About Katie Canton

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So far Katie Canton has created 16 blog entries.
10 07, 2019

Hackers Are More Sophisticated Than Ever (and Your Customer Data Is at Risk)

2019-07-10T15:57:17-04:00July 10th, 2019|Blog|

With cyber attacks making headlines almost every day, it’s not a matter of “if” you will be breached but “when.” Every AR transaction could expose gaps in your security that open your customer and financial data to hackers. Your chances of a breach also increase if you don’t know what payment systems all of your locations are using to process customer financial data. If your IT team isn’t aware of a system, they won’t be able to ensure that your financial data is secure. “20% of finance professionals said that their company was hit with a business email compromise attack.” TD Bank Human error also causes a number of breaches. AR employees may store customer credit card information in an unlocked Excel spreadsheet and then carry it around on their laptop. If the laptop gets stolen, your customer data is at risk. Or an employee may accidentally open a malicious Read More

3 07, 2019

Long Collection Cycles Increase Your Costs and Reduce Your Margins. Can You Afford it?

2019-07-02T14:48:31-04:00July 3rd, 2019|Blog|

Multiple touchpoints create extra steps in your invoice-to-cash cycle. The more steps you have, the longer it takes to get paid and the higher your operational costs to serve customers. The average payment cycle for wholesale distributors is 37 days. If you want to shorten your payment cycles and free up your cash flow, take a hard look at your invoice-to-cash process. The more steps that you have in this process, the more friction you will create and the longer it will take to get paid. “48.8 percent of the B2B invoices in America are overdue” Atradius Late payments often stem from friction in the invoicing process. It’s not that business owners don’t want to pay on time – it’s that, due to the nature of their business, it can be difficult for them to pay. If a contractor is on the road most of the time, they may only Read More

25 06, 2019

Managing Massive Volumes of Invoices Causes Headaches and Drives Up Costs For Wholesale Distributors

2019-06-25T16:52:19-04:00June 25th, 2019|Blog|

Inefficient processes and siloed systems make it hard for AR teams to stay on top of every invoice – and for you to gather accurate data with which to base decisions. Wholesale distributors typically send 50K-1M+ invoices per month. Tracking, managing, and following up with all of these invoices is a massive job. In fact, AR teams for wholesale distributors can have hundreds of employees that are spread in locations across the country. Your drivers and sales people also serve as an extension of your AR team if they collect payments when they drop off goods and sell new orders. These teams often work in different software programs that don’t integrate with each other – making it difficult for you to gain visibility into every payment and your cash flow. Storing financial data in different silos makes it impossible to track the thousands of invoices that flow through your systems Read More

18 06, 2019

In Wholesale Distribution, Low Profit Margins Leave Little Room for Error

2019-06-18T13:00:22-04:00June 18th, 2019|Blog|

Due to slim profit margins, you can’t compete with Amazon on price. To stay in the game, you must improve efficiencies and customer experience. The gross margin for building materials and construction wholesale distributors is 13.5 percent. With such slim margins, you’re under pressure to turn over inventory quickly. If it sits for too long, the carrying costs and interest rates eat into your profits. Analysts predict that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates over the coming year – after almost 10 years of historically low, long-term rates . As the cost of borrowing increases, it will be more important than ever to optimize your operations so that you can control your costs and ensure that cash coming in is available as quickly as possible. This includes taking a hard look at your AR inefficiencies and finding ways to streamline your processes – while simultaneously giving customers a higher Read More

5 06, 2019

How Virtual Cards, Customer Portals & Automation Will Forever Change B2B Payments

2019-06-05T10:09:51-04:00June 5th, 2019|Blog|

3 Technologies That Will Forever Change B2B Payments Despite the fact that most wholesale distributors still rely on checks as their primary form of payment, the B2B payment world is changing rapidly. Here are three technologies that can streamline your operations and help you give customers a better experience: 1. Virtual credit cards Virtual credit cards are single-use credit card numbers that allow you to make online purchases without exposing your actual payment info or identity to hackers. AP teams can assign virtual credit card numbers to a specific purchase – minimizing the risk of fraud. The number expires after the first use. Virtual credit cards are gaining popularity with consumer and B2B buyers who are concerned about data security. Visa, MasterCard, and AMEX now allow customers to use their cards to make B2B virtual payments. Now is the time to prepare your AR systems to meet customer demand for Read More

29 05, 2019

CFOs Are Playing a Vital Role in Business Strategy and Growth

2019-05-29T16:27:17-04:00May 29th, 2019|Blog|

Move beyond finance to offer strategic insights into all areas of your business. CFOs in wholesale distribution companies have traditionally focused on negotiating supplier contracts and managing risk. But today, you have a huge opportunity to drive business growth. Since the recession, CFOs have been tasked with managing costs while positioning their companies for future success. During this time, technologies such as automation and cloud analytics have made it possible for you to gain a 360° view of your company and quickly find the data that you need to advise the CEO on the best course of action. Now, CEOs expect big-picture, strategic thinking from you to help drive the business forward. “75% of CFOs said that their role will become more strategic.” 2018 CFO Sentiment Study In fact, you may have a larger impact on the business than any other executive. According to a study by Forbes and KPMG, Read More

22 05, 2019

The Amazon Effect Pushes Wholesale Distributors into New Territory

2019-05-22T14:35:23-04:00May 22nd, 2019|Blog|

Wholesale distribution e-commerce sites that offer buyers a seamless user experience are rapidly gaining market share. You need a plan to compete – or risk lower margins. Or even worse. You’re facing increased competition from e-commerce sites that make it easy for business customers to buy anything that they need online. In particular, Amazon Business is rapidly gaining market share. The marketplace now has hundreds of thousands of sellers and is set to hit $10 billion in sales – up from $1 billion just three years ago. Some analysts believe that Amazon’s business sales will soon surpass its consumer sales. As Amazon expands into more markets, you may feel the crunch. In 2016, revenue in the wholesale industry segment fell by 3.7 percent. Meanwhile, a leading distributor saw its Q2 2017 earnings per share drop more than 40 percent from a year earlier, which it attributed to price reductions and Read More

15 05, 2019

Changing Buyer Expectations Make the Customer Experience Your #1 Differentiator

2019-05-15T14:16:40-04:00May 15th, 2019|Blog|

In wholesale distribution, offering customers a seamless digital experience – both pre- and post-sale – can give you a competitive edge. For years, consumers have enjoyed the convenience of online shopping. They now expect the same experience when they make business purchases. Providing your customers with a seamless digital experience is more important than ever – especially as millennials take the lead on purchasing wholesale goods. According to Pew Research Center, this generation now makes up the largest percentage of the workforce. Meanwhile, 73% of millennials are involved with corporate buying decisions. But it’s not just millennials. All buyer expectations are changing. Today’s B2B customers are used to doing everything online – from banking to managing a business. Their reliance on technology impacts how they purchase wholesale goods. "By 2020, B2B buyers will make more than half of their purchases online." Digital Commerce 360 For example, more buyers are using Read More