Finding the Productivity Advantage in Distribution Management
What’s the right Distribution Management System for your business? Obviously, there’s no universally correct answer to this question. Every business has its own unique needs. However, based on our experience working with companies that have adopted the Acumatica Cloud ERP for Distribution Management, we recommend it in most situations. There are many reasons for this, one of which is the productivity advantage inherent in the solution.
The Importance of Productivity in Distribution Management
Productivity, in the context of information work, refers to how many tasks an employee can complete in a given amount of time. In non-structured work like managing a distribution business, it can be difficult to measure productivity accurately. However, it is definitely possible to identity ways that distribution management software can make your team work more productively.
Why does productivity matter in a distribution business? Employee productivity is an important factor in being able to scale a distribution business. To grow without adding a lot of headcount, it’s necessary to make people work more productively. Otherwise, you’ll be increasing Sales, General and Administrative (SG&A) expense at an uncomfortable rate even if revenues are going up.
The Distribution Management Productivity Checklist
Distribution management features make a difference in employee productivity. To help you think about matters in this regard, Acumatica published a checklist of productivity features in their product. Here are some highlights:
- Is the solution intuitive, meaning is it easy to learn and use? Legacy ERP solutions can be challenging to master and relatively cumbersome to operate. These are drags on productivity that make it difficult to hire and onboard new people.
- Is it truly universally available? Employees are increasingly mobile—whether they’re on the shop floor, at a vendor location or taking a canoe trip in the mountains. They will want access to the full functionality of the distribution management system regardless of their location or device form factor. A good distribution management solution will enable access from any device, anytime, anywhere.
- Does it handle multiple languages? You can no longer assume that everyone in your operation speaks English, or any single language. The system should work in the language that best fits your people’s preferences. This includes document printing in multiple languages, i.e. the language your customer speaks.
- Is it multi-currency? When the system can handle multiple currencies, that relieves your people of the chore (and error-prone process) of manual currency conversion.
- Does it have automated workflows? – People work much more productively with automated business processes approval workflows, notifications and so forth.
- Does it support Wikis? Wikis are an easy way for people to share information and documents across any combination of teams, departments, and external users. This makes the team more productive by reducing the need to search for information.
- Can it handle document management? Separate documents are often part of the distribution management process, e.g. bills of lading, purchase orders, etc. Making documents accessible to all key personnel saves people time.
- Does it run a single database? People work productively when they are all working off a single version of the truth.
- How comprehensive is the reporting capability? People make better, quicker decisions and fewer mistakes when they have access to detailed, well-presented information.
We can help you understand your productivity challenges and how they can be addressed by the right distribution management solution. If you want to learn more about how Acumatica can help your distribution management team work more productively, let’s talk.
Additional Distribution Resources
ERP for Distributors: What Matters and What Doesn’t?
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Distribution