December 20, 2013
Small businesses in the wholesale and distribution industry face a variety of challenges on a daily basis – some that are very specific to an individual company’s processes, and some that are more generally applicable across the entire industry. Wholesale software, as part of a full ERP system, can help solve both generic and unique issues, providing companies with competitive advantages and improved processes. Let’s explore some of the more generic challenges that a proper wholesale software solution can address.
Challenge #1: Disconnected Systems
One of the biggest challenges that wholesale software addresses is the disconnect that comes with managing multiple disparate systems. Wholesale ERP is typically designed as an all-in-one integrated solution that handles accounting, inventory management, customer relationship management, eCommerce integration and warehouse management. Each component interacts with one another as part of a single system, providing real-time information on all areas of a company. Data only needs to be entered into the system once, and any updates made in one component of the software are automatically reflected across the entire system. This reduces the number of data entry errors and saves time. From a management perspective, dealing with a single software system is much easier than with multiple systems, especially when working with IT support and purchasing new hardware.
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December 10, 2013
Capterra, a free service to help businesses find software, recently released the results of their 2013 Software Buying Trends survey. The survey was conducted amongst 400 business professionals from over 30 industries, and was designed to evaluate their experiences with purchasing software. Although most of the information garnered from the survey was as expected, there were also a few surprising results. Let’s examine some of the more surprising results, and the key takeaways from each when applied to purchasing ERP software.
40% of CEOs/Presidents were involved in all software purchases.
The above statistic makes sense from a large business perspective – in large companies the CEO/President is often so high up the bureaucratic food chain that it is not necessary for them to ever use the company’s software system or become involved in the search process. The task is handed off to a committee of employees from upper management who oversee the project and potentially use the system themselves. Usually these large businesses are coming off similar ERP systems and have a good understanding of what is available and what to expect during the search and implementation processes, and the cost has already been factored into their budgets. For small businesses however, especially those coming off an introductory system or no system at all, buy-in from the CEO/President is very important. In many small businesses the CEO/President will be an active user in the system and therefore should have a say in the final decision. Even if they are not an end-user, it may be the first time they are making an investment into a proper ERP system and so it is important that they understand what they’re getting into. It is imperative that the CEO/President understands the benefits of implementing a new system in terms of increased efficiencies and overall cost savings in order to help justify the investment, when operating with a small budget.
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