Distribution firms are positioned at the heart of the global product supply chain. Their actions, when properly planned and carried out, help to keep the economy functioning by ensuring that supply and demand meet – wherever they may find each other. Having the proper tools to plan, manufacture and transport goods is thus essential to success. For this reason, every company that has a substantial involvement in supply and logistics should use up-to-date enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
What is ERP For Industry Distribution?
ERP management systems are business management platforms that distributors can use to gather, store and transmit data between various departments, and with suppliers and clients. Through gathering, interpreting and sharing data, ERP systems facilitate and simplify procedures and automate routines, helping to streamline manufacturing and distribution processes.
The goals of ERP software are:
- Maintaining competitive pricing
- Maintaining advanced inventories
- Ensuring that orders are fulfilled on time
- Aiding the maintenance and management of warehouses
- Managing routing and shipping routes
In order to fulfill these goals, ERP platforms should have the following key functions and attributes:
- Order management
- Supplier management
- Inventory management
- Logistics management
- Business intelligence and analytics
- Integration functionality – the ability to connect with any existing platforms and working within and alongside them.
Reasons For Using ERP For Industry Distribution
There are several reasons why firms need industry distribution ERP software solutions. The five most important are:
- Optimize distribution and thus improve customer satisfaction. An ERP suite boosts the efficiency of your distribution processes. Goods go precisely where they are needed, when they are needed. Your customers are happier, and you can lower your inventory costs and keep a close eye on inventory numbers, reorder quantities and delivery times.
- Run a more efficient warehouse: Most modern ERP suites come with a warehouse management system (WMS) which makes it easy to streamline production and distribution processes, and improve your warehouse workflows.
- Control your supply chain: With an ERP system, you can ensure a steady supply of goods by automating and optimizing your supply chain processes.
- Monitor your costs more accurately: With the analytics built into your ERP systems, you can assess the profitability of your warehouse – and even individual product lines. You can spot cost overages and other profitability issues, and take remedial action.
- Reduce order times: ERP solutions can eliminate delays in order fulfilment and shipping. You can also streamline processes such as returns and credit management.
Key Considerations When Choosing An ERP Provider
There are multiple ERP providers offering the benefits described above, so how do you decide on the right one? Here are some key considerations:
- Functional fit: There are scores of different ERP packages and they are not designed to be one-size-fits-all solutions. When speaking to potential providers, make sure you explain your manufacturing and distribution processes so they can tell you if their solution will fit.
- Flexibility and customization: Your ERP system should be adaptable to your distribution processes, not the other way around. Check to ensure that the package can be customized and optimized for your needs.
- Investment: The cost of acquiring and running your ERP system is always going to be an important consideration. Don’t just consider the upfront cost of the package. You must also get an estimate of how much it will cost to maintain and run the system.
Panni Management is a developer of innovative enterprise software systems designed to help our clients in a broad range of sectors to keep their distribution and manufacturing systems efficient and profitable. Based in Calgary, Alberta, we can provide a powerful, customizable ERP software package for you. Contact us for more information.