Choosing the right distribution ERP software can be a challenge, especially in this day and age when the lines between distribution, retail, and manufacturing are becoming more and more blurred. You have a lot of tech choices on the market to help your business, but not just any solution will retrieve the ROI you’re looking for. You want to choose the right enterprise resource planning platform for your organization’s unique needs, which means you have to understand your pain points and compare the inefficiencies they bring to the solutions potential applications can solve.

Changes are constantly occurring in supply chain and distribution models. In this blog, we’ll discuss the ever-changing environment of ERP applications, including functional requirements that are based on the types of productions your company distributes. You should walk away understanding the differentiations between general ERP and industry applications, standard features available in mid-market ERP systems, and industry-specific requirements.

Finding the Right Distribution ERP by Business Needs

Before you fall in love with the options offered by all the apps and gadgets available these days, make sure you accurately measure your mission-critical business needs. It’s important to understand what types of goods you’re storing and transporting, as well as which types of consumers and purchasing those products. This information will ultimately help you determine which applications are best for your operational demands.

Here are some questions to consider:

Are you delivering durable or nondurable goods?

Durable goods usually last more than three years and don’t have to be replenished very often. Think furniture, cards, appliances, and jewelry. Nondurable goods, on the other hand, are items that have very short lifespans, such as health and beauty, cleaning, and paper products.

Acumatica is a great choice for either type of goods distribution because the system features matrix items, lot and serial control, kitting and disassembly, and FIFO picking by expiration date.

What are your distribution channels?

Who do you sell to and how do you sell to them? This will make a difference in the type of tech platform you choose. Your vendor partner needs to understand your customer touchpoints in order to head off challenges associated with automation and storing of information.

What are your company’s growth objectives?

Your organization’s size and specialties introduce their own pain points that you’ll need to overcome in order to protect your ROI for each inventory cycle. Understanding the scalability of your operations is something you need to keep in mind to plan for growth. If you decide to go with a smaller, less robust ERP platform initially, you might have to replace it in the future when your company requires a considerably better functionality.

It’s better to assess your current and future picture before you make an ERP purchase to ensure you’re getting a system that works for you both today and down the road.

Choosing a Distribution ERP by Technology Needs

These days, distributions can’t compete on just price alone; consumers are expecting shorter lead times, uncomplicated return processes, and self-service that enables them to get what they need when they want to get it.

You need to figure out new go-to-market strategies that offer expanded services and automation so you can streamline your processes and drive down costs. The right ERP system will help you get there, but you need to understand your organization’s needs in order to make the right decision.

Modern vs. Legacy

Legacy systems can really hinder your ability to be efficient. Not only are they costly to upkeep, but they likely don’t have nearly as many bells and whistles as your company probably needs—even if you don’t realize how important those elements are just yet.

Newer systems are significantly more flexible and offer the ability to integrate with other systems far more seamlessly. Older platforms tend to be built without the ability to customize options when new pain points present themselves, eventually leaving you without the right level of support when something goes wrong.

Integration vs. Silos

A well-equipped ERP solution will tie as many of your systems together as possible, foregoing the olden days of siloed working in favor of platforms that talk to each other. This reduced redundancy and the risk of manual data entry errors as information is passed from department to department. Disconnected IT stacks increasingly present liabilities to ROI, hampering productivity, communication, and visibility between departments.

Cloud vs. On-Site

Distribution ERP systems have historically been relegated to being on-site platforms that can be costly to maintain because the physical servers are located on a company’s actual worksite. Modern solutions take care of things in the cloud, allowing for organizations to reap the benefits of speed, performance, connectivity, and cost—no matter where they are or what time they want to access their information. This means functions such as inventory management are far easier with cloud-based solutions like Acumatica, which enable real-time visibility and decision-making anytime, anywhere.

Knowing Which Tools You Need

Today’s ERP solutions have been born out of the need for organizations to have as much functionality as possible with as few applications as necessary. The following are a few common features Acumatica’s distribution platform enhances its customers’ businesses:

  • Platform and tools with customization options and user-defined fields;
  • Accounting systems that provide everything from general ledger views to project accounting and payroll;
  • Sales order support, including drop-shipments, returns and exchanges, sales commissions, and quotes;
  • Purchasing systems that include blanket orders, receipts of goods processed, and put-away features, as well as other, more advanced features;
  • Inventory and WMS platforms that offer you the ability to ensure stock and non-stock management at the click of a button or two;
  • Commerce and POS management that lets you choose a commerce storefront that meets your needs.

Get the Full Distribution ERP Handbook to Learn More

With the right distribution ERP solution, you can evolve with the market, continuing to offer a layer of value that customers can’t get directly from the manufacturer. Find out how in our new Distribution ERP Handbook. You’ll get a clearer picture of what’s available and which path is the right one for your unique business needs. Read this handbook to find out:

  • How distribution ERP solutions handle durable and nondurable goods.
  • What it takes to evolve in the wake of the Amazon Effect.
  • How your specialization and size affect your ERP options.
  • What’s “standard” and what’s “extra” in the typical ERP platform.
  • Which industry-specific features can give you an edge over the competition.

Don’t miss out on these valuable insights. Download now!

Talk to the Distribution Experts at MIBAR

As a leader in the distribution space, MIBAR has helped hundreds of distributors to increase margins, decrease costs and take control of their business with advanced software like Acumatica. Schedule a free consultation to learn more.

Additional Resources

Regional to National: How Ecommerce Opens New Markets for Distribution

Top 9 Distribution KPIs Your Business Should Be Tracking

Maximize Visibility & Profitability with Inventory Dashboards