What to Look for in an ERP for Distributors
by Darren Talley on 5/1/19 12:08 PM
An ERP for distributors gives a company the advantage of managing multiple business areas within one easy-to-use system. Whether it’s financial information, inventory management, purchasing, or sales, all processes are tied together, allowing maximum insight and control over operations that impact the entirety of the organization.
What are the benefits of having systems integrated? When functions are separate, there is a disconnect between departments within the organization; an increased likelihood of data errors, duplication of functions or records, lack of visibility into the business as a whole, and sales opportunities that are lost. Top ERP systems will meet these needs while also offering functionality that can drive customer engagement and improve customer loyalty.
More businesses are employing cloud-based ERP systems to give them a competitive advantage that comes when employees are given the tools they need to best complete tasks efficiently and a full view of business processes. ERP software can significantly improve business performance. Here are three areas that are specifically important to distributors:
Integrating Warehouse and Operations
One of the most significant issues small- to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) face is how to handle inventory management. Organizations that don’t have a firm handle on this facet of the company see a higher spend on inventory items, which can lead to hits to profit and a more unstable business as a whole. To mitigate these problems, SMBs should master the balancing act between having too much or too little stock. A distribution strategy with the warehouse fully engaged is critical for doing good business.
Most warehouses utilize some software system to run operations. Integrating the warehouse management system (WMS) with an ERP system can soften pain points of managing and working in multiple systems, as well as improving inventory accuracy. Business owners and leaders are better able to see detailed historical and real-time information through one modern solution — this provides for better strategic and tactical planning.
Improved Customer Support
Customer experience comes down to each engagement opportunity a distributor has. Successful distributors know around-the-clock support greatly helps to meet high expectations of customers and build loyalty. Many businesses can't give this kind of attention after hours or when the sales team is on the road or unavailable.
This is something that is becoming more of a challenge for SMBs. With a distribution ERP system taking the sector by storm, customers are getting more reliant on quick response and timely order fulfillment. A company that is lagging behind will likely feel a strain and ultimately suffer among the competition that has invested in modern technology that gives them a firm advantage.
An ERP system helps drive customer engagement by providing innovative tools that bring mobile access and even customer connected portals into play. Customers can communicate with distributors from anywhere at any time with up-to-date technology. Sales teams can better attend to customer inquiries, immediately and authoritatively — the system keeps departments across the organization informed on real-time updates that can be passed on to customers. An ERP makes it easy to review orders, re-order, add new products, view account billing history, and more.
Distributors are turning to ERP systems due to the rise of online competition in today’s marketplace. Expanding reach and making the most of customer connectivity is key to ensuring ongoing business
Realizing the need for improved customer experience, which depends on internal processes, is driving businesses that are growth conscious of committing to a software solution that is capable of tackling unique operational requirements that, when optimized, can next-level the company’s performance. By making it easier for customers to function and improve on their growth targets, distributors are drawing in new customers and also keeping those that have proven loyal, engaged, and satisfied.
Thanks to dashboards that reflect the needs of individual departments business functions, there is increased visibility across the organization. Mobile functionality means the employees can access relevant data and information 24/7 and from any location.
Distributors that turn to ERP system can certainly improve a company’s capabilities, but our approach will include a complete review of a business. We understand the complexities within an organization. We are determined to gain a full understanding of business needs and goals to make sure we identify the best software to take a company into a promising and sustainable future, streamlining all departments and levels.
With over 25 years of experience, we have seen the changes in business management software and can identify and implement the best ERP solutions on the market today. Contact us to learn more or schedule a complimentary software evaluation.