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ERP_Oct01_ADistributors are exploring new channels opened by the internet to reach customers more directly. Those new channels come with new challenges ‒ like managing e-commerce websites, processing smaller orders and forecasting demand.  Even more challenging if you are still relying on an aging ERP system or spreadsheets to manage inventory and shipments.

ERP systems have become more adaptable and affordable, helping distributors of every size manage business from order to shipment. Just some of the ways that ERP can help you support a multi-channel supply chain include:

  • Integration of e-commerce and accounting – If you are going to sell to customers through the internet, a website connected to your accounting system is critical to manage the process. Customers want to know instantly if items are in stock and when they will ship.
  • Automation of processes to support higher volume and smaller orders – When selling direct to customers, you will process more, but smaller shipments. An ERP system will help you automate to simplify the order entry and fulfillment process.
  • Improved forecasting – Use the ERP system to calculate demand, safety stock and lead times for better forecasting and lower cost of inventory.
  • Better customer service – Customer service reps can give better service when they access one system with the answers to all customer questions. With consolidated data in an ERP system, customers get the right answer every time.
  • Insight into profits – As you expand your business and test new channels, not all of them will be profitable. With consolidated information in an ERP, you can identify profitable channels quickly and eliminate the ones that don’t work.

The opportunity for distributors to expand their business through new channels has exploded. Make the most of new channel opportunity with ERP to manage multiple business models. Let’s talk about growing your business.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Published on 4th October 2013 by Jeanne DeWitt.

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