Is Cloud Based Wholesale ERP Software Right for Your Business?

January 27, 2015

is-cloud-erp-software-right-for-your-companyDeciding to make the switch to a fully integrated ERP system as a wholesale distribution company – whether you’re transitioning from existing software or manual processes – requires a lot of time and resources.  It also involves making a choice between implementing a system on-premises or hosted through the cloud.  So which method is better suited for your business? Although there is no single right answer to this question, there are certain elements that could make a strong case in favour of a cloud solution.  Companies are increasingly opting for this method from the get-go, and others are switching from their current on-premises installation. To better understand why and when it would make sense for your company to seriously evaluate hosting software through the cloud, let’s first take a look at exactly what we mean by each implementation method.

On-premises software was historically the only option available to companies looking for wholesale ERP software which made it more feasible for larger companies.  On-premises refers to software applications installed on-location on a client owned server.  This requires up-to-date hardware and either internal or outsourced personnel for IT management.  It also requires a bit of a larger initial investment when it comes to cost as companies buy the software licenses outright.

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How Your Entire Company Can Benefit from Accounting and Inventory Software

January 20, 2015

accounting-inventory-software-for-all-employeesTrue accounting and inventory software is designed to manage all aspects of a company’s operations, and should provide benefits to employees in every department. Frequently described using the term “ERP” or “Enterprise Resource Planning” Software, this level of software streamlines business processes across an entire company.  When specifically applied to wholesale distribution companies, that would include managing processes from order entry through to invoicing the customer and everything in between. For this reason, these types of systems are not comparable to introductory software such as QuickBooks, but in fact are designed to replace those systems once a company reaches a certain level of growth.  Although QuickBooks (and similar systems) are popular and widely used, trying to compare introductory software to Tier 2 or ERP software would be like trying to compare a cell phone with a smart phone.  Sure a cell phone can place calls and send texts and do those things really well, but a smartphone provides added features such as internet access and often replaces the need for having to perform tasks on a separate device (such as sending an email, checking your bank account or taking a picture).  Many features that introductory systems lack – because of the nature of the software and target market – are inherent features of ERP. These include custom reporting capabilities, automation across functions such as sales orders and purchase orders, and robust inventory management. Proper accounting and inventory ERP software allows users to work from within the same system, on the same database, across departments.  Here are some examples of the benefits that can be gained by each department:

The Accounting Department:

  • Report writing tools to create custom reports in order to share visual data with investors/stakeholders
  • Compliance tools to proactively maintain accounting standards and keep balanced books
  • Automatic reminders and notifications that can be emailed (internally or to customers) to notify people of overdue accounts, sales history, etc.
  • Features for managing A/R and A/P

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eCommerce Integration with Inventory & Accounting ERP Software

January 7, 2015

ecommerce-erp-integration-optionsAs eCommerce continues to grow in popularity, online storefronts are now relevant beyond just the large retail companies, and in some industries necessary to remain competitive.  Many companies engaged in industries that historically stayed away from online sales channels, including wholesale distribution companies, are now branching out into distributing their products online, both through B2B sales tools and B2C direct to consumer.  For these wholesale distribution companies, although they have added a new sales channel, their back end processes will remain the same – they must still manage the inventory required to fulfill these orders and process sales into an accounting system.  This is where eCommerce integration between an online storefront and back-end inventory and accounting ERP system comes into play.  But what exactly does this mean, and what options are available for doing so? In order to answer these questions, you must first ask yourself a few others:

  • How many orders to you expect to receive online each day?
  • Do you have dedicated staff for managing orders and picking, packing and shipping?
  • Should anyone be able to purchase from your eCommerce store, or do you want to restrict which customers can?
  • Do you also sell through other eCommerce channels (such as Amazon or eBay)?
  • Do you have different pricing for different customers?

Answering these questions and others is important to determine exactly how sophisticated the ERP and eCommerce integration needs to be, which type of eCommerce store is best suited for your business, and how much it will all cost.  Consider the following options:

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