Digital transformation & back office automation for distributors

By |

Digital transformation is more than just a buzzword; it is a crucial strategy for distribution businesses and their growth. As technologies advance, companies gain access to innovative tools and methods to serve their customers better. This puts pressure on owners, founders, and CEOs to meet the high expectations of their potential clients.

According to a digital business study from Foundry, 89% of companies have a digital-first business model. This shows that savvy businesses of all sizes need to invest in upgrading their systems and processes, transforming how they work.

Integrating digital technologies in distribution drives greater productivity, efficiency, and sustainability. Investing in back-office automation in your company's digital transformation further sets the stage for growth to surpass your competition. 

Let's start by looking at the basics of digital transformation and how you can benefit.

What Is Digital Transformation?

The answer to this question is more sweeping than many realize.

Digital transformation is using modern technology to improve a business and its operations. The goal is to deliver increased value to potential customers.

This includes using the best digital practices and employing new skills and talents to optimize business for the digital future.

Digital transformation needs a cultural shift as businesses become more adaptable and use innovative methods, often with automation and advanced analytics.

The Benefits of Digital Transformation

As digital transformation has touched every aspect of a business, there are several reasons why it is vital for an organization.

This is why 89% of companies have already adopted a digital business strategy or plan to do so.

Innovation Gives A Competitive Advantage

Digital transformation is gaining ground among distributors, but only a few companies invest effectively. This shows that many companies need help to evolve and are operating their businesses through outdated systems.

One must first understand that potential customers can use advanced technology to a find better digital and more efficient experiences with a competitor. Even B2B Businesses are also using digital channels to their advantage.

Using digital tools can give your business an edge, helping it grow and meet customer needs effectively.

Reduced Risks And Higher Security

Digital technology can introduce your business to robust and reliable software that reduces risk and chances of failure.

Additionally, digital transformation ensures maximum security for your business, protecting your company's valuable data and important customer information.

Improved Decision Making

Businesses these days are only as good as the data they use to make decisions. Give yourself and your team access to the data collected. Tools like a customer or content management system mean you can use them to guide your strategy.

With the right digital tools, gathering data has become easier than ever. Analyzing it and finding valuable insights, especially in back-office operations, will help your team immensely. 

Data-Driven Insights

Data analysis has become essential for businesses. These insights enable companies to understand their customers better. Personalize their strategies, and receive real-time feedback for improved agility and results. Companies can optimize their systems and streamline processes through these insights for better results.

The role of digital business processes is to offer data-driven insights. Don't underestimate this benefit, which can lead to a higher ROI.

Enhanced Collaboration Across Departments

Thinking of digital transformation and changing business processes is daunting for most employees. According to the SMB group study, 27% of leaders observed their team's resistance towards a shift, a significant challenge.

This is because digital transformation demands significant changes in all the business processes and strategies to the company culture's core. But this presents a perfect opportunity for ensuring unity among the employees as the entire transformation process requires seamless communication.

Digital Transformation: Challenges For Businesses And Solutions

To successfully transform your distribution business digitally, you must evaluate potential challenges and develop strategies to overcome them.

Lack of Digital Skill-Sets

A significant challenge in driving digital transformation for your business is the need for more skills to adapt to the technological shift. Digital transformation requires employees to learn new skills to adapt to changes in technology and business processes.

According to Mckinsey, 70% of digital transformations fail due to employee resistance. Small and mid-sized distribution businesses must train employees on digital tools to drive digital transformation. Getting the buy-in to a digital adjustment
Ignorance Of Digital Security

The technologies associated with digital transformation offer several advantages, but they come with security risks. Small and mid-sized businesses must secure their network's endpoints through strict security measures.

Training and educating users is essential to enhance the security of your digital processes. Good security practices that minimize the risk of malware.

Misunderstanding Agile Transformation

Another challenge includes keeping your business up to speed with the constant digital landscape transformations. Also, many small businesses need to realize the need to change their company culture to support agile transformation.

To counter this challenge, you must instill a transformative vision in the core of your company culture. Stand firm in the face of failure and leverage digital tools to experiment in profitable avenues to drive business value.

Compromised Customer Experience

Customer experiences are the key differentiators between your business and your competitors. Companies need time to provide the ultimate customer experience, especially if they do not use digital tools in this technological age.

The key to countering this challenge is to harness technology. Focus on the tech that offers the best customer experiences that keep your customers around for long.

Legacy Architecture

Relying on old business systems and digital tools might "get the job done" on the surface. Growth, however, will be challenging to come by in the competitive distribution market. Long-term legacy systems become a burden rather than an asset.

To embrace digital transformation, businesses must shun their legacy systems to make their name in the digital world.


Starting a digital transformation for your business is complex. But you can drive change as long as you first take the time to understand digital technology. Then, combine it with your business processes to deliver high customer value.

Be sure to check in with your team when embarking on your back-office and digital transformation. Are they aligned with the proposed changes? Make steps in training for an improved and adaptable work environment.

Envision a business using cutting-edge technology and the right digital skills to keep up with the world. Now you can go out there and build it.

Get Your Roadmap

About The Author

Connect with Illumine8