The realities of an incorrectly selected enterprise resource planning (ERP) system can be quite tough for an organization evaluating wholesale distribution ERP software, or any ERP software for that matter. Incorrect selection can leads to costly overruns, software that is misaligned with business needs and operations, customer and employee dissatisfaction, and a lack of return on investment. For an organization in the wholesale distribution industry it is important to remember that virtually every ERP system will have some level of distribution functionality within it, but few have robust enough features to improve operations in complex distribution channels.
Individual need of a business will always shift a little from organization to the next but there are certain ERP features and functions that should be at the heart of any wholesale distribution ERP evaluation and selection process to ensure long term business improvements. For wholesale distributors, the main focus of their ERP systems needs to focus on helping them achieve the following goals:
- Maintaining optimal inventory levels
- Enabling for the rapid movement of goods
- Providing a positive customer experience with strong back-office integration
- Flexible reporting and business intelligence features to identify problem areas and measure results.
What features and capabilities should you look for to achieve the above goals? There are many, but here are a few of the most important to consider:
- Flexible order entry
- Document management
- E-commerce capabilities
- business intelligence
- Inventory management
- Change order management
- bar-coding and RFP capabilities
- Advanced planning and scheduling
- Distribution requirements planning (DRP)
- Fully integrated CRM for efficient marketing, sales, and customer management.
- Integration capabilities with warehouse management systems
- Strong financials for insight across the organization
The above is by no means meant to be the end-all be-all of wholesale distribution ERP features and capabilities to look for; rather it is meant to get you started and thinking about what your organization truly needs to thrive and which ERP system will help you get there, improve sales performance, increase efficiencies, reduce costs, improve fill rates, and more. Learn more about selecting the right wholesale distribution ERP system by utilizing the comprehensive ERP evaluation template below.