Almost half of 255 UK-based wholesalers and distributors managers surveyed feel that insecurity around Brexit is the key factor affecting company profitability, with 47% of respondents citing it as a top three reason, followed by employee costs 44% and inaccurate data 38%.
Commissioned by OGL Computer, the findings reveal that 88% say they are using multiple software systems and seem unable to break away from manual processes in managing business operations.
The findings also show that 27% cited those manual processes to be ineffective in managing business operations, whilst 98% of respondents still used some level of manual processes.
With the fate of Brexit still to be decided, a danger for wholesale businesses lies around stockpiling products and parts that are currently freely available from Europe. The National Living Wage is also set to rise to at least £9 an hour by 2020, which will affect some warehouse employees.
However, inaccurate data is the only major concern that can be influenced by wholesale businesses, with one unnamed respondent saying: “Sloppy work from our sales team where they follow an old price rather than checking up to date prices with suppliers and price increases from suppliers which are difficult to pass on to customers in the current climate.”
Nick Davies, head of software development at OGL Computer, a technology provider with a strong client base in the wholesale sector, added: “The survey findings correlate with much of what we are hearing from our wholesale and distribution clients. The uncertainty of Brexit and impact of wage increases is leading companies to focus on increasing profitability, with technology playing a huge role in business success.