Smoothing the Flow of Parts from Supplier to Distributor

By Dave Lindeen, senior vice president of sales, Corcentric

With the increased focus on uptime, having the right part at the right place at the right time has become even more critical. One of the challenges is getting parts from suppliers to distributors and into the hands of fleets and owner-operators in a seamless process. To be successful in the truck parts aftermarket, distributors and suppliers must become true business partners.

However, there are impediments to this smooth flow of parts from one to the other. Distributors need reliability and the assurance that they are getting consistent pricing. On the other hand, suppliers need assurances they will be paid on time. The situation is complicated by the number of parts on the market, the range of pricing for a part, variable specifications and regulatory issues. This complex landscape presents challenges when it comes to making informed decisions in a timely manner, while satisfying the required days payable outstanding in the billing cycle.

One solution is a cloud-based private commerce platform integrated with a financial, technology solution, also known as fintech. Fintech is composed of companies that combine new technology and innovation with available resources to deliver streamlined financial services. Today’s fintech companies compete in the marketplace of traditional financial institutions and intermediaries.

The benefits of such a platform include:

  • Consistent nationwide pricing
  • Centralized payments
  • Reduced credit risk through credit and collections management
  • Robust reporting from dashboards that aggregate data

A SaaS (Software as a Service) solution represents scalability that will support a business as it grows. According to Charles Weaver, co-founder and president of MSPAlliance, speaking to CIOs, there are three things to consider when looking for a cloud-based service provider: trust, technical expertise and understanding and a third-party compliance audit.

Some features to look for include:

  • Price file, price sheet special pricing management
  • Automated price scrubbing
  • Direct integration with ERP systems
  • Archiving, audit trail and reporting
  • Electronic invoicing
  • Price dispute resolution
  • Reduction in late payments
  • Easy access to transaction data
  • Credit management

Once the proper system has been selected, seamless integration is crucial.

With a proper solution, suppliers are able to sell to new distributors, improve customer retention, and re-engage previously inactive distributors and buying groups, while distributors achieve better cash flow and turnaround of invoices.

The result for all players in the network is stronger partnerships and stimulated business growth. Your company benefits by reducing/outsourcing credit risk administration, cutting operating costs, and receiving business intelligence insight.

Your channel partners benefit because they outsource credit risk management, optimize the order-to-cash process, and simplify invoicing and order management.

And your customers benefit with centralized billing, pricing accuracy and consistency, fast parts turnaround and service, and spend management and analytics.

Dave Lindeen is Corcentric’s senior vice president of sales. As vice president of Corcentric since 2002, he has led the strategic business planning of the company. He oversees sales, technology investments, and systems improvements in order to maintain the company’s growth, operations, and competitive advantage. In addition, Dave plays an instrumental role in recognizing new developments in technology and anticipating organizational modifications. He develops strategy for new marketing initiatives and new system rollouts, and oversees the acquisition of hardware to meet new and existing application needs.

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