Cloud ERP solutions can help all types of industry sectors, but they are particularly beneficial to wholesale distribution companies. There are many issues that affect this type of business that can be helped by implementing a cloud-based ERP system. This blog is going to explore those issues and how cloud ERP solutions can help resolve them.
Disparate and Legacy Systems
Plenty of companies are still trying to cope with disparate and legacy systems that have become so entrenched within the business over many years that managers often feel stuck with them. They feel that they have to ‘make do’ as their systems have been heavily customised to their requirements over a long period of time, and that the pain of change will be worse than making do with what they’ve got. The problem with this is that is constricts growth potential as business processes have to work with the systems’ abilities. This generally leads to an over-reliance on Excel to fill in the gaps as the company grows but increases inefficiency and manual administration between systems that don’t communicate with each other and leads to greater potential for human error.
Manual Administration and Processes
Many businesses still rely on manual administration and processes if they are using legacy systems. As the business has grown over the years, legacy systems become unable to cope with the company’s evolving processes, which means that staff have to manually enter data or rely on Excel for reporting purposes to give managers the insight they need. For employees, this inefficient use of time could be better spent on aspects of their roles that have a greater impact on the business if the company utilised a cloud ERP solution that automates processes. It would also give managers the insight they need to support their decision-making without having to spend a lot of time collating reports from multiple sources.
Lack of Integration
Lack of integration between systems means that managers are unable to access the real-time data and insight they need and forces staff to duplicate data entry between systems, wasting valuable time and resources. They may also be relying on Excel to generate the reports needed, taking a significant amount of time to collate data from multiple sources. Manual data entry is not only time-consuming but also error-prone, which could lead to incorrect reports. After all, how often have you entered a decimal place incorrectly, or hit the wrong number and not noticed?
The value of goods in stock is one of the biggest overheads for wholesale distribution companies. This is also an area that has potential to reap significant cost savings by implementing the right systems and processes to manage stock levels effectively. Over-reliance on manual processes and Excel often means that companies can lose stock, if it has been put in the wrong place, or waste stock if it has use-by dates or contents that have the potential to spoil. ERP solutions can help prevent this by keeping accurate records on item quantity, location and best-before/use-by dates.
How can cloud ERP solutions help?
Cloud ERP solutions, such as SAP Business One, can future-proof wholesale distribution companies by providing a highly intuitive, scalable solution that can automate processes across the business. By removing the reliance on manual administration, the time savings generated enable employees to focus on more meaningful work that has a greater impact on the business and consequently increases their job satisfaction. The increase in accuracy gained by removing manual administration means that orders are less likely to have errors so in turn, this will increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, and reduce returns. Cloud ERP solutions also facilitate better stock management, ensuring the optimum amount of stock to fulfil orders, keeping control of processes across the supply chain, and reducing the potential for wastage by keeping track of use by/best before dates. The ability to integrate with barcode scanning applications also increases speed and efficiency, enabling staff to fulfil orders quicker and with greater accuracy, which ultimately results in better customer satisfaction.
Accessing your ERP solution via the cloud means that it is accessible from anywhere on any device. This is essential when your business has multiple sites or delivery vehicles as it enables staff to update the core system without needing to have a direct connection. This gives managers real-time access to data that enables them to make informed decisions and provides an accurate picture of business performance at any time.
Cloud-based ERP solutions are also easier to upgrade as they don’t require data migration between servers. In addition, they don’t require costly, depreciating IT infrastructure on-site, plus internal experts to support this, which means that maintenance overheads tend to be lower. Cloud ERP solutions are also much more scalable as compute resources can simply be expanded as your business grows and demand increases.
To find out how SAP Business One can help you increase efficiency and automate processes within your wholesale distribution business, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team.