Customers are expecting more from distributors. They want reliability, increased capabilities and a better customer experience.
But meeting those expectations is more challenging than ever. Inefficient inventory management and supply chain disruptions are pushing distributors to optimize their business or risk losing customers.
These improvements are not out of reach. Distributors can leverage technology that already exists and is easily available.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software provides solutions for the complete business cycle, including e-commerce, inventory and warehouse management, shipping and customer service. It’s also easier and cheaper to implement now than it has been in the past.
Here is how ERP software for distributors can help meet customer expectations:
Using predictive analysis for supply chain control
Distributors are still facing an unprecedented amount of uncertainty when it comes to supply chains. And there are only more disruptions on the horizon.
But there is a way to become adaptable to sudden changes. With an ERP, you can use predictive analysis to gain control over your supply chain, even in uncertain times.
Predictive analysis uses historical data to model potential future trends. That information empowers distributors to make strategic and timely decisions. They no longer have to guess about which vendors to use, how much inventory to purchase or when to purchase it.
With more control over the supply chain, distributors can quickly pivot to ensure that they have the inventory they need.
Optimizing warehouse efficiency and fulfillment
When it comes to fulfillment, customers are expecting distributors to have better reliability and shorter delivery windows. To meet these expectations, distributors need to change the way they manage fulfilment.
An ERP can optimize warehouse efficiency so that distributors can maximize their time. It can plan where and how to store inventory, as well as improve the way inventory is located and tracked. It can also optimize the picking process, creating more efficient pick paths through the warehouse and saving workers from making repeated trips down the same aisles.
Automating processes using ERP solutions saves time and ensures greater accuracy and speed in fulfilment.
Creating a better customer experience
Expanding through e-commerce is one way that distributors can stay competitive. To maximize online selling, a distributor needs to effectively manage inventory and accurately process a high volume of orders. An ERP can streamline that process by managing all the necessary data.
It easily stores shipping, product and sales information to ensure accurate labeling and reporting. And it will track inventory so that what’s available online reflects what’s in the warehouse.
An ERP ensures that distributors will meet their customers’ high expectations for both user experience and shipping for online purchases.
Adapting to customer trends
Distributors may be meeting current customer expectations, but what about in the future?
Distribution ERP software regularly updates to keep pace with consumer trends. If a distributor needs to accept a new payment method or change how documents are managed, the technology will already be available.
For example, a recent NetSuite upgrade added additional authentication steps to credit and debit card payments. The authentication provides distributors better protection against fraud — an important concern when processing payments online.
With regular updates, users can be confident that their business will be able to adapt, regardless of trends.
Give customers more than they expect
Ultimately, customers want reliability. They want a distributor they can trust to ship products timely and accurately.
To meet that need, distributors need to leverage the right technology. ERPs ensure that distributers are maximizing profits by getting customers the products they want and shipping them on time.
If you’re ready to exceed your customers’ expectations, both now and in the future, invest in an ERP.
Wipfli makes ERPs easy
Wipfli is here to provide ERP solution services for your unique challenges. We’ll implement the functionality that you need immediately and continue working with you on optimization and upgrades.
Using an ERP for your business doesn’t need to be complicated. Contact us today to get started.
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