5 ADVANTAGES AN ERP GIVES TO A WHOLESALE/DISTRIBUTION BUSINESS
Wholesale /Distribution businesses are under constant pressure to reduce their operating margins, while increasing their speed of delivery and throughput. This makes it imperative to know exactly what inventory is on hand, what is committed, even what sales trends are occurring to ensure you can meet future demand.
Using paper based picking methods or relying on spreadsheets may seem like a low-cost option, but for many businesses, with even low levels of complexity, these methods are prone to error and require a lot of manual data crunching.
Being able to track your inventory as it moves from the pallet to the warehouse using barcodes, lot and serial tracking, ensures accurate visibility of inventory levels (including allocated stock), orders and fulfillment status at all times.
WHOLESALE / DISTRIBUTION ERP WILL REDUCE INVENTORY MANAGEMENT COSTS
A Wholesale /Distribution ERP system that incorporates a robust warehouse management platform facilitates an wholistic view of your inventory information, as well as putting it within the context of future sales orders, current sales in progress, and your business’s current and forecast financial position
Instant accurate insight into things such as; stock on hand, stock committed, stock in transit and fulfillment can have a huge impact on every other area of your business, lowering your costs as you’re able to ensure you only order exactly what’s needed, while reducing inventory of items that don’t move as fast.
Visibility and instant business insight clearly provides bigger opportunities than just a reduction in inventory management costs.
DEFINED BUSINESS PROCESSES MAXIMISE EFFICIENCY ACROSS EVERY AREA
ERP systems are not just a means of collecting and reporting on data, the flip side of an ERP system is that it defines very clearly what your business processes look like, what actions are followed, what data is collected, checked, managed and transferred.
Scott Runciman of Monza Imports, explains the importance of tight business processes very well, when he says “we import multiple brands using multiple shipping methods, where some shipments may carry multiple different SKU’s. Different categories attract different import duties, while there are also variations in licensing and royalties attached to different items in shared containers. Once products are received freight costing needs to be managed.”
The flow on effects of efficient picking, packing and shipping processes in other parts of your business.
WHOLESALE / DISTRIBUTION ERP WILL IMPROVE SALES MANAGEMENT
The income side of a wholesale/distributor can also benefit from an ERP, in that it enables field based sales reps to access live inventory data in the field, as well as process new orders while they are with a customer. Meanwhile customers can be assured that what they have ordered is not only in stock – but is now reserved for their order.
A modern ERP system will also enable your business to efficiently widen the order taking channel and incorporate direct website orders, reseller orders, rapidly adjust pricing on volume orders and so on.
You can instantly see that ensuring a there is no room for error, or data mismanagement in any part of the warehouse, as well as how ensuring there is only one source of data in <> data out really matters.
A robust ERP ensures all of these processes are streamlined and optimised, ensuring maximum efficiency.
REDUCED HANDLING COSTS
Can you improve your receiving processes and reduce labour costs? A clearly defined business process ensures inventory is quickly and accurately processed. A clearly defined business process also enables you to improve cross functionality of your existing trained staff and scale up your operations with contract labour as the time to train is greatly reduced.
A well-defined business process also assures maximum efficiency is achieved. As inventory arrives at the warehouse, automated processes and pre-defined rules, guide users through the receiving and put away process, including recommending bin locations and put away rules. Mobile devices can assign lot numbers, serial numbers, bin location and inventory status as items are received, recording every item within your ERP.
This in turn gives your warehouse or operations manager instant insight into how much stock is in the warehouse, what stock is at hand while also enabling rapid tracing of perishable goods and reduced wastage through better management of perishable stock.
PLAN AND RESPOND TO BUSINESS RISK BEFORE “THINGS” GO WRONG
Covid19 has thrown a real spotlight on the fragility of global and local supply chains, as well as all the different ways they are going to be disrupted in the near future.
From border closures, to the seasonal labour force nearly disappearing, to panic buying of toilet paper, do you have an early warning system that shows you potential risks?
Receiving in time alerts of potential risks, such as late POs, past due sales orders and transfer orders, are all helpful features within an ERP, as well as facilitating the means by which to explore “what-if” scenarios to give you the opportunity to plan and prepare your business for potential real world issues.