There can be a lot of pressure put on an organization when it comes to selecting, implementing, and effectively using an ERP system. While such systems surely present a significant opportunity for business growth and cost savings, there are many places where costly mistakes can be made. While we do not want to over-simplify the concept of ERP projects, there are essentially three steps to finding success with ERP for distributors or in any industry for that matter; visualize, optimize, and thrive.
The market in which you operate as a distributor and the technology you rely on every day is constantly changing; to keep up, distributors must be able to quickly access information anytime, anywhere. While older distribution ERP software systems offered a level of this, the modern solutions of today are packed with features to increase visibility and allow for mobile access to important ERP data which allows smaller organizations the tools they need to operate like large corporations and improve performance, here’s how.
When it comes to distribution, clarity and insight into supply chain and distribution channels is directly linked to your success. Many wholesale distributors have direct conflict with supply chain clarity that can effect an already snug profit margin. Having a Warehouse Management System (WMS) that integrates with your distribution ERP software can help automate processes and improve visibility for smoother operations and transparent distribution networks. Learn more about the benefits of integrated WMS and distribution ERP below.
Having an integrated ERP system also allows companies to share data with the extended enterprise and with customers. Using CRM and e-commerce modules along with other technologies to continue to make it easier to communicate and work with customers. Using a customer portal allows a seamless customer experience and can lead to keeping customers happy as shown in a study by Aberdeen Research Group.
Extensive regulations are just another challenge distributor’s face in their daily operations.These regulations, while put in place for some very good reasons, can complicate processes, increase the cost of doing business, and result in serious problems when not adhered to. Distribution ERP has the tools and automation in place to make measuring up to strict standards faster, easier, and less expensive than with manual processes alone.
In recent decades many manufacturers have taken production facilities abroad in order to lower costs and remain competitive. But the tide seems to be changing and over the last few years, manufacturers have been slowly moving operations back state-side. According to Sikich.com, since 2012 many manufacturers are moving back to the United States to create cost savings along their supply chain.
Running a warehouse efficiently can be a challenge – receiving, storing, and picking products with manual processes, overburdened staff and disconnected systems can result in a drain on operations, productivity, and overall profitability. With Sage X3, it doesn’t have to be that way. By automating this process you can speed up the entire process to reduce overhead and eliminate time consuming and error-prone manual processes.
If your supply chain involved the importing of foreign sources good or materials, than you are well aware that there are significant challenges and expenses involved in this complex process.
Unpredictable things happen all the time, for example, a storm at sea or a work stoppage at your port could quickly delay the arrival of your shipment by a week or more and the purchasing department is not the only area of your company that access and insight into your shipments, customer facing employees will also need to stay in the loop on such matters.
Choosing an ERP solution is tough, but choosing your distribution ERP software vendor can be even harder given the many options you have. Each ERP vendor will have their fair share of pros and cons, but the best one will be the vendor who meets your needs today, can adapt to your needs in the future, knows the distribution industry, and can serve as a trusted advisor. Sounds easy enough, but many companies make mistakes which can result in disaster. Be sure to avoid these common mistakes while evaluating your distribution ERP software vendor options:
Technology and business are always changing, and staying at the forefront of those changes are what can set a company apart from the competition. ERP for distributors has changed dramatically in the last few years and there are some new trends emerging that represent a huge opportunity for distributors to make better decisions, improve services, and reduce costs. What are these growing trends?
- Cloud Services
- Business Intelligence
Let’s take a closer look at how these trends relate directly to the distribution industry. Continue reading
According to Aberdeen Group, 92% of distributors already use ERP to manage and track their business. Of that 92% how many have made the move to a modern ERP system? ERP for mid-sized distribution companies is available, but many don’t bother to upgrade. Usually for two reasons; some stick with the same ERP system because it’s what they have always used and it seems to be doing its job just fine. What these companies may not realize is that they are missing out on the huge advancements ERP software has made over the years. Other companies choose to hang on to their legacy systems because they think best-in-class solutions are too expensive or too large for their smaller enterprise. While that may have been true 20 years ago, things have changed.
As with any software selection, it is important to start with goal setting before you get too far into the selection process. Ask yourself this, what do you want your distribution ERP software to help your company accomplish? Is distribution a strategic part of your operations, a profit driver? Or is distribution considered just a necessary part of the machine?
To help you get started, some of the goals you may want to consider include: Continue reading
Unless you are purely a distribution company- a company who makes their money distributing things- you may have figured out that distribution functionality in ERP usually falls a bit lower on the totem pole- somewhere beneath manufacturing, sales, financial, and supply chain- right?
Many times in companies whose main focus is on something else, tend to let distribution fall to the way-side…but that seems wrong doesn’t it? I mean, if it weren’t for the distribution of the product the customers would never get it, if they never receive what they bought…why are they going to buy it? Continue reading
Double digit cost savings
Significant reduction in cycle times
Improvements in customer retention and percentage of complete and on-time deliveries