A Brilliant Business
Network Wholesale has been an industry leader in tech distribution for fifteen years – selling servers, routers, drives, cables, connectors, concentrators, bridges, balancers, transceivers and more to engineers and developers since 2001. The Southern California company currently has 30,000 dedicated customers around the world – and this number is growing every day.
When this bright and innovative business needed an operations solution, they had some very specific and complicated requirements. We took their complex problem and made it easy to manage.
A Smart Solution
As their website bills, NW has over one million parts in stock. They sell on several sales channels – including Walmart, Newegg and their own site (supported by Shopify). A business at this level requires, at the very least, an automated inventory management system. Without one, it would be extremely difficult and time-consuming to accurately keep track of stock. A company runs the risk of featuring out-of-stock items on their site. Automation also allows new items, images, product details and pricing to be updated in real time. Full product catalog. This can put a business at a distinct advantage.
In addition to structuring their core ecommerce ecosystem, Network Wholesale also uses our platform to apply sophisticated logic and strategy to their operations. Let’s take a look at the initial problems they laid out and then walk through how we addressed them:
NW takes inventory in from three disparate product streams. Many of these product streams have the same items. This seems like a simple issue, but presents the following dilemma: How does the system know which item to present on site? The short answer is: choose the one with the lowest wholesale price.
But with that answer comes another question: What happens when that item is out of stock? The answer: Choose the one with the second lowest wholesale price.
Okay. But do we charge the same retail price if we’re paying slightly more for it? And should we charge more as our stock gets lower?
All good questions. Ultimately, NW’s process created a network of permutations and possibilities, each of which required a resolution. ‘If’ and ‘then’ are two of the most important words in automation. They’re responsible for the conditional type of logic that was applied in this scenario. Let’s say that we have three of the same items/SKUs from different sources: A, B and C. And we denote the final item used as X. We create an if/then statement that essentially states ‘if A is the lowest then A = X’ and one that states ‘if B is the lowest then B = X’ and so on.
As conditions progressed, these statements got more complicated. But they also stopped addressing simple problems and started creating opportunities. With smart pricing and a thoughtful product strategy, NW goes beyond simple mark ups. They have an organic pricing and inventory system that allows them to take full advantage of the state of the market at any given point in time. As such, they’ve seen revenue rising while continuing to deliver for customers on an order by order basis.
Product logic. Pricing logic. Item and category logic. NW adopted these powerful tools with just a few hours of work. Now that their custom strategy is set, they no longer have to worry about minor pricing adjustments or manual inventory. This is a smart system that runs itself.