Reasons to migrate to a single ERP solution
An ERP solution connects the key areas of your business - stock control, sales order management and customer service. These areas will always work better when they’re interconnected because it enables you and your team to have full visibility across the business. With stock sitting at the heart of your business, an ERP ensures your stock control is connected to your sales department, finance team and purchasing so you can run a smooth, streamlined order process.
Streamlining your processes gives you time to focus on growing and building your company and brand. A survey undertaken by the Federation of Small Businesses has shown that small business owners in the UK spend an average of four days a month on internal business admin, and 76% of owners said they’d spent more time than they’d have liked on business compliance tasks. When owners are spending more than 33 hours a month on admin tasks, it becomes detrimental to the growth of their business.
We conducted our own survey among 250 wholesalers and distributors across the UK to understand what systems they’re currently using and their opinions on embracing technology to improve profitability. Surprisingly, 88% are using multiple software systems and 98% of respondents still use some level of manual processes to manage their business operations, despite 82% agreeing that ERP systems give greater visibility and control of stock.
Many businesses were using disparate CRM systems, warehouse and stock control programs, accounting software, reporting and analysis tools and manual processes to run their business, therefore missing out on the array of key business benefits of centralising their systems into one ERP solution. The benefits fall under 3 main categories: Control, Visibility and Efficiency.
ERP systems give all departments within a business access to the same real-time data, which gives you the ability to control the information you hold and improve accuracy. With access to up-to-date data, accurate forecasting becomes much quicker and easier and you gain control over your company’s performance. Data and stats of your customer journey, sales, warehouse efficiencies, stock control and team performance give you the ability to spot trends, know your best performances, but also where to improve so you can always strive for better.
For wholesalers and distributors, taking control of your stock and warehouse can be revolutionary to the way you operate, which has a knock-on effect to your customer service, reputation, team morale and ultimately your bottom line.
Visibility of your customer, product and sales data is crucial to driving your business forward. A single business software solution gives you a 360-degree view of your data and performance that disparate systems lack. When your processes are based in a centralised solution it means you’re not trying to communicate and transfer data between the different systems which can introduce errors and duplication of work. With a single ERP solution, even your trade counter staff, remote workers and sales reps on the road can access the same data and follow the same processes.
57% of the managers we surveyed reported reduced admin times as the main benefit to a central ERP solution. Removing manual processes, digitalising processes and taking out the duplication of processes across systems removes time-consuming admin, increases accuracy and most importantly improves efficiency.
Streamlining your warehouse makes for an optimised picking process that means you send out more orders in less time. Maximising order efficiencies from any order source; your trade counter, eCommerce website and Amazon or eBay channel ensures you deliver quality service no matter the channel. 82% of businesses said being able to sell online is important to them and with a centralised ERP solution, managing multiple sales channels is hassle-free.
ERP Software for Wholesalers & Distributors
We understand that switching to an ERP solution isn’t an overnight decision and most businesses keep using systems they’ve outgrown long after the inefficient processes have affected their profits. Alongside budget, which was 53% of UKs wholesalers’ biggest barrier to switching, time to migrate, fear of change and business disruption were also worries when considering moving to a better solution.
When you decide you’ve outgrown your current systems and it’s time to move to a comprehensive solution (if you’re not sure if you’re ready, take our software reliability test to find out) look for a provider who will support you through implementation and beyond to ensure you see an ROI and can drive your business to the next level.