Every distributor is different. Different products, different suppliers, and different locations—all scientifically chosen to maintain margins, improve delivery speed, and ultimately ensure that the supply chain remains in a state of flow. But there’s another area in which they are different as well—technological maturity, risk tolerance and goals. In turn, this leads to distributors living in different realities, existing in different stages of their warehouse modernization journey.
Where Do You Stand?
From companies like Amazon who rely on fully automated systems, employ an army of robots, and design their facilities to accomplish specific goals to those who live in a traditional landscape, everyone has their own journey to advancement.
Knowing this, being able to understand where stand now can help you ask the right questions and get a clear picture of what you need and how to get there. Whether you’re looking to start small and snowball your way to advancement or want to rip the band-aid off and recreate your business for the modern landscape, the first step should be self-discovery.
Self-Discovery: The First Step to a Warehouse Modernization Initiative
The process of self-discovery in your technological journey consists of a variety of approaches designed to point your investments in the right direction and put you in a position to extract value faster. Following our recent articles discussing the technology that exists and the features to look for in a distribution ERP, we would today like to present you with a few questions to ask as you prepare for a move:
Question One: Are You Using a Legacy or Entry-Level ERP System?
One of the first things to look at is your ERP system. As the heart of a company’s existence, the ERP system needs to be able to handle information and turn it into something of value. However, entry-level ERP and legacy products often stand in the way.
Companies on entry-level accounting systems have few tools to automate processes. Established distributors on legacy ERP systems also have limited resources and difficulty connecting to today’s technologies.
Question Two: Is It Difficult to Connect This System to Necessary External Products?
Not only does your team need to make use of data from a variety of sources, they can’t be bogged down trying to transfer the information from one system to another. Whether it’s using Excel or hand-keying data to move it between two products, this process is not only inefficient, it’s inaccurate. True integration can help facilitate information transfer and ultimately increase speed.
Question Three: Does Our ERP Help Warehouse Employees Work More Easily?
Warehouse management and barcoding technology is built to help everyone. Warehouse employees can save time picking products, managers get more data on the speed and process of the business, inventory associates have fewer headaches ordering, and the business simply runs more efficiently.
By connecting your business with WMS systems and barcoding technology, you can position your business to get more out of its people.
Question Four: Are We Constantly Running out of Stock or Carrying Additional Inventory?
Inventory management consists of two components—knowing what you have and knowing how and when to replenish it. But too often, manual processes leave companies without a clear picture of what they have, how much they have, or where the products are. This creates a problem.
Those without a clear picture of inventory and ordering often run into stockouts, causing them to attempt to lower risk by ordering more, which adds to the costs. A balanced, connected, and automated approach can help you keep just enough inventory to improve margins and facilitate business.
Question Five: Do We Struggle to Manage Quality and Compliance with Customers and Industry Regulations?
Keeping up with inventory is hard, keeping up with customer demands and industry regulations is life or death. Planning around safety laws and regulations, changing consumer demands, and increased expectations for environmentally-friendly and traceable products, require intricate and careful handling. However, too often, a lack of visibility can result in negative consequences in the long run. Fines and media exposes can leave you with a tarnished reputation and lower sales.
This creates a need for distribution firms to embrace technology that helps them prove that they are meeting and exceeding their promises.
Learn more about ERP for distribution.
The Right Product from the Right Partner
The path to warehouse modernization is complex and often requires you to make some tough decisions to get the most out of the journey. One decision that shouldn’t be hard is who you trust with the project.
But not every company has the skills to get you from knowing what need to reaping the rewards of a new system. At Cloud 9 ERP Solutions, a Gold Certified Acumatica Partner, we have worked with companies like yours to configure and deliver Acumatica Cloud ERP, a product ready and able to handle your challenges.
Get to know more about how we work, who we’ve helped, and why we’ve been a leader in the business for nearly three decades by contacting us for a free consultation or watch our Acumatica Distribution demo.
Additional Distribution Resources