ERP Manufacturing Insights

Top 10 ERP Features Warehouses and Distributors Need Now

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Enterprise resource planning (ERP) system investment is one of the best ways to stay competitive in the modern business landscape. An industry-specific ERP for warehouses and distributors that coordinates all disparate sections of a company is imperative. 

Nonetheless, ERP solutions are not made equal. When choosing from an extensive list of vendors, it can be daunting to distinguish the wheat from the chaff. This post reveals the top ERP for industrial distribution businesses, and will help you prioritize the functionality that will take your distribution business to the next level.

1. Automated Workflows

Your ERP should support automated inventory movement using RFID and barcode scanners. Other automated processes should include container or pallet license plating, labeling, scale integration, replenishment, and more. These processes make production easier and eliminate the room for human error.

2. Warehouse Management Capabilities

A warehouse is the heart of a supply chain. Investing in an ERP like Epicor’s Prophet 21, with inbuilt warehouse management capabilities, helps you support even the most complex multichannel processes. A good distribution ERP aids the optimization of warehouse processes and analysis of the best use of floor space.

There will be no waste of time in locating products because the RFID scanning capabilities help your team know where everything is. The software also enhances the accuracy of picks, packs, and ships. Using serial numbers, lots, and batch, you can track items from incoming orders to outgoing shipments.

3. Forecasting and Demand Planning

To meet the current and anticipated demand, you need to keep the correct inventory levels, which is not easy. If you go the manual way, you expose various processes to human error. An ERP with demand planning helps you minimize excess inventory, meet customer demand and avoid supply chain disruptions.

A system with forecasting and demand planning tools integrates data on historical sales and sales forecasts to help businesses optimize purchase decisions. Capabilities like automated purchase, supply plans, and supply orders streamline the inventory management process. 

Since the ERP synchronizes all the purchases, sales, and supply functions, you get precise forecasting. You can improve the overall inventory management, react swiftly to changes and increase customer service levels.

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Top 10 Warehouse and Distribution Features

4. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

EDI refers to data exchange between business partners without any human intervention. It electronically transmits all the information and documents, including 810 invoices, 856 shipping invoices, 850 purchase orders, and customs documents. 

If you are a high-volume distributor currently using manual processes to manage supply chain communications, ERP with built-in EDI will help you. It eliminates the risk of data loss while enhancing security, accessibility, and transaction speed.

5. Retailer Compliance

Most retailers have a robust compliance requirement list. Some may even require that you have EDI before conducting business with them. The information such as in-full shipments, shipping labels on time, and more can be much to remember and manage. 

When you do not meet the retailer requirements, you will often be hit with fines or late fees. A good distribution ERP helps you manage all the retailer specifications and guidelines to ensure you are always in compliance. This reduces fines and helps you maintain good relationships 

6. Sales Order Management

The sales order management powers every step of sales, including approval, receipt, fulfillment, and tracking. For consumer product distributors, the sales process may present many challenges. Thankfully, an EDF distribution system like Acumatica Distribution will help you conquer them with little effort. 

With real-time monitoring across inventory and automated workflows, you eliminate billing errors and get accurate quotes. You can determine the best fulfillment options and obtain approval with just a touch of a button.

In addition, self-service customer portals provided by distribution ERP systems make the clients feel a sense of control over their orders. They can track their product shipment progress and make changes at any time, which improves customer satisfaction.

7. Business Intelligence

An ERP with inbuilt business intelligence (BI) is a massive power drill for the growth of your business. It helps to uncover trends and gives an organization strategic insights into performance metrics. Making business decisions requires accurate data, and the large volumes of data involved in distributions can be mind-boggling. 

You need a way of analyzing, organizing, and storing this information. An ERP solution with BI will convert mountains of data into clear insights. The Aptean Distribution Business intelligence helps you see patterns and trends, monitor market shifts, and quickly adjust your plans. You can also use our distribution software comparison matrix to find the best ERP for your BI operations.

8. Profitability Scorecards

An inbuilt profitability scorecard helps you understand the profit margins for all your customers and suppliers. Where the margins are low, you will know it’s time to reevaluate tour partnerships and negotiate new deals. You will also be in a position to minimize chargebacks proactively. 

A profitability scorecard tool makes it easy to know the causes of chargebacks and design processes to make operational improvements. NetSuite ERPis an example of a great financial management solution.

9. Ecommerce

One of the excellent ways to distribute goods is by setting up an online presence. An ERP with eCommerce tools allows you to set up a shopping experience that satisfies your customers. It helps you utilize real data to provide your clients with accurate prices, products catalogs, and order status. Shopify is a perfect example of an eCommerce system that helps you start, grow and manage your distribution business.

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