The benefits of ERP for wholesalers and distributors 25 February 2020

The wholesale and distribution industry is becoming increasingly competitive and is putting pressure on companies to offer a more cost-effective service, quicker delivery times and a personalised and multichannel shopping experience – all whilst competing with the market leaders and distributor giants like Amazon. Here, UK-based OGL Computer looks at the benefits of ERP for both wholesalers and distributors and why ERP can be the key to future-proofing a business.

Demands from manufacturers are forcing companies to look at efficiencies, retailers are demanding a more responsive service and end user customers are looking for a multichannel, personal experience. Couple this with the uncertainty of trading in the UK after the political negotiations, the marketplace can begin to look bleak.

Successful, savvy wholesalers and distributors are tackling these challenges head on and embracing technology to drive their businesses to the next level. Investing and implementing technology is how wholesalers and distributors can remain competitive. Settling for outdated and manual systems is what can hinder growth and you’ll soon be left behind struggling to meet demands and customer needs.

ERP software is a solution designed to connect all key areas of a business, automate processes that use up valuable staff time and ultimately improve efficiencies and productivity. For wholesalers and distributors, ERP software can be vital in maintaining control of inventory and improving order processes, enabling a company to stay competitive.

In order to tackle the common challenges faced by the distribution industry, a business needs to have (and be able to continually monitor and improve) the 3 key, future-proofing business objectives: Control, visibility and efficiency.

Without control over stock and overheads, visibility of sales and company performance, optimum business efficiency in order processing, sales teams, purchasing, accounts and a warehouse, it will be almost impossible to grow and improve a business.

How will an ERP benefit a business?
An ERP solution connects the key areas of stock control, sales order management and customer service. These areas will always work better when they’re interconnected because it enables full visibility across the business. An ERP ensures stock control is connected to a sales department, finance team and purchasing so a smooth, streamlined order process can be achieved.

There are six main benefits of an ERP solution:

  • Real time business data across all departments: ERP systems give all departments access to the same real time data, reducing the risk of employees making decisions that are based on non-standardised, disparate data. Because data is stored in the same place and can be accessed via secure login credentials, even field staff can work remotely using the same pricing grids, stock figures, schedules and much more.
  • Improve business and sales performance: With access to real time accurate data, there is control and visibility of performance. Data and stats of customer journeys, open sales, warehouse efficiencies, stock control and team performance give the ability to spot trends, know best performers, but also where to improve.
  • Tight stock control and warehouse management: Implementing an ERP System gives the ability to be more responsive to customers’ needs, buy better and sell smarter, minimise overstock and free up warehouse space for stronger selling lines. The system provided a systematic way of growing product portfolios and managing stock. With deep analytics, it is also easy to monitor how ranges or even individual products are performing; which markets have room for growth; and what lifestyle stage a portfolio was at.
  • Improve communications across departments: All communications (whether customer or employee), documentation and products are all stored in one place within an ERP system. This also means that employees are kept up to date with product performance, new product launches, customer interaction, status of an order and so much more.
  • Quality control: The real time data and visibility of company performance means that labour costs can be streamlined increasing efficiency in terms of employee productivity and help reduce unnecessary costs.
  • Enhance customer service: Employees will be able to provide personalised, quality customer service with access to contact details, order history and past interactions.

Deputy Editor

Claire Aldridge Deputy Editor t: +44 (0) 1727 814 450

Biog

Having joined the magazine in 2012, Claire developed her knowledge of the industry through the numerous company visits, exhibitions and conferences she attended both in the UK and abroad.

Claire prides herself on keeping readers well informed and up to date with the latest industry news.