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IoT Technology for Distribution

IoT Technology for Distribution

Innovative solutions for Distribution Channels

Technological innovation is increasingly entering the distribution channels, by which we mean that set of entities that operate to transfer a product from the producer to the consumer. The various steps in the chain of sale of a product represent the distribution channel.

Indirect distribution channels, unlike direct ones, are put together with a complex architecture within which numerous factors come into play. They are one of the most widespread scenarios in the global market, i.e. when companies work with various distribution partners or intermediaries to bring products and services to customers.

In indirect distribution channels there are numerous figures as:

  • (VAR) Value-Added Retailer
  • System Integrator
  • Consultants
  • (MSP) Managed Service Provider
  • (OEM) Original equipment manufacturers
  • Retailer
  • Wholesalers
  • Distributors

Distribution plays a fundamental role in the manufacturing phase seeing as how it allows one to fill the existing discrepancies (gaps) between the enterprise and the market, which is to say the geographical gap, for example. 

In order to reach consumers scattered throughout the global territory, the company must necessarily avail themselves of distribution channels to make their products reachable by the end-destination customer.

Distribution Channels in Digital Times

The increasingly widespread trend in the era of the digital revolution is to have a propensity towards a kind of Borderless Commerce.

We’re discussing, therefore, a type of commerce devoid of all borders, whether they be geographical or based on distribution channels. 

In this scenario, becomes indispensable for companies to maintain control of the distribution of its products outside the company's borders. When the sales network is extended to have a real-time sales analysis, it becomes wildly important.

The digital revolution has brought about innovative technologies that favor the optimization and management of distribution channels. In a sense we could say that digital technology has completely changed the concept of distribution.

One of the effects of digitization of distribution channels is certainly the great success of e-commerce platforms that have greatly increased direct sales for companies.

Even in the case of much more complex scenarios, typical of indirect distribution channels, digital technology makes it possible to improve relationship management with your partners, also allowing you to make fast, accurate and "data driven" decisions regarding the distribution strategy. Thanks to IoT, companies can not only use the data collected to optimize relationships with the distribution channel intermediaries but also with customers themselves.

E-tailers and Product Locationing

E-tailing, or electronic retail, has a meaning related to the e-commerce world, of which it is a sub-category. E-Tailing means selling retail products on the Internet, while e-commerce is the commercial transaction of the same field.

Thanks to the digital revolution, companies use e-tailing as a direct sales tool to their customers. 

In this perspective of connected trade, the aspect of product locationing becomes absolutely central. Sales agents, employees, and customers must always have updated information in terms of what’s in stock and the status of online orders, all of which are aspects that the e-tailers know all too well, even to better manage the returns of the goods.

IoT for Point of Sale Freight Management

Thanks to IoT technology and the introduction of the use of RFID tags in distribution, even points of purchase retailers can see enormous advantages from this digitization process, for example obtaining a precise reading of the situations regarding the reception and shipment transactions of merchandise right down to the specific item.

IoT technology therefore allows you to have total control over freight management directly at the point of sale:

  • Reception
  • Transfers to the point of sale
  • Return to the supplier
  • Direct handling of consumer relations