Five Requirements of Distribution ERP Software

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From a recent telephone survey of 2,500 wholesale distributors, we found that 47% of all distribution companies are dealing with antiquated software that doesn’t meet their current needs. This is a large percent and if you’re in this bucket, you know how frustrating outdated software can be. Outdated software contributes to the #1 pain of distributors - disparate disconnected systems. For example, if your accounting software isn’t able to process orders, then you need an order entry solution. And this order entry system may not integrate with accounting. This continues with other areas of business and soon, you’re running four to five different systems that each has its own customer database and disconnected information. Your sales team can’t see inventory and your accounting department can’t conduct an actual profit and loss audit at any point in time.

So how can you stop the madness? It’s time to join the other half of the statistic mentioned above to catch up with your competitors who are using ERP solutions to automate processes and streamline overall operations. It’s time to find software that can accommodate your distribution needs:

  1. 360 degree view of customer. Having insight into what customers bought before, what they owe, or what they haven’t bought in a while helps with one fundamental part of your business- customer service. Poor customer service is a huge problem in the distribution industry, but when you have the information you need, you can serve the customers on time, with fewer errors, while creating cross-sale and up-sale opportunities.
  2. Inventory insight. As a distributor, you have hundreds to thousands of items in your inventory and they’re all moving pretty much at the same time. How are you to know what items to have on hand at any given time without real-time insight? With insight, you can reduce or increase your inventory where needed, improving the effectiveness of your purchasing and increasing overall cash flow.
  3. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). EDI is mandatory if you ever want to do business with the big box retailers such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Sears, etc. EDI manages the order process from order to invoice between vendor and customer electronically.
  4. Accessible Data. If you’re dealing with disparate systems, it most likely takes you hours or even days to pull the most basic report for management. Making your data accessible puts information at your fingertips —and accurate, timely information is power, giving you more control and helping you make profitable decisions.
  5. Profitability Analysis. Distributors are in the market of buying and selling for a profit so your software solution should be able help you identify if you’re actually making money, and where. With this functionality, you can conduct cost analysis on products, customers, items that certain customers buy, and so on. This gives you that competitive edge as you can focus on the products and/or customers that bring in the most profit.

NAV-X is an extension to Microsoft Dynamics® NAV, designed to fit the specific needs of distribution companies, turning the software into a solution. It brings the five basic requirements above into one solution so you don’t have to manage multiple vendor relationships or deal with disconnected systems.  There are multiple moving parts in your distribution supply chain, here’s a visual to help you understand  how NAV-X can streamline them all into a smooth and effective cycle:

Having distribution functionality like this available with one solution obviously saves you from headaches, but it also saves you money. Since you’re not dealing with multiple vendors, implementation time and costs are streamlined. And since it’s built specifically for wholesale distributors, you don’t have to spend additional time on customizations or training.

If you’re interested in learning more about NAV-X for Distribution, watch this 15 minute demo or contact me for more information: | 732.970.1450.


By Sheldon Kralstein of NAV-X for Distribution, a comprehensive extension to Microsoft Dynamics NAV for wholesale distributors

by Clients First

3 thoughts on “Five Requirements of Distribution ERP Software”

  1. Heyy, Great article.
    Distribution software is very essential with the growing business of E-commerce. ERP software for distribution business helps you manage the inventories, maintain customer records and also helps you to with planning.
    Helps you know the profitability and proper analytics of your sale and returns.

  2. ERP is business management software that allows an organization to use a system of integrated applications to administer the business or in other words Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems incorporate internal and external management information across an entire organization, embracing finance, manufacturing, sales and service, customer relationship management, etc.

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