Manufacturers and distributors need better visibility of their inventory and their entire supply chain in order to be more profitable. Inventory data visibility enables managers to react quickly to operational and market changes. With better visibility across departments and divisions, they can better predict demand, ship orders, interact with customers and invest in the business with confidence.
Nothing is more frustrating to customers than to hear “I don’t know” when they call and ask where their orders are in the shipping process. Businesses depend on reliable shipments to keep their doors open. Unfortunately, this is a challenging area for many manufacturers and distributors. ERP software can ease this challenge and provide a foundation for greater inventory visibility.
Inventory Visibility is Provided through Integration, Automation, Mobility
When manufacturers and distributors want to improve supply chain visibility, integration is the most important enabler. Companies want their inventory systems to integrate fully with their CRM systems, accounting and sales software to help customers track shipments and provide real-time updates on where items are in transit. An ERP system can easily provide this integrated approach and ensure managers across the business have the data they need.
Automation is another way to improve supply chain visibility and effectiveness. Companies are looking for more ways to automate their businesses from front-end operations to sales and back-end fulfillment. Automation cuts down on costs, reduces human errors, and makes companies more efficient. All three lead to greater profits.
Lastly, companies are using mobile technology to make sales and customer service departments more efficient and to give them access to inventory information. Cloud-based business systems and enterprise software making data available to all employees, no matter where they’re working, provides better information and updates which can, in turn, lead to higher customer satisfaction. The faster the sales and service team can answer customer queries about their shipments, the higher their satisfaction, and, one would hope, the more they return to order from your company.
Good Supply Chain Management Engenders Confidence
It’s really no surprise that investments into inventory accuracy generated an improvement in business. When customers get what they paid for on time and in good condition, they are satisfied with their order. When service is even better than they expected thanks to robust enterprise software that includes supply chain management, they feel confident in their business decisions. Good service engenders confidence in a vendor, which in turn can lead to repeat business.
It’s an old saying that 80 percent of your business comes from 20 percent of your customers, but ask any business person and they’ll say that it’s true. The less you need to spend on customer acquisition, the better. With good supply chain management and ERP solutions in place, you may find that customers order for the quality of your goods but return for the excellent service.
ERP Systems Can Make Inventory Data Visible
Best-in-class wholesalers and distributors use ERP systems to analyze, forecast, and manage inventory. Using software like Acumatica Cloud ERP and Sage 100, businesses can use real-time inventory data to optimize inventory levels, forecast demand and reduce problems like stock-outs, production downtime and excess orders. They can also communicate across departments and even outside of the organization.
When you need real-time insights into your supply chain, contact ASI to help you produce accurate, timely and actionable inventory data. Our business consultants can review your current business processes and provide recommendations that will help your business improve your warehouse management. We can suggest new software solutions or just help you use your current systems better.