In 2020, established distributors know that ERP software is critical to their operation for purposes understood across the industry by every distribution business.
ERP systems give distributors the power to streamline their processes, boost operational efficiency, carefully monitor inventory levels, generate detailed reports, improve their forecasting, and much more.
Because ERP systems perform so many different tasks, software vendors compete with one another through new and innovative improvements to the applications.
With the competition fierce and many new developments each year, distributors need to stay up to date and improve their workflows while ensuring they’re working from the best systems available.
Here are several new and continuing trends distributors will see in 2020:
AI-integrated ERP systems
One of the most exciting and promising innovations coming to ERP systems is the integration with AI for more robust analytics. While typical ERP systems from the previous five years have come equipped with forecasting capabilities and other analytical tools, most of these tools have been relatively limited in their scope and ultimately relied upon user interpretation to be made useful.
The integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning into ERP systems, on the other hand, stands to kick down the door of ERP’s forecasting potential for distributors. The result will be even stronger decision-making support for businesses that make the jump to AI-integrated ERP systems.
Broader adoption of robust ERP systems at all levels
As with any categorical business tool, ERP systems were adopted first by influential industry leaders when they were first introduced and then made their way down the ladder to smaller competitors. To date, smaller distribution firms still often use very basic ERP systems if they use one at all.
However, the massive uptick in cloud-based ERP solutions has put powerful ERP within the grasp of smaller operations, which means that these businesses will soon be operating with the same tools that the big players have been for the past few years.
Distributors will increasingly use ERP systems for accounting needs
ERP is a natural fit for distributors because of its inventory management and logistics management tools, but among the primary benefits of an ERP system are its accounting capabilities. More and more businesses across all sectors that use ERP are coming around to its accounting integrations, and distributors will follow suit.
Faster data access
ERP systems already aim to give users access to real-time data, and advances in computing technologies will continue to push these speeds even faster. One such advancement will be the adoption of ERP systems that use the computer or devices RAM for data storage as opposed to relying primarily upon disk space. The result will be faster, more accurate real-time data available for all users.
Cloud-based ERP will continue its takeover
Locally hosted and installed ERP systems have been falling out of trend for some time now, being replaced by their cloud-based counterparts. As with other industries, cloud-based ERP systems simply offer greater flexibility in the tools they offer distributors, as well as the freedom to access the system from any device with Internet access.
Empowering reps on sales calls and at industry events with access to cloud-based ERP improves the sales funnel which will help further put the nail in the coffin for locally hosted ERP systems.
Sage 100 for Growing Distributors
When you choose Sage 100, you increase inventory accuracy, complete and ship orders on time – all while adding more customers and growing margins without increasing IT infrastructure. Sage 100 allows you to operate more efficiently and make better decisions.
e2b teknologies is a Sage Authorized partner. We customize, implement, and support Sage 100 ERP software for a wide range of distributor and manufacturing operations. The sooner your business adapts to the new normal of cloud-computing, the further ahead of the competition you’ll find yourself.
Find out how we can take you to peak performance on the warehouse floor, in the accounting department, and across your entire footprint with Sage 100.