Sales vary depending on the season, and as a distributor, it’s important to plan and prepare for both the busy seasons and the low seasons. While no one can predict the future entirely, experts are expecting the end of 2015 to be particularly busy. The economy is continuing to improve and as the holiday season approaches, experts expect sales to follow an upwards trend.
This is good news for distributors, as the company’s profit relies on a stable economy. However, increases in product demand can also be challenging if the distribution operation is not prepared. This is why advanced planning and preparation is so important, whether you are currently experiencing a busy season or a slow one.
The Importance of Preparing Your Distribution Operation for Sales Increases
Preparation and planning is key if you are looking to survive upcoming busy seasons unscathed. Starting with sales forecasting and inventory planning is essential, especially if your company is prone to understock and overstock situations. However, simply focusing on forecasting and inventory planning is not sufficient enough. In order to truly be prepared for the upcoming busy season, distributors need to evaluate their entire operation and pinpoint potential problem areas.
What may seem like a small or inconsequential inefficiency now will only compound into a bigger problem as demand increases, leaving you scrambling to fix an issue that you have neither the time nor resources to fix. By dedicating your time, attention and resources now to inefficiencies that may hold up your operation later, you are ensuring successful at the end of the busy season.
Utilizing Technology and ERP Software to Respond Better in Higher-Demand Situations
Technology is often overlooked when it comes to planning for the future. Many companies tend to rely on spreadsheets and their own calculations to get an idea of what the next 3-6 months looks like for the business. However, with the right tools and technology, distributors can improve their forecasting efforts significantly and more accurately predict what’s ahead. While no one can predict the future, certain tools, such as ERP software and business intelligence tools, can certainly help.
Distributors have relied on enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and business intelligence for years to boost productivity, improve efficiency, and strengthen inventory management. Designed to help distributors keep up with orders and ensure they have enough inventory to fulfill orders in a timely manner, ERP software can streamline order fulfillment and give manufacturers a leg up over the competition. With built-in forecasting and sales and inventory projections, ERP software can help distributors develop an effective plan for meeting demand increases, as well as alert them of inefficiencies that may cause delays in production and distribution. Distributors can even use ERP to determine a way to reroute goods should a disruption occur in the supply chain during high volume seasons.
ERP streamlines operations during busy times, allowing distributors to effectively meet customer expectations without experiencing any major inventory or operational disasters. Learn more about the benefits of distribution ERP software, and give us a call to discuss your particular situation and receive some insight into how you can prepare for the busiest season of the year.