“Do I need Amazon supplier software to manage my vendor relationships?”

We hear merchants ask this type of question all the time. Although there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, if you intend to scale your Amazon business, there is a good chance that supplier software can help.

In this post, we’ll help you answer the question for your own business.

Your Supplier List Never Seems to Get Smaller

The Amazon marketplace is the land of opportunity – both for the buyer and seller. Anything worth buying is usually just a tap of the Buy Box away. As an item’s sales rank increases, savvy sellers (like you!) take notice and figure out creative ways to capitalize on the trend. If your current vendors cannot supply the product, you’ll need to go out and find someone who can. You’re good at establishing supplier relationships, but each new relationship increases the complexity of your record keeping. Being the prudent seller that you are, you always have the following information handy for each supplier:

  • Billing & ship-from addresses
  • Your main point of contact
  • Payment terms
  • Average lead time on shipments
  • Free freight minimum
  • How you restock items from the supplier (such as whether they ship directly or cross dock items to your warehouse)
  • …and other important details

Unfortunately, your supplier tracking spreadsheet is getting out of control. What started out as a few rows with several columns of data has grown into hundreds of rows and columns. Simply finding a single supplier takes several minutes of your time, not to mention trying to extract any meaningful conclusions. With each new supplier you add to the sheet, you’re only compounding the problem.

A tool like RestockPro can create scalability in the management of supplier information. Adding a new supplier is as simple as clicking a button and filling out an intuitive web form.

Or, if you want to hit the ground running faster, you can import your existing spreadsheet (download our import template), which will instantly create individual supplier records in our software. Whether you import or enter each supplier one by one, you’ll be able to search, sort, and edit supplier information on the fly – without fumbling through a cumbersome spreadsheet.

Each Supplier is Different

Some suppliers offer generous shipping terms. Others provide discounts or free shipping if you hit a certain order volume. Still others adjust their payment terms seemingly on the flip of a coin. With such a dynamic ecosystem to contend with, failing to update your spreadsheet even once can cause a costly mistake in the future.

Despite the usefulness of accurate records, it’s no wonder why merchants can easily forget to update their supplier spreadsheets. After all, most of their time is spent on more value-added activities, such as monitoring order volume, creating purchase orders and building shipments. Updating a spreadsheet, although important, falls to the bottom of most to-do lists.

An integrated supplier management system, like RestockPro, solves this problem by centralizing all operational activity into a single hub. In addition to housing your supplier information, RestockPro lets you build electronic purchase orders, create shipments and track your supply chain. Instead of jumping from your Seller Central account to your inbox and back into a spreadsheet, RestockPro ties everything together.

Can’t recall who was offering a discount incentive? RestockPro remembers, and lets you know when your restock level qualifies. Like a trusted advisor, RestockPro guides you through the workflow based on how you normally replenish items with any supplier. When you create the PO, it automatically fills in the right addresses, payment details, case packs and even personal notes for each supplier. The history is tracked so you can actively monitor each supplier’s performance and know which vendors are driving the best results for your bottom line.

In RestockPro, everything is tracked in one central place, which means you’ll rarely have to leave. By focusing the majority of your time in a single supply chain management tool, you’ll become much more likely to update supplier assumptions as things change. The net result? Better data, better supplier relationships and more informed decision making.

Suppliers Need to Be Held Accountable

Not every supplier lives up to your high expectations. In fact, some seem to drop the ball more so than others. With RestockPro, you can hold your suppliers accountable with much less effort.

For starters, each shipment (whether inbound to you or an Amazon warehouse) is visible from your list of orders in RestockPro. With a few clicks, you can see which shipments are being prepped, in transit or arrived. You’ll even be able to track how many units were received versus the number ordered. If there’s ever a discrepancy, you have historical records and a central place to document your reconciliation efforts.

In addition, our supplier performance report can help you quickly visualize which vendors are contributing to (or detracting from) your inventory turnover.

Time to Dump the Supplier Spreadsheet

If you’re ready to dump your supplier spreadsheet, RestockPro can be an affordable solution for the Amazon-focused seller. All our plans offer unlimited supplier management, allowing you to create the scalability you need to grow.

Import your supplier list to RestockPro today, and never update a spreadsheet again!

Colleen Quattlebaum

As the Business Development Manager for eComEngine, Colleen Quattlebaum is committed to helping Amazon Sellers succeed. Colleen reviews the latest market trends and strategizes on how to improve eComEngine’s offerings, so she can pass that insight and value on to Amazon merchants.