside the store, we have you covered. Our Price Book and Inventory Management features can help you easily track deliveries of product that have just arrived, and create price points at which to sell your new goods.
CStorePro’s powerful reporting function also allows you to view the top selling SKUs, and generate accurate profit and loss reports. To further help manage your vendors and distributors, you can search by sale item, department, and vendor to obtain a hyper-accurate account of your products performance.
If you struggle with managing fuel deliveries, invoices, jobber bills, and credit card settlements; CStorePro’s fuel management system has that covered as well. Our software allows you to view precise pool margins, track profits, and manage prices with ease.
Managing Your Distribution Has Never Been Easy
Managing your supply chain is an important part of running an efficient business. With the above tips, and solid convenience store software; you can ease management headaches and keep your products and profits on track. today to learn more.