Choosing the Right Wholesale Distribution ERP Software
When a company grows, employees can be left feeling overwhelmed by the demands and administrative work that comes with expansion. By choosing to help them out with a new software platform, your wholesale distributor can hold of on hiring new staff, while ensuring you don’t overload existing employees.
As a wholesaler, inventory is a critical aspect of your organization, and a key consideration when choosing a platform. When you’re selecting wholesale distribution software, it's important to consider what operations the software needs to perform.
To properly sell and manage inventory, you need to be able to accurately track it. This requires a streamlined system in place for picking and packaging items during the order process. By upgrading to a wholesale distribution ERP system, users benefit from potential growth, increased automation capabilities, greater departmental unification and reduced errors.
With the pool of big competitors constantly growing, and margins under constant pressure to narrow, digital distribution tools should be a go to asset. With the customer service benefits of an ERP system, a stronger relationship between you and your customers can be established.
By transforming your operations and embracing the digital age, you can do more to meet customer expectations and provide them with quick service, flexibility and accuracy. For your operation to stay lean in the modern market, a cloud ERP platform may be just the ticket, providing you with access to affordable ERP automation and efficiency.
All Things Considered…
Businesses operating in the distribution market are often subject to multifaceted and unique challenges, making movement through the phases of distribution a difficult and inefficient task. A modern distribution ERP system can be a massive boon to distributors, providing them with increased visibility, inventory management, demand planning, reporting accuracy and workflow automation.
The plethora of benefits that a cloud-based ERP solution brings to the table are invaluable. But before you select the system, it is vital to understand your needs and the potential benefits of your choice. This period of deliberation is a great opportunity to reflect on established practices and identify changes that could be made to increase efficiency and reduce expenses.
While considering the weaknesses within your organization, remember that, like companies, no two ERP platforms are the same. Each has its share of strengths and weaknesses. Many systems available in today's market will lack at least one of the features you need because they either over focus on industry specific issues at the expense of more general capabilities, or because they over focus on the general at the expense of the more industry-specific.
With some systems providing a more vertical slice, and others providing a broader base of customizable features, it can be difficult to choose the right software. Your first step towards this goal should be to identify the processes involved in your workflow, and check how those needs are met by each system
Inventory is Key
Bringing it back to basics, managing your inventory is one of the most critical aspects of your business’ day to day operation. The things you buy, sell, and move through your organization are the keys to continued prosperity as a wholesale distributor, dictating your ability to grow.
To facilitate the selling of products, systems that help you track inventory from the point of purchase through to sales and fulfillment should be in place. The distribution ERP platform you end up with should streamline picking, packing and shipping, while also providing you with key features, such as the ability to serialize items, count inventory levels,scan barcodes, and manage multiple physical locations.
Other distribution ERP features, such as sales and accounting, should work seamlessly with your inventory, granting you the ability to create purchase orders, re-order items based on inventory levels or leads in the pipeline, track bin or shelf locations and more. The wholesale distribution ERP software you choose should have what it takes to be the backbone of your inventory management process.
Lifting the Veil From Reports and Forecasting
A great challenge for many wholesale distributors is maintaining visibility over the entirety of an operation. If you could just gain this visibility of a company, you could ensure products flow readily, both in and out of the company.
With a distribution ERP system, the flow of information and data through the business is automated, so that companies can easily access the information they need. While questioning the way in which your business operates is healthy behavior, it's of no use when you can’t then access the answers to the questions you posit.
Furthering the goal of greater visibility, a competent distribution ERP system should be able to assist its users in reporting accurately, with data integration serving as a core part of this increased capacity for reporting. By ensuring that all the data for all of your business systems exists in a single database, data analysis becomes a breeze.
With the assistance of an ERP, distributors can compile real-time reports, allowing for better statistical analysis of your warehouse and front end operation, with each department benefiting from these real-time reporting capabilities. In turn, with an ERP system in place, you can drill into your data for greater details and historical trends. This allows for better predictions to be made, more accurate inventory tracking, improved part availability and a plethora of other benefits to be reaped.
Evaluating your Process While Evaluating ERP
By implementing an evaluation process, you can be sure that the software you purchase is going to meet the many needs of your distribution company. Additionally, the knowledge gained through this process can be used to ensure that your implementation goes smoothly, on time and on budget.
Through the successful implementation of a system for managing your distribution operation, you can be certain that you’ll have access to the data you need when you need it, company-wide. Furthermore, if implementing a cloud-based solution, you can have access to this information on nearly any device, benefiting greatly from its mobility.