14 Benefits of ERP for Wholesale and Distribution Industry
The general wholesale and distribution may sound simple, however, the industry has unique challenges that require these businesses to continuously evolve and improve. The top challenges faced by these businesses include inventory complexity, stiff market competition, shrinking margins, and evolving customer demands. Wholesale and distribution are complex, high-volume, and fast-moving businesses that can benefit from the use of technology and innovation.
Using an ERP solution to manage a wide range of products, distribution channels, pricing requirements and resources can removes time-consuming manual processes and eliminate human-related errors. Below are the benefits of using an ERP for the wholesale and distribution businesses:
Main benefits of ERP software for wholesale and distribution
- Reduced operating costs
- Streamlined supply chain processes
- Better management and tighter stock control
- Optimised inventory management
- Improved communications
- Simplified sales processes
- Comprehensive visibility
- Better demand planning
- Better quality control
- Real-time information across all departments
- Enhanced customer satisfaction
- Improved business performance
- Improved reporting accuracy
- Better productivity
1. Reduced operating costs
Cost can have a significant impact on the profitability of any business. Automation improves workflows and processes across different departments which increases efficiency and productivity. Streamlining information flow across finance, operations, warehouse, and logistics removes tedious, time-consuming, and repetitive tasks. Better insights and information lead to better accuracy in forecasting, smarter inventory management, and a leaner supply chain.
2. Streamlined supply chain processes
Every wholesale and distribution business has similar elements – requisition of products, managing inventory in the warehouse, picking & packing, and finally delivery to the customer. An ERP software can help to automate processes like replenishment of goods, proactively warn you of low stock levels, track your orders, and manage incoming & outgoing inventory. You will also have access to real-time info for better visibility of your entire supply chain.
3. Better management and tighter stock control
Manual processes are time-consuming, tedious, and error-prone. Using an ERP solution improves the management and tracking of inventory irrespective of location. Having all information in a single system makes it easier to forecast demand and improve procurement.
4. Optimised inventory management
It is important to ensure that you have the right inventory available when there is demand for it. Conversely, it is also important not to have excess as it can lead to dead stock over time. Using data to forecast can help to maintain an optimal inventory level at all times. Businesses with multiple warehouses can also benefit from the ease of tracking inventory between warehouses in different locations.
5. Improved communications
Empower team members by storing all communications in a single platform for easy retrieval and follow up. All employees can access the latest and updated customer information without the need for emails or shared documents.
6. Simplified sales processes
Managing the sales team’s performance is much easier with easy access to pipelines and sales data. Sales status can be easily monitored through a sales pipeline which can also help in demand forecasting. The sales team will also have access to the availability of stock, customer history & details, product information, and latest promotion to be an effective salesperson.
7. Comprehensive visibility
Making data-driven decisions is easier with a 360-degree view of the business. You will have access to vital information across finance, inventory, procurement, warehouse, and sales in real-time.
8. Better demand planning
Access to real-time status of current, incoming and outgoing inventory gives you the ability to plan better. You can also automate replenishment of stocks by enabling the system to place automated orders when inventory hits at threshold amount. You can also view historical data and anticipate demand to make better forecast.
9. Better quality control
Use the ERP system to improve your inventory management. track and manage your inventory with tracking number, lot number, and batch number. All these information is helpful to identify and pinpoint issues when it arises. You can have better quality control overall due to the transparency of information across your entire warehouse.
10. Real-time information across all departments
Eliminate unnecessary reports and ad-hoc report generation with real-time information. Queries can be performed with a few clicks without the need to email or refer to shared files and documents. The data you obtain are also updated in real-time, and you can be sure that the information you obtain is accurate. There will also be less reliance on IT team to generate reports.
11. Enhanced customer satisfaction
Engage better with customers with personalised approaches that are made possible with access to customer details, order history, and past interactions. Solve customer questions faster with access to real-time information.
12. Improved business performance
The availability of information across departments improves visibility of performance. Data and information enable you to spot trends, know the better performing product/service, know your sales performers, and also understand where you lack in or where your strength is. All these information are golden nuggets to enable you to take action where needed.
13. Improved reporting accuracy
Integrating data flow across departments minimises manual processes which are time-consuming and error-prone. Without the need to copy, paste and merge documents and data, you will have better accuracy of data in your reports. Information that you obtain from your reports is directly pulled out from the system itself.
14. Better productivity
One of the more significant benefits of ERP is the boost in productivity. There is no longer a need to track inventory manually using spreadsheets, paper and pen . Manual processes like this are time-consuming and error-prone. Using an ERP removes the need for manual processes of such, freeing employees from repetitive task. Your team can focus on higher value tasks such as strategising the growth of the company.
Kickstart the ERP journey for your wholesale and distribution business today by contacting us.
SAP Business One is an affordable Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software designed for small to midsize businesses. As a business management solution, SAP B1 streamlines business processes, provides real-time information, and help boost overall business performance. The solution covers finance, sales, customer relationship, purchasing, procurement, inventory and manufacturing in one centralised system, enabling accurate and precise information retrieval that assist in reporting, forecasting and analysis.