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Business Tips

How Antiquated Ordering Systems Hurt Wholesale Food Suppliers

30/11/2020
By
Cam Mercer

The typical ordering experience for most B2B buyers of wholesale food is at best inconvenient and at worst, just plain annoying. The best place to start dissecting how antiquated ordering hurts wholesale food suppliers is by comparing it to the perks that come with modern solutions.

Step 1: The Paper Catalogue

Inadequate. Old. Inefficient. three words that describe using a paper catalogue in a modern world.

Most buyers who have made the switch to Foodbomb’s platform were frustrated about being resigned to ordering the same products in the same volumes weekly because there was no way to conveniently discover and order new products. On top of that, they hated that they didn’t have access to in-depth product information and up-to-date pricing that would help them try new products.

Then there’s the overreliance on sales reps to function as your order-taker. Being forced to call during business hours – and hoping they’re able to connect to the rep, just to place their order. And, if you don’t get through, the classic game of phone-tag begins: you call and get their voicemail, leave a message and wait for a callback. Then, your sales rep tries to call back and has to hope you’re in between the lunch and dinner rush. Not efficient.

Digitising this process eliminates all these problems, and makes for a far more efficient and well-rounded ordering process.

Step 2: Post-Sale Information Going Missing

Once the buyer gets through to their rep, the questions begin – cut-off times, delivery dates, minimum orders, promotions, custom pricing…and the rest.

The worst part is that all of these variables can change at a moments notice, often taking everyone involved by surprise. Without access to the up-to-date information that comes with being hosted digitally, your reps are left in the dark about critical parts of the ordering process, and your buyers miss out on great deals that will keep them around.

Step 3: Delivery and Order Uncertainty

Finally, once the order is placed, the customer can only hope that the order was taken correctly over the phone and that the items will be delivered on time. Without a digital order confirmation, or the ability to monitor and track the delivery process, the buyer is left in the dark until their order arrives. Once it does, they must manually receive it, check it against a purchase order, and if there are any errors, go through the long process of returning and requesting a refund or credit.

When you think about how inconvenient the customer purchasing experience is, it’s not surprising that wholesale food distributors are adopting B2B eCommerce solutions at such a rapid pace. Your buyers want to give you their business, but if someone else makes it easier and more convenient for them, you can’t blame them for switching suppliers. Over 70% of B2B customers have said they would switch vendors if another company provided a better, more seamless digital experience. Knowing this, why wouldn’t you adopt a B2B eCommerce solution for your business?


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