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Selecting the right ERP for distribution

7/29/2013 at 8:38 am by

Once you’ve decided to implement an ERP solution, selecting the right product is important. High-quality ERP software will deliver significant value to your organization, so making the right choice is critical. Here are five factors that make or break your ERP selection:

1. The product
Different organizations have specific needs, and any ERP solution should be tailored to meet your unique needs. Wholesale distributors need a powerful solution with a high-level of functionality right out of the box, and they need to be able to gain this capability with adaptable, cost-effective software. The best ERP systems for distribution adapt to your company’s processes so you don’t need to change the way you do business. It provides scalability and flexibility to help your company grow locally and globally and manage more shipments with fewer resources.

ERP systems can help distributors perform everyday tasks, such as aged payables/receivables, booked and invoiced orders, inventory management, replenishment and route management. With the variety of business management tasks that go into running a successful distribution operation, it’s important to have a system that can support advanced capabilities for maximum efficiency.

2. The vendor
It isn’t just about selecting a high-quality product. When choosing ERP, you need a reliable vendor. Purchasing ERP software from a vendor means entering into a long-term partnership, so you need an experienced partner who will help you grow your business. A great vendor will have knowledge and expertise relevant to the distribution industry to facilitate growth.

3. The implementation
After selecting a vendor and product, implementation should be a breeze. Distributors need a product that is functional out of the box and a vendor that will get the system up and running quickly. An ERP implementation should not consume large amounts of time or resources. If there are delays in implementation due to the product or vendor, it can disrupt business processes, and this can have a significant impact to revenue for distribution firms.

4. Customer experience
Your vendor should be responsive and supportive during and directly after implementation because it’s critical to success. You should seek a vendor with proven industry experience and a network of business partners to help you run your business more efficiently. Whether you need to automate processes or make decisions faster, your vendor should continue to offer insight after implementation.

5. Technology platform
Technological capabilities are changing and adapting all the time, and there’s no way to know what your business will need down the road. That’s why you need to select an ERP built for the future on a technology platform that allows you to manage business functions while fostering growth. Since it’s hard to predict the future of the company, you need a flexible and adaptable ERP system so you can grow at your own rate. Many solutions are easily scalable to support evolving businesses and increase collaboration.

Distributors need robust technology to support growth and manage processes, and ERP systems offer a high-level of integration so firms can accomplish more and expand. For more information on ERP for distribution, watch this video.

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About the Author

The Sage ERP team report on various topics related to ERP and business management.

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