HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT ERP FOR DISTRIBUTION

As a wholesale distributor, it’s more important than ever to have the right tools in order to remain competitive in todays ever-changing market. With the current supply chain issues and rising costs, selecting the right ERP for your business is the first step in the right direction. There are many technology choices on the market, but not just any solution will give you the ROI you are looking for when it comes to your specific conditions. Choosing the right system requires an understanding of your pain points and comparing the inefficiencies they bring to what your application choices can solve.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and other software applications such as MES, WMS, etc., have historically provided industry-specific tools and features within isolated databases which created the need for multiple applications. To avoid these obstacles, you’ll want to choose a solution which enables real-time connectivity and visibility from one end of your business to the other.

Here’s a guide to help you select the right ERP for your warehouse…

 

Determine your Business Needs

Modern technology offers a multitude of features and tools to enhance daily processes, but you need to first determine your critical business needs; everything from the type of goods in your warehouse to your customer personas.

What type of products are being stored in your warehouse? Your supply chain will move parallel to the requirements of your products; some products must move at a faster pace due to ingredients and/or expiration dates while others may have to go through multiple channels. This creates a drastic difference between distributors of durable or nondurable goods, which are not likely to be met by the same software features.

What are your distribution channels? Who you sell to and how you sell makes a difference in the type of tools and features you will need to invest in. Customer and partner channels add their own point of contact to your existing processes, in which the specific combination of required actions will bring their own set of challenges to automation.

What does your idea of growth look like? The size of your business creates its own set of pain points to conquer; protecting your ROI, and the scalability of your business is something to keep in mind when planning for growth. If you choose to implement a smaller, function-specific software like QuickBooks, you should plan to replace your solution in the near future when you require a greater user count and improved functionality.

How well does your business adjust to change? The COVID-19 pandemic downright eliminated the less-adaptable against those who were more agile to the stress of disruption, which proved the importance of business continuity planning. Regardless of what system you choose, be sure to look for features and functionalities to outride any storm and make your processes resilient enough to outsmart the uncertainty of change.

 

Selecting an ERP Based Upon Your Technology Needs

Once you have a better understanding of your business needs, the following stage helps determine which automation tools and features will benefit you the most.

Modern Application VS. Legacy Software: The split between modern solutions and legacy software continues to grow. New applications offer substantially improved flexibility and the ability to integrate much more seamlessly, while older applications are typically more regulated to the capabilities they were built with and lack the support required to maintain customizations.

Data Integration VS. Silos: The era of standalone software performing its own functions while data is manually transferred between Excel spreadsheets is quickly fading as they represent a liability to ROI by hindering productivity, communication, and visibility between teams. Solutions with seamless integrations knock-down data silos and provide seamless data flow between departments.

Cloud VS. On-Premise: In the past, legacy systems have been standardized to on-premise environments tied to onsite servers that required physical maintenance and upkeep. However, most of today’s modern solutions are hosted on the cloud which have proved to benefit performance, speed, connectivity, and cost. For example, functions such as inventory management have improved on the cloud – from the ability to capture real-time data to enhanced decision-making, remote warehouses, and other supply chain touchpoints considerably more efficient.

General VS. Industry-Specific ERP:

While an industry-specific ERP centers its functionality on key areas within a specific vertical, modern ERP solutions are built on a general platform to provide better “plug and play” options which allow for customizations to fit in a wider range of factors. Solutions such as Acumatica are designed to provide a broader level of functionality while still empowering users to drill down deeper into their specific data sets for greater insight.

 

What can Acumatica do for Distributors like you?

Acumatica Cloud ERP is a modern enterprise solution that provides flexibility, real-time visibility, a wide range of features for various distributor micro-verticals, and seamless integration with many leading applications on the market. To learn more about what Acumatica Distribution Edition can offer you specifically, contact the ACC Software Solutions team to schedule a discovery call!


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