The JuniperCommerce Blog

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How Do You Manage What You Can’t Control?

“The first thing you had to do was learn that there are certain things you CAN control and there are certain things you CAN’T control.” 

That’s Erin Glennon, CEO of Bethany Lowe, giving it to us straight in the Seller’s Confessional hosted by Gifts & Decorative Accessories, Home Accents Today, Furniture Today and Juniper by IMC™. And if confession is as good for the soul as they say, then all of us can count ourselves clear of conscience and ready for what the pandemic-recovery B2B landscape looks like.  

Happily, it finally looks a lot less like the cracked and mottled antique mirror hanging in your grandmother’s foyer and a lot more like the transom over your entry doors, its transparency letting the sun shine in again. 

Solving For the B2B By Asking Why 

  • What do you do if your container full of merchandise is stuck in the Canal or sitting in port waiting to get on -- or off -- a boat? 
  • How do you help your retailers keep their stores stocked to sell now AND sell later? 
  • How does a customer see your merchandise when they can’t be standing directly in front of it like they’re used to doing? 
  • What have we learned that’s so successful it’s coming with us into our wholesale future? 

I’m happy to say the expert panelists in the video have answers for you. Lots of them. For example, in the case of bottlenecked goods and staying well stocked with merchandise for customers, both Glennon and Brad Rosenkampff, Managing Partner/CPO of The Link Companies, say that recognizing patterns is crucial to being able to work within and around constraints.  

And Mary Moore, Founder and CEO of The Cook’s Warehouse and now also SVP of IMC’s Digital Operations & Omnichannel Buyer Engagement, cut right to the heart of it: “The retailers who have the inventory are winning.” 

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The Changing Patterns of Wholesale Commerce – Is That Anything Like Those 1000-Piece Puzzles? 

The experts describe how they have encouraged their buyers to change their patterns and modify their ordering philosophies.  

  • Instead of one large order, try placing multiple smaller orders, working with inventory that can be shipped immediately as well as products you can order now to have arrive later.  
  • Look for products made in the USA. While some USA-made products also struggle with limited control of components that might be coming from overseas, many vendors have goods made stateside and ready to ship, giving buyers quick access to merchandise for hungry customers.  
  • Work closely with your sales reps. Lean on their consultative expertise to guide you to products that are both available and good choices for your customers. 

Where Do I Find This “Magic Mirror” of Transparency? 

It’s really all about being able to see the whole picture, then being able to share that picture with your buyers. But it’s also about making sure that you’re not wasting your time chasing tracking numbers when you could be establishing and enhancing relationships with your customers. 

And that’s where Juniper comes in.  

Each panelist offered specifics about how they have used Juniper solutions and how they look forward to a future made even more agile and timesaving with Juniper.  

  • Glennon tells how -- by using Juniper -- Bethany Lowe Designs has reinvented their online and digital presence, not only “picking up with the times” by using a fully integrated websitedata hub, and PIM system, but heading full steam ahead into expanded integration with their Market showroom. 
  • Rosenkampff drives that point home, saying, “The future is not five to 10 years away. It happened within a four- or five-month period in 2020.” In his view, moving the technology forward means marrying online orders to virtual showroom appointments and keeping the reps updated and connected whether they’re in the showroom or three states away, “making it all more seamless.” 
  • Brandon Ward, an SVP with IMC’s Juniper Team, told how Juniper answers the thirst for real-time data and uses the Juniper solutions to support the industry on all fronts: “We’re not trying to drive buyers to a specific thing and a specific channel; we’re giving them the choice. We’re allowing that relationship to happen wherever it needs to happen.”  

Vendor Envy and Praise 

From her retailer’s perspective, Moore shares her “vendor envy, because – in the retail world – there’s not a Juniper. There’s not one solution that connects every system that I have to use together.”  

But she’s almost giddy with praise for the vendors who have begun using the technology that gives her easy access to product details and information along with great images, saying, “I’m really thrilled that part of this change has been the silver lining that our vendors are getting the technology that they haven’t had previously.” That’s the future that she wants for her business and her customers, too.  

Your Juniper solution is just a phone call or demo away. And it won’t cost either your firstborn or your pet frog. 

So hop to it. Let Juniper make the most of your most precious currency: time.