The best ERP system for wholesale distribution
As a wholesale distributor, there are a long list of challenges you’ll face – from fierce competition to supply chain disruption. Nothing can make those issues go away. However, your choice of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software could be critical to getting over these hurdles.
In this post, we’ll outline the features you should expect from the best ERP system for wholesale distribution and how Profit4 measures up.
Staying in control of your stock
Stock control is at the very core of wholesale distribution. Tackling it manually or using basic software can prove difficult. How do you monitor stock across several different bins or even sites? And how do you know if stock levels correspond to demand?
All too often, distributors will stock up on a product because it’s running low only to find that it’s taking up warehouse space for months to come. In contrast, you might ignore another abundant product, only to run out when a big order comes in.
Profit4 has an intuitive stock control system that auto-calculates optimum stock levels, so you know what to order based on demand. It also provides real-time stock counts for as many locations as you need, so you’re never on the back foot when clients come calling.
Managing supplier relationships
Even with good stock management, the supply chain can cause unexpected issues for wholesale distributors. Suppliers might increase their prices or run out of stock altogether. Unless you’re manufacturing your own stock, it makes sense to maintain good relationships with multiple suppliers wherever possible.
This is another area where your ERP system can help. Or at least it should be. With Profit4’s supplier management features, you can quickly import supplier price changes and view how they impact profits. So, you can switch suppliers or adjust your own pricing accordingly.
It also keeps all supplier information in one place, including contact information for multiple contacts, communications, credit limits, payment terms and historical order data.
Processing orders seamlessly
Now to the bread and butter of wholesale distribution – order management. This is an area where the best ERP system is truly invaluable. As a minimum, your chosen ERP software should be quick and easy to use so you can input orders while you’re on the phone with a customer – as well as integrating with your trade counter, website or other online store(s) to instantly bring orders across.
Profit4 goes beyond this. Real-time updates give you full visibility of what’s available, assigned, allocated and dispatched so you can update customers when needed – or even move stock around if you want to prioritise a particular customer.
Something out of stock? Let automation take care of purchasing for in-demand items then allocate stock for back-orders. You can even set up minimum levels for different products, so the system automatically places an order with the supplier. By keeping bestsellers in stock, you can ensure you’re never missing out on sales.
Setting the right prices
When you’re selling wholesale, pricing is far from fixed – even more so with customers wanting bulk-buy discounts. Keeping track of this can be a nightmare, especially if stockists claim they got a certain price last time around and you have no way of checking.
Profit4 makes price setting simple with the option to save special prices for different customers. The software will automatically calculate your profit for any price you enter so you don’t overstep the mark when competing with competitors’ prices.
With a quick-view page for each customer, you can see order history, special prices and any one-off discounts along with quantities and dates. Its customer relationship management features also allow you to manage all communications and quotes in one place.
Reporting on wholesale orders
It’s one thing managing wholesale distribution. But how do you make sure you’re not missing out on extra orders? Most ERP systems will report on overall numbers, but they don’t always tell the full story.
Your overall sales might have gone up, while numbers are dwindling for certain products. Or maybe a customer is ordering more on the whole but has stopped ordering something altogether because they’re getting it elsewhere.
Software like Profit4 digs deeper, showing you a full breakdown of sales for different products and categories – overall and for specific customers. This allows you to stay on top of sales and make sure you’re not losing sales to your competitors.
Integrating with existing systems
If you find an ERP system that can do everything above, that’s great. But it could still mean going back and forth between your site, payment platform and couriers. The solution is, of course, integration.
ERP integration for the best systems will cover all bases, namely:
- eCommerce platforms like Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce.
- Marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy.
- Courier platforms like EasyPost and Shiptheory.
- Payment methods including Paymentsense and Dojo.
Providing functionality for everyone
Last but certainly not least, your chosen ERP system should be available for everyone to use. Profit4 ticks this box because it’s completely web-based, so there’s no need to install software. Additionally, there’s no need to install or pay for any bolt-ons – you get all the core processes you use in one system.
You can create multiple accounts for different team members, which can be accessed from any location. Additionally, each of those users can have multiple role-based dashboards if people need to switch between their responsibilities – ideal for SMEs with small teams.
Put Profit4 to the test
Tired of your substandard ERP software? Or ready to ditch your manual processes for wholesale distribution? Whatever the case, OGL Software can help. Our state-of-the-art Profit4 ERP system ticks every box when it comes to wholesale distribution. From stock control and order processing to customer and supplier management, it’s all in one place and fully integrated with your other systems.
Want to find out more? We’re ready and waiting to help. Watch our informative demo to see how the software looks and feels or contact our team for answers to any of your questions.