Distributors are constantly having to adopt to new challenges both in the market and in the workplace. As the market picks up, distribution companies are having to find ways to make better decisions while – at the same time – improving customer service and keeping costs low. Experts predict that enterprise resource planning (ERP) software will play a significant role in helping distributors manage business tasks and cut costs in the coming years.
Recent ERP trends, such as mobile solutions, cloud technology, and business intelligence (BI) applications, are expected to help distribution companies grow and prepare for the future. Experts are predicting that these three trends will have a major impact on the future of the distribution industry and change how distributors do business.
New technology always has a way of shaping the future. Take a look at the top three ERP trends for distributors:
1. Mobile adoption is on the rise.
Today’s businesses are looking for mobility in an ERP system. The wide adoption of smartphones and tablets has completely transformed the way today’s distributors do business and create new opportunities. Mobile ERP solutions give workers unlimited access to the company’s ERP system at all times, which – in turn – means data and information is always up-to-date. This can be particularly useful to companies who have multiple location sites or for sales representatives who need access to product or shipment information while in a client meeting.Modern ERP solutions that include mobile capabilities are helping distributors accomplish more because they have real-time access to company information. Sales teams now have access to the information they need to give prices, generate quotes, start orders and update contact information while out in the field… all thanks to mobile ERP.
2. Cloud services are increasing ERP adoption.
In the past few years, ERP adoption has exploded in part due to the introduction of cloud technology. Companies who – in the past – would have never been able to afford ERP software are now investing in it in droves. As businesses become more global, partners need to be able to transfer information back and forth easily via the internet. With cloud ERP services, can keep up with the competition, reduce costs, and become more agile. This will help them adopt to new challenges more quickly and gain new capabilities to ensure their future success. Cloud ERP solutions typically have lower installation costs and can be implemented quickly so companies can stay efficient and reduce IT spending.
3. Business intelligence tools are – finally – being utilized.
Business intelligence (BI) has been the buzzword for quite some time; however, distributors are just now realizing the benefit of BI in their industry. Distribution companies that leverage business intelligence may be able to gain a competitive advantage through a better understanding a customer behavior. Built-in predictive analysis enables companies to be proactive rather than reactive, and employees can access this information from a variety of locations.
Companies that have an understanding of the data trends of the past can plan for improved actions in the future. ERP solutions with integrated business intelligence will give distributors greater visibility into their operations. By knowing which customers are the most profitable and the margins for the quarter, companies can pursue strategies that allow them to maximize revenue and identify areas in which to cut costs.
Technology is constantly changing the business world for the better. As new technologies emerge onto the business scene, companies are finding ways to become more efficient and productive. The capabilities of modern ERP solutions that include the above trends can help distributors stay competitive and grow in the industry. If you would like to learn more about how modern ERP can grow your business, contact us today.