Grow and Streamline Your Wholesale Distribution Business with NetSuite

By - October 13, 2014

As a strategy, many wholesale distribution companies are focused on a balance between revenue growth and cost savings. Others are focused on revenue growth alone.

NetSuite is the perfect solution for either approach. It increases efficiency by automating and streamlining business processes, and can cut IT and operational costs significantly. It drives down inventory and frees up capital, so your company can develop new products and channels while growing profits.

Below are common goals of most wholesale distributors.

  1. Increase sales through expansion into multiple sales channels
  2. Optimize the inventory management and order fulfillment processes to maximize fill rates and while reducing capital
  3. Provide exceptional customer service in order to retain existing customers while developing new ones
  4. Grow the business in sales and product offerings with little or no increase in IT infrastructure or personnel

NetSuite provides wholesale distributors with a robust, cloud software platform that will support the achievement of these goals.

Multi-Channel Sales Management

NetSuite supports expansion into multiple selling channels, including channel partner sales teams, B2B/B2C ecommerce, and online marketplaces such as, eBay and others.

NetSuite offers an Advanced Partner Center portal where independent channel partners can manage leads, develop quotes, and submit sales orders within the wholesale distributor’s NetSuite system. This provides increased revenue often at a much lower cost of sale.

APC DB 2 APC Sales Order

In addition to CRM and ERP functionality, NetSuite provides a robust and configurable Ecommerce component. NetSuite Ecommerce provides both B2B and B2C ecommerce experiences, giving end customers and distribution partners a comfortable, powerful experience over desktop and mobile platforms.

Distributors can also dramatically increase their selling footprint by utilizing online marketplaces such as, eBay, Rakuten and others due to NetSuite’s open integration platform as well as an ecosystem of solution partners with pre-existing “connectors” to these market places, for seamless bi-directional communication.

Inventory and Order Fulfillment Management

For wholesale distributors, management of inventory is paramount to their success. Having too little of an item creates back-orders, lost revenue, and unhappy customers. Too much inventory ties up capital, can create obsolescence and lower profits.   NetSuite provides real-time, accurate inventory management and reporting. For distributors that want to expand nationally or globally, the multi-location inventory management functionality provides visibility into inventory availability across all warehouse locations and supplies methods for transferring inventory between locations.

Demand planning automation provides algorithms for suggesting planned purchase orders to provide accurate inventory levels to meet future demand while minimizing inventory carrying costs.


In the event that a customer orders an item that is not currently in stock, the sales professional will be able to use NetSuite’s Available to Promise (ATP) functionality to provide the customer a ship date for that item based on expected receipt dates of open purchase orders. Or, they can use NetSuite’s built-in upsell feature to find similar products that are in stock that could meet the customer’s immediate requirements.



Customer Service

Built-in customer support case management gives the customer multiple ways to communicate questions or product issues to the wholesale distributor, including a support email address and a 24/7 customer portal for self-service support cases to be entered and reviewed.

Customer Center DB

New Case

Case List

Use NetSuite’s customer and vendor return material authorization (RMA) business flows to manage customer/vendor returns across all departments involved, such as customer service, shipping/receiving, and accounting. For customer returns, a FedEx or UPS return shipping label can even be included in the initial shipment to make the return process as easy for the customer as possible.

Business Growth

Last but not least, wholesale distributors often operate at lower profit margins than other industries, but have higher volumes of transactions which makes it critical for them to maximize their efficiencies and minimize costs.

NetSuite for Wholesale Distribution combines customer-facing sales force automation, marketing, and customer service processes with back office inventory management, fulfillment, and accounting—all in one system. As a cloud-based application, it lowers TCO by eliminating costs for on-premise servers, license fees, and site-to-site IT support. And it all comes with rapid implementation and a quick ROI.

RSM has years of experience implementing NetSuite for wholesale distributors and is also an award-winning NetSuite partner. We would welcome the opportunity to learn more about your distribution business and any goals you have that cannot be achieved with your current ERP platform. Please contact RSM at or by phone at 855.437.7202.

By: Gary Leitner – Colorado NetSuite Solution Provider

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