How Distribution Businesses Can Stay on Top with Microsoft Dynamics 365
Digital technology is transforming the way
Traditional distribution industries are challenged by e-commerce organizations who promise to deliver faster. For example, as Amazon continues to invest in their same-day delivery model, an auto mechanic can order parts online and have them delivered the same day. The local distributor is out of the picture.
Modern Sales Tools
In addition to the increasing expectations of their customers, distribution organizations need to address the changing needs of their employees. Your sales, marketing and customer service teams need the tools that will allow them to do their jobs efficiently. Formerly, it was standard practice for a sales rep to call on customers, take their orders and then fax or email them to someone back at the office. Today, your sales team needs to be able to enter orders directly into their mobile devices and have them submitted without delay. As more millennials join your team, having the modern business tools they are used to working with will be even more critical.
Inventory Management and Demand Planning.
In addition to sales, another area in which it is necessary to keep up to date and competitive is inventory. Your business’s viability is dependent on being able to balance inventory with demand. It does you no good to realize in July that you ordered too many Christmas ornaments last December.
Overstock must be sold at a loss or take up space from items that are in demand. Undersupply means disappointed customers who are likely to shop elsewhere rather than wait for an order to be placed and received.
Rather that reacting to historical data about inventory levels or trying to calculate future inventory needs based on pipeline, new analytics tools can dramatically improve your inventory forecasting. Microsoft’s Azure Machine Learning, for instance, will analyze your inventory usage over time and predict what inventory ought to be in stock to ensure that you meet your forecasted future demands. Truly optimal inventory levels are possible with real-time data and predictive analytics tools.
Modern ERP solutions are constantly evolving to make your business life easier and more productive. Data processing is brought closer to the transaction site when team members have access through their mobile devices. From the field to the warehouse, users can enter and access the real-time data that is so crucial to their success.
Sales reps and distributors can avoid the frustration of delayed transactions and everyone can stay on top of where orders stand at any given time. This is good for your team and good for your customers – more productivity, less hassle. Demand planning tools, included in Dynamics 365, will ensure the right amount of inventory is stocked in the right locations to meet customer order fulfillment expectations.
Customers are more likely to re-order from you if doing business with you is easier and faster, for example, by enabling online order entry, always having sufficient inventory on hand and shipping items quickly.
Western Computer has helped several Distribution organizations to achieve their business goals and remain competitive.