Warehouse Third-Rack Solution
As a distributor, you are looking to be a problem-solver for your clients. If you can come up with a solution, you become the hero and deepen your relationship with the account. Since we know that a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to 25% to 95% increase in profitability (Bain & Co.), these wins have a greater long-term impact than it might appear at first.
Let’s look at one example when one of our distributor customers was stuck for a solution but came out the hero in the end.
When the Barcode Reader Won’t Reach...
The example comes from the manufacturing and distribution marketplace. A regional distribution company had been using the same barcode inventory system for several years. The system included unique barcodes that matched up to the inventory part number on each product.
Each month, warehouse personnel would scan the barcodes to quickly take a cycle count inventory. The company was growing, and it soon moved to a new warehouse. While the new warehouse gave the company the space it needed, the shelving was now three racks high—significantly higher than the old two-rack system it had previously. The result? The company’s barcode scanners could no longer read the labels.
The client knew that it needed to purchase new barcode readers with a longer range, but it had just invested in the new warehouse. Buying new scanners would have to wait, but the ability to take cycle count inventory couldn’t. The client reached out to the distributor for help.
The distributor visited the warehouse to assess the situation. Unfortunately, no matter what the distributor tried, the scanners just wouldn’t read the labels on the third rack. The distributor approached Wise for a creative solution. Our team went to work, and it wasn’t long before the distributor and its client were testing a new design that would be easier for the existing barcode scanners to read.
Interim Solution Saves the Day
The new, approved design has a consecutive jumbo number that is easier for the barcode scanner to read at a distance. Even if the scanner can’t read the number, that number is highly visible, allowing the warehouse personnel to key it in manually. This solution has allowed the client to continue operating efficiently until it is able to invest in new, longer-range barcode scanners.
In this case, the distribution company had an immediate problem that was costing it time and money. By thinking creatively and working collaboratively, the distributor was able to offer a solution that kept the client running profitably. Now that distributor is even more deeply entrenched in the account and is poised to significantly grow their business.
The moral of the story? Sometimes the winning solution isn’t glamorous. It just takes putting on your thinking cap.