For distribution firms, your business is built on client satisfaction. However, in recent years, clients have come to expect more from their distributors and the complexity of the market has created an environment in which your company needs to act more quickly, operate with more efficiency, and see more clearly. With even more change on the horizon, the next few years will be even more disruptive, more tumultuous, and more complex—and it’s on you to adapt to client needs and competitive evolution.
As we discussed in a recent blog, the best way to increase margins in today’s competitive landscape is to double down on customer satisfaction. Customers expect you to provide what they need, when they need it, and it’s likely that your competitors have made strides to provide this. From a focus on B2B ecommerce in a mature landscape to shifting their focus towards the always connected, increasingly empowered customer, many ‘leaders’ have retooled their efforts to achieve this.
Separating Leaders from Followers
According to Aberdeen Research, ‘leaders’, those companies in the top 30%, are taking strides to challenge the status quo in distribution by investing in process change, integration, and mobility by leveraging complete, end-to-end solutions. In simple terms, the best companies are using technology to make their jobs easier so that they can focus on strategy and customer satisfaction.
While these companies employ many tactics and strategies to accomplish this, one of the most prevalent changes these companies have made is this: Leaders have embraced cloud solutions that help them automate mundane and laborious processes, work well with other solutions, and give them complete visibility.
Anytime, Anywhere Access: A Key Component of Visibility
In a recent blog, we looked at the importance of visibility for distributors, discussing some of the key reasons that companies are using technology to enhance their internal and external visibility. While this blog discussed many of the reasons visibility is critical for distribution firms, we would today like to turn our attention to one of the key enablers of visibility: Anytime and anywhere access.
Product Logistics Meet Information Logistics
Distribution firms need to be where their customers are. Often, this means that you are working to minimize the distance between your firm and its clients, choosing warehouse locations that can ease the logistical burden of meeting customer needs. While the choice to leverage multiple locations may make it easier for you to connect with customers in a certain location, what happens when one of these customers increases their order beyond a location’s capabilities? For many laggards, this means scrambling to make calls to see if another location has the product in stock and has the capabilities to get it to the customer.
This process is laborious, tedious, and wasteful, and often results in relationship-damaging delays. However, modern distributors have invested in technology that can provide end users the information they need—wherever they are.
Collaboration and Control Across Multiple Locations
To address these challenges, companies are turning to the cloud to bring their locations closer together—no matter where they are physically located. Whether it’s visibility from the top down or collaboration between multiple warehouses or locations, leading distributions firms have found that the cloud facilitates the sharing of information that these firms need to improve performance.
Additionally, firms are finding that they can go even further than location-to-location collaboration with the cloud, empowering everyone throughout the organization with multi-device access, providing real-time availability to end users, whether they are at the office or on the road—using a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone.
Acumatica Cloud ERP: Designed for the Modern Distributor
Visibility and speed are critical to modern firms, but without the infrastructure to connect locations, users, and information, your firm is bound to fall behind. To address this, more firms than ever are turning to cloud ERP platforms such as Acumatica to drive them forward. Designed to facilitate information flow between multiple entities while providing those at the top the visibility and consolidation they need, more companies are choosing Acumatica Cloud ERP to take complete control of their distribution business.
At Cloud 9 ERP Solutions, we know that the path to selecting an ERP is a challenge. With so many options available, the decision often may seem overwhelming trying to compare seemingly minute differences between products. Many products offer the same or similar features, and it can be confusing to sort out what’s important and what’s not.
To help you understand some of the basics of an ERP solution for distributors, we invite you to download the Acumatica ERP Selection Checklist for Distributors. This checklist helps firms compare the features and benefits of distribution system vendors across five categories—productivity, functionality, technology, value, and risk. Download the guide here, and if you’re ready to learn more, contact us for a free consultation.