Distribution challenges loom as 2020 approaches. Issues include increased costs and unpredictable spending habits by the ever-more influential Millennial generation. Distribution businesses must keep up to meet their goals of continued growth. ERP software specialized for distribution offers a solution. Here is a selection of pressing trends in distribution that can be addressed by ERP.
An Increase in On-Demand Ecommerce
Consumers now expect to have the option to buy and receive goods from anywhere after placing orders from phones, cars and personal digital assistants like Alexa or Siri. Many of them demand same-day delivery. It’s not uncommon for retailers to offer two-day shipping, while Amazon offers next-day delivery to about 75% of the U.S. population. To compete, businesses must invest in logistics infrastructure improvements.
Acumatica cloud ERP facilitates this kind of on-demand experience. It incorporates a Customer Management Suite that enables businesses to respond quickly to requests, from first contact with a customer through the entire sales process. It also helps manage fulfillment, billing and after-sales service requests. Visibility into real-time sales data helps with forecasting while customers can access information via the Acumatica Customer Portal, thereby connecting CRM functionality with distribution operations.
A Shortage of Labor Resources
As logistics operations grow in size and complexity, the need for labor is increasing. But with low unemployment, it is becoming more difficult to find available workers who can fulfill the demand for same-day delivery, especially during peak shipping times like Christmas. Automation technologies are decreasing in cost at the same time. Robotics and software solutions are becoming essential in the logistics industry, just to stay competitive.
Acumatica streamlines logistics operations with accurate cost tracking, manual or automatic allocation of freight costs and management of multiple warehouses. It can factor in location-specific inventory, quantities and costs as well as help redistribute inventory from a central facility to other warehouses. Purchase orders can be automatically generated to replenish stock and sent to vendors with optimal prices and delivery times.
Tariffs on Foreign Goods Are Increasing Costs
Tariffs, particularly those on goods from China, are leading companies to relocate so they can sell products at affordable prices. Businesses are finding the need to rework their distribution models, modify their tracking systems and find new trading partners. At the same time, they must maintain their bottom lines, satisfy customer demand and keep up with their competitors.
With Acumatica, organizations can have full visibility into inventory, prices and cost-saving opportunities from a single data source. Reports can be accessed from anywhere, including on mobile devices, so data and analytics can be viewed in real-time via intuitive custom dashboards. Users can also see sales trends, product movement and market information.
Dashboards also provide useful information such as product and material replenishment, lot/serial numbers and shelf life and expiration dates along with details on the condition of stock, drop shipments and vendor selection and performance analyses. At the same time, the cloud ERP system reduces the risk of errors and avoids requiring data re-entry and reorganization. This improves control as companies rework their distribution processes.
Acumatica Distribution Edition
If you hope to grow your business or even stave off the ongoing threats that exist from competitors, you need an ERP solution designed for you.
Acumatica Distribution Edition delivers, giving your business control over their supply chain and logistics activities, including warehouse management, inventory management, and order management. Built in the cloud and customized for your needs, Acumatica helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce order times, and control costs across the entire supply and distribution chain.
Contact us to learn more.