Future-proof your ironmongery & architectural supplies business
The wholesale and distribution industry is becoming increasingly competitive. The industry is continually putting pressure on companies to do better – to offer a more cost-effective service, quicker delivery times and a more personalised and multi-channel shopping experience - all whilst competing with the market leaders and distributor giants like Amazon.
Demands from manufacturers are forcing companies to look at efficiencies, retailers are demanding a more responsive service and end-user customers are looking for a multi-channel, personal experience.
Successful, savvy wholesalers and distributors are tackling these challenges head on and embracing technology to drive their business to the next level. Investing and implementing technology is how wholesalers and distributors can remain competitive. Settling for outdated and manual systems is what can hinder growth and you’ll soon be left behind struggling to meet demands and customer needs.
So, if you struggle to meet customer demand, can’t imagine growing without taking on more staff, constantly lose track of orders or your customer satisfaction is low, you have key tell-tale signs that you’re in need of implementing or upgrading your business software.
The future is multi-channel
Ironmongery and architectural suppliers are looking to technology to help them address the changes of the B2B world. Operating a multi-channel operation is key to meeting customer demand and increasing your routes to market to help continue to improve revenue streams into the future.
Customers expect to be able to contact, browse and buy from companies, including wholesalers and distributors, from a range of sales channels. They want to be able to research and purchase stock online as well as for you to appear in Amazon or eBay searches. They also want to be able to call a human in the office to place a re-order or pop into their local trade counter to browse your items so it’s important that businesses can offer these services. Offering these services does put a strain on business resources and requires a new way of working. Businesses need to be able to successfully manage a multi-channel operation to ensure efficiencies, customer satisfaction and success.
Set a strong foundation
Successfully managing a multi-channel operation requires a strong core for your business operations and a single ERP solution gives your business that stability. An ERP connects all areas of your business departments and sales channels so they share the same data for improved control, visibility and productivity.
More Handles, one of the UK’s leading architectural ironmongery specialists, invested in OGL Software to take control of their multi-channel operations. The company looked to OGL’s ERP solution to remove the manual processes of order management and stock handling that inhibited them from growing and increasing orders. More Handles explains, “the integration with OGL Software and Magento has meant that all online orders are automatically imported directly into the system, removing any extra staff involvement and the subsequent costs and potential errors. The time-cost saving of this system is crucial to our business model. This integrated approach has allowed us to run the three different aspects of the business; trade counter, retail showroom and eCommerce website, through one system.”
Top 3 benefits of a single ERP solution
ERP systems give all departments within a business access to the same real-time data, reducing the risk of employees making decisions that are based on non-standardised, disparate data. With accurate customer, stock and financial data being stored in one central place forecasting becomes much quicker and easier. This is imperative for owners who are looking to make business decisions in order to scale.
Visibility of company performance is crucial to future-proofing your business allowing decision makers to make the right decision based on fact not gut instincts.
Tight stock control and warehouse management ensures you’re making cost-effective decisions regarding purchasing and storing new stock. Remove the costly consequences of under or over-stocking with an ERP system that detects minimum and maximum levels of products and you’ll always remain at an optimal level to meet demand. No matter the sales channel, an ERP system will collect the orders, update stock levels and auto-raise purchase orders so you can be confident your business is running smoothly.
Increased efficiency & productivity
Improved control and visibility of your business ultimately leads to increased efficiency and productivity. The real-time data and performance reports enable managers to make the improvements and changes they need to improve. Managed stock control improves cash flow and removes the risk of stock issues so that your order processing can run smoothly and effectively. An ERP system gives your teams the tools they need to work more efficiently to increase sales, meet demand, all with less overhead costs for improved profits.