Recommended Reading: Overcome Mental Hurdles of Tech Adoption

Distributors struggle with attributing benefits to technology.
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Many companies are still struggling to understand how investment in technology can directly benefit their business. The problem may stem from the perception that the benefits are indirect and intangible.

Distributors are not comfortable investing in something they can't "physically wrap their hands around," according to Logan Paquin, director of product management at Exact, a provider of cloud-based business software, in Use Tech to Work Smarter, Not Harder.

Only four percent of wholesale distributors are currently looking to purchase software that will help optimize their business models, down from 12 percent last year, according to the Small Business Barometer 2016, a new report from Exact and Pb7.

And while cost is often listed as a barrier to investing, costs are not preventing many companies from making large investments in resources elsewhere, Paquin says. Distributor investments in "resource-heavy touch points or physical changes to the warehouse and the shop are really detracting from actually growing their business," he says.

Attributing business benefits – such as increased growth, profitability or effectiveness – to technology is much more of a struggle than attaching benefit to a visible change such as the impact of hiring a new employee or purchasing a new machine, Paquin says.

However, it is critical for distributors to overcome these mental blocks related to technology and embrace the benefits it can provide, before it is too late.

Read more about overcoming the hurdles to technology investment in Use Tech to Work Smarter, Not Harder.

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