Digital technology played a crucial role in helping wholesalers survive and thrive during the pandemic.

Andy Pratt, Business Development Lead at Oporteo.

Wholesalers are advised to use digital platforms such as ecommerce and social media to gain new customers.

Oporteo offers a range of solutions for wholesalers including ecommerce, product information management and order management platforms.

Andy Pratt, Business Development Lead for Oporteo, tells Wholesale Manager how wholesalers can better utilise their commence platforms.

Can you tell us a bit about Oporteo?

At Oporteo, we offer a range of omnichannel solutions that help wholesalers accelerate their business growth, strengthen their competitive edge, and deliver unrivalled customer experiences. Our goal is to help B2B businesses across the food and drink industry embrace the power of digital technology so they can thrive in today’s online world.

What solutions do you offer to wholesalers?

We offer a range of solutions for wholesalers, including Ecommerce, Product Information Management (PIM) and Order Management (OMS) platforms. In addition, we provide Digital Strategy and Support services to businesses looking for a complete digital transformation. These services include everything from hosting and integration to web design and digital marketing.

The Oporteo team has been working with wholesalers for over 40 years; how has this experience influenced the solutions you provide?

Food and Drink wholesalers are at the heart of everything we do. As a result, we have considerable insights into how these businesses operate. This experience has undoubtedly influenced our solutions and ensures we design them to overcome the unique challenges wholesalers face.

For example, Oporteo ecommerce supports B2B customer-specific pricing, discounts, and promotional models. In addition to wholesale quantity mechanisms, such as case and splits and dynamic display pricing. Our Oporteo PIM system was developed to help wholesalers comply with industry food and drink regulations and is now essential as Natasha’s Law takes effect.

How can digital technology help the wholesale industry recover from the Covid-19 pandemic?

The pandemic has highlighted the vital role digital technology has in creating business agility and resilience. Wholesalers should take advantage of the growing number of digital platforms to reach new customers and build market differentiation – these range from ecommerce and social media platforms to Amazon and other online marketplaces. In addition, when supply and demand levels remain volatile, providing Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) solutions such as ‘click and collect’ is a great way to fulfil customer’s needs and keep stock moving. Our customer, T.Quality, has already done this with Oporteo to great effect.

What do you think will be the most significant developments in digital technology in the next few years?

There is a growing shift to digital-first business strategies which emphasise the importance of having a diverse range of digital elements wherever possible. However, as mentioned, this has created a proliferation of digital channels. The ability to integrate all these channels successfully via APIs will be essential for the future of digital success. Additionally, we expect to see an increase in channel blending, which can support multichannel commerce from a single system.

Do you think the digitisation of the supply chain will help businesses overcome the pressures put on them by Brexit?

To keep pace with ever-changing regulatory demands, digitisation throughout the supply chains is essential. Wholesalers need to ensure they have robust end-to-end systems that can adapt to supply chain disruptions. Businesses can then better maintain efficiency through digital capabilities such as automation and real-time information. If not done so already, wholesalers need to review their current systems and processes to see where they can alleviate the pressure on business resources.

How can wholesalers better utilise their ecommerce platforms?

Ecommerce and other online sales platforms have become indispensable for wholesalers. However, they should not be used in isolation. Close integration between ecommerce platforms and back-end systems is critical to give the transparency and real-time information that customers want.

For businesses wanting to utilise their ecommerce platforms more effectively, we recommend investing in a complete Order Management Solutions (OMS). This helps you manage stock, process orders, and pick, pack and despatch products all from a central system. In addition, an OMS ensures that all areas of the business, including the warehouse, are flexible and agile enough to meet new customer expectations.


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