When it comes to choosing an ERP solution for your distribution business, you have a lot of factors to consider. After all, this decision will ultimately impact your organization for many years to come. Unfortunately, with so many options on the market, it’s not always easy to figure out which solution is best for your company. Forgo the confusion and frustration by figuring out what’s really important to your firm, and which features you could live without.

Distribution system vendors generally group their features and benefits into the following five categories:

  • Productivity
  • Functionality
  • Technology
  • Value
  • Risk

By better understanding each of these categories and how they’ll impact the investment you make into your ERP system, you’ll be more likely to find a solution that’s the best fit for your unique needs. We’re here to help guide you along the way!

Category 1: Productivity

You’ll likely want a product that’s intuitive, meaning it’s easy to learn and use. Acumatica Cloud ERP provides users with a software platform that walks users through its processes from beginning to end, making it an ideal solution for companies of all sizes with team members who bring a variety of skill sets to the table.

Consider, too, other features. For instance, do you need your ERP system to be available in a variety of languages, or do you need to do business in multiple currencies? Do you need your ERP system to house your important documents?

In the end, you’ll want to make better, quicker decisions while enduring fewer mistakes. A comprehensive reporting system that’s generated from your ERP will help you make informed decisions without the guesswork.

2. Category 2: Functionality

As you examine your potential ERP vendors, ask yourself a few questions, such as:

  • “Do I need a platform that can support multiple locations?” Perhaps you’ll need this if you do business internationally.
  • “Will my new ERP system support financial management?” If supporting standard accounting functions, including GL, AP and AR, and tax management are important to you, be sure to put this on the top of your list to evaluate as you’re putting potential vendors side by side.
  • “Is the way I’m managing my inventory right now working?” If you’re like a lot of leaders, the answer is no. As you look for a better way to manage inventory, plan and manage the movement of goods through your distribution network, and control customers’ orders, be mindful that these functional elements vary greatly from one ERP system to the next.

Category 3: Technology

Are you looking for a cloud-based solution or a platform that offers on-premise deployments? This is important to know upfront, as it can greatly impact the companies with which you choose to work down the line.

The more customizable and flexible you want your ERP solution to be, the pickier you need to be during the selection process. Acumatica is known for its ability to modify and customize business logic to meet companies’ unique requirements. Not every ERP system can say that! A lot of the out-of-the-box solutions don’t give you the flexibility to customize your interface, reports, and upgrades, but with Acumatica, you’re in control of all of this and much more.

Category 4: Value

“Value” doesn’t always equate to the amount of cash you’re spending. Remember to look deeper into the elements your provider is offering you. For instance, maybe you’ll need multiple deployment options, or perhaps you’ll require flexible licensing options that fit within your accounting team’s needs. These are things to consider—in addition to the sticker price—before you sign on with an ERP vendor.

Also consider things like, will you be charged by resources used or the number of users accessing the platform? Will the solution scale as your own organization grows? The word “value” certainly is indicative of money, but there are also a lot of other considerations you must make to determine the true usefulness of your future ERP product.

Category 5: Risk

They say where there’s risk, there’s reward, but that isn’t really the case in this situation. In fact, you’ll be more rewarded when you eliminate as much risk as possible. Consider how quickly your ERP provider can deploy updates so you aren’t stuck dealing with time delays and unplanned costs that can accumulate when your systems are down.

Be sure to take a look at your potential ERP providers’ testimonials to see what existing clients have to say about their products. You’ll want to look for references that are specifically related to your industry.

Find out how your potential ERP partners handle backups and disaster recovery efforts. What happens if the worst of the worst situation occurs? Will your information be vulnerable to attack, and if it is attacked, what plans are in place to mitigate further disaster?

Get the Full ERP Evaluation Checklist

Selecting an ERP distribution management and accounting system to run your business is a decision that will affect your company for many years. Many products offer the same or similar features, and it can be confusing to sort out what’s important and what’s not. Our Distribution ERP Evaluation checklist can help. Get the full checklist here.

As you seek to improve customer relationships, reduce order times, and manage costs, Acumatica Wholesale Distribution ERP software is there to help. Providing user-friendly, robust, and flexible inventory management, order management, and more, this distribution ERP is ready to fit into your unique processes and business model. Click here to learn more.