Managing a wholesale distribution business with low operating margins has never been more challenging, as changes due to Covid-19 and economic slowdowns over the past year have seen smaller firms struggling to compete with larger distribution companies, like Amazon.
Staying competitive in this multi trillion-dollar industry is a complex endeavor requiring the latest distribution software advancements and, more specifically, enterprise resource planning (ERP).
Why? Modern ERP solutions help distributors seize opportunities to provide capital investment returns that drive business. Increased productivity and efficiency as well as enhanced resource management and security give distribution companies an ongoing and distinct competitive advantage. This comes at a time when distribution businesses need to focus on remaining current to be successful.
Here’s a brief look at some of the most important features to look for in a distribution ERP solution:
Financial Management Features
Accounting software is used to manage finances in every business, and the distribution industry is no exception. Today’s ERP solutions for distributors meet various accounting needs, from asset management to billing and invoicing, payroll accounting, financial reporting, and other vital operations.
Financial management features should also support taxation management by streamlining inventory processes, cost allocations, and banking reconciliations. In many systems, financial management can be augmented with the use of AI, automation, and maximizing critical financial data analysis.
The online marketplace for distributors is a rich area for growth, providing sales opportunities that might otherwise pass a business by. Particularly in the past few years, more and more distributors are relying on digital environments to meet their consumers’ needs. Customers can access catalogs, place orders, and track shipments with ease that offers peace of mind and builds trust between businesses.
Artificial intelligence integration offers advanced product suggestions to customers, becoming more effective over time with each successful task and accumulating data, allowing advanced predictions on what clients might be interested in. These ERP systems should also integrate the latest digital security innovations, ensuring that all transactions and sensitive client data remain secure.
One of the biggest benefits of modern ERP solutions is successfully incorporating different departments and operations into one comprehensive system. For companies that conduct both wholesale and retail sales transactions or expand across multiple markets, this can be a significant issue.
Distribution companies need ERP solutions that let them take advantage of variable opportunities, adding long-term value by eliminating cross-platforming and interdepartmental concerns. Secure remote access to critical systems, multi-department streamlining, and enhanced management applications allow distributors to focus on aspects of their operation that need the most attention while staying current with automatic software upgrades and innovations across other critical areas.
Warehouse management features are another significant part of ERP solutions for distribution companies. Automating inventory tracking, shipping management, kitting and assembling activities, and on-site equipment use can help distributors lower costs and increase productivity.
Inventory availability and replenishment can become more effective, particularly across multiple warehouses. This allows distributors to forecast consumer demand more accurately and plan stocking activities accordingly. Distribution ERP solutions streamline procurement planning, managing third-party orders, recurring purchases, and logistics operations. Enhanced warehouse management also increases inventory data accuracy that becomes even more critical for tax deductions and inventory reporting required by law.
Find the ERP solution that meets your needs
It’s important to research multiple products to find the one that meets the needs of your distribution business. While doing so, be mindful of your company’s direction and what ERP demands may be needed in the future. Take your time before deciding what is best for your specific operation.
The most significant opportunity for ROI in a competitive distribution industry is selecting the right technology. Talk to providers and consultants about your business processes, identifying the expected value an enhanced ERP system will bring. Remember, one ERP does not fit all, even if labeled distribution software.
Transform your distribution processes with Sage
Many ERP software solutions on the market today claim to support distributors, but no one helps distributors like Sage. Sage’s platform helps you overcome the challenges of a complex, fast-moving distribution industry so you can drive your business toward a more profitable future.
With improved visibility across the supply chain, you’re in complete control of your inventory, profitability, and warehouse operations to finally stock, pick, and fulfill orders more effectively.
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.