Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) for the Distribution Industry

Manufacturing ERP Frequently Asked Questions
The distribution industry is rapidly changing.  Many organizations are using modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions as a tool to run their businesses more efficiently and effectively.  Outdated or legacy ERP systems have limited functionality, prevent growth, and hinder efficiency because they don’t integrate with other tools to properly run a business.  The newer ERP solutions, hosted in the cloud, have been developed specifically to give access to everyone, everywhere, at any time, to all the data they need to run a successful distribution business and prepare the organization for the future.
The distribution industry is becoming increasingly competitive.  Customers and potential customers have high expectations due to large, enterprise-level businesses, such as Amazon, Target, etc.  Understanding the customer behavior and meeting their needs is where profitability lies.  So, how do small to mid-sized distributors meet those needs?  A modern ERP solution is built to give you those tools at your price point. ​ A modern business management solution, like Acumatica Cloud ERP, can also meet your specific distribution requirements of day-to-day operations, complicated product inventories, changes in the supply chain, and customer demands.
  Acumatica’s sales, purchasing, inventory, and fiscal management software helped our swimming pool supplies distribution business reach profitability in year one.”    – John Gwaltney, Owner, Pool Source LLC

What is ERP – Software to Tie Your Business Together

ERP is software that brings your business together.  It eliminates silos between departments and gives everyone a “single source of truth.” Meaning there are parts of the ERP system for each department that integrate – internally and externally.  By having access to centralized data, you can automate core business processes, better enforce compliance, reduce data entry errors, have real-time reporting, and much more. Whether it’s accounting, HR, supply chains, or procurement, integration between all the facets of your business are critical.  This is what an ERP solution can do for you. To put it simply, a modern ERP system integrates all your processes into a single system, thus giving you more visibility into your business with built-in reports, dashboards, KPIs, and other analytics.  It facilitates the flow of real-time information across your departments so you can make decisions based on your business’s data. Many distribution organizations have gained efficiency and an advantage over their competition by using an ERP solution to standardize their front and back-end office procedures, such as:
  • Procurement
  • Accounting and Financial Management
  • Sales
  • Order Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Delivery Fulfillment
  • Forecasting
  • and More
Modern ERP solutions will help product higher revenues and profits by aligning the goals of your business and streamlining your operations.

​Acumatica, the Cloud ERP – a rising trend for distributors

​​fulfillment The Amazon Effect is felt everywhere. Customers demand shorter lead times, uncomplicated return procedures, and self-service access to manage their accounts and place orders online. How is your business keeping up with these customer factors?  What new go-to-market strategies have you adopted, while keeping costs down? Distribution businesses everywhere are turning to a modern ERP application like Acumatica.  Executive leaders can get a real-time holistic view of the entire business from a single, connected platform. Employees are empowered with configurable automation tools and personalization features to remove clutter and repetition.  With tools like this in place, everyone can focus on critical tasks to drive growth, reduce costs, improve quality, and increase profits with an extraordinary experience for customers and employees alike. With most modern ERP systems, there are extensions for almost every business scenario.  For example, you could add ERP components for e-commerce, inventory and order management and fulfillment. Or include applications designed for a wide range of industries, from manufacturing to retail.
​With Acumatica, one of the big changes is that we can now track a lead to a customer with all the associated notes along the way so we can capture that information . . . With better information and improved reporting, we’re expecting to see better sales results and improved customer retention.”     – Scott McCalla, Chief Strategy Officer International Pipe & Supply
​Would your business benefit from an enterprise-wide view?  Give your distribution managers the tools that allow them to have visibility across previously unconnected systems, vendors, and suppliers.  With insights into operations and data outside their own departments, you are giving them the tools and equipment needed to make better informed decisions.

​Benefits of ERP for Distributors

Distribution leaders have come to rely on real-time information to streamline their operations and balance supply and demand.  With mobile ability, detailed view, automation of daily activities, you can stay connected with your business.  Look at some of the benefits distributors get with an ERP solution: Business Intelligence:  Connect data from external applications to get one source of truth.  By harnessing the power of reports, dashboards, and Microsoft Power BI, you get deep analytics for strategic planning. Measure Results:  Monitor results in real-time.  View open orders, drill into transactions, manage late orders and keep your pulse on operations. eCommerce: 24/7 access to a customer portal is particularly useful for wholesale distributors as it allows them to view past documents, balances, due dates, received payments, and order online. Manage Relationships:  Obtain a 365-degree view of customers and vendors.  Access current communications, review order history, and see accounting activity all from a single source. Mobile: Stay connected!  Modern ERP solutions have apps for all mobile devices with full for access to accurate, business-critical information on any device, anywhere, anytime. Pricing Flexibility:  It’s important to have the pricing flexibility you need for your business.  Assign pricing and discounts by any variable, customer, number of units, completion timeframe, and more. There are many other benefits for distributors that makes them turn to a modern ERP solution like Acumatica.  Align your technology with your industry’s strengths, needs, and challenges.  Regardless of your products or services offered, a new system can help you to gain the competitive edge.  Create that agile, collaborative space you need to meet customer demands and grow your business. Learn more about Acumatica, the Cloud ERP for distributors. ​Download the white paperChoose a Modern ERP Software for Wholesale Distribution and Retail-Commerce.” For more information or to discuss your business needs, call 440-498-9920 or email us at sales@parallelsolutions4u.com.

Check out these additional resources:

How Modern ERP Can Improve Processes 7 Ways Distributors Grow with Acumatica ERP KPI’s for Every Distribution Business

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