Insights on Business Management Software and ERP
SYSPRO Smarter ERP Blog

Posts by Topic

More...

Subscribe to Email Updates

ERP resolving the challenges of distribution

Posted on 13 March 2013 by Cathie Hall

Find me on:

global distributionIn this digital age the distribution model for businesses is being transformed, bringing with it a change in both consumer and business buying practices.


The role of the Internet
Today it’s standard practice for a number of purchases to be placed via an app on a phone, or, if we are being old-fashioned, via the Internet. So rather than make several deliveries to a specific number of stores, the distributor has to cope with distribution to thousands of customer addresses.

Global Trading
It’s not much different in a business-to-business environment where global trading has become so easy over recent years. Because of technology and communication changes, we are better able to interrogate disparate systems throughout the supply chain, which makes the order process slicker, and geography means less than ever. This presents bigger challenges for logistics.

Direct ordering from the manufacturer
In the past, carriers transported bulk shipments from one distributor to another across the oceans. This model enabled local distribution of globally produced products at reasonable margins. Now, with more and more consumers and small businesses buying smaller quantities direct from manufacturers, the distribution challenge becomes critical in maintaining margins.

The role of third party logistics
As the distribution market revolutionizes, we’ll see more smaller businesses broaden their use of technology to support customer demands. As a result, third-party logistics providers are offering increasingly sophisticated products (once reserved for corporates) into the small and medium business market. However, to take full advantage of these product offerings, businesses require a business software system that can easily integrate with their logistic partners’ software.

Customers up and down the supply chain also expect to be able to track orders through portals, to have updates sent to their mobile phones or statuses maintained on their ERP software.

A comprehensive, fully integrated ERP system can go a long way to solving many of these distribution challenges:

  1. Collaborating electronically with customers and suppliers
  2. Analysing sales and reaching optimal pricing
  3. Managing chargebacks and returned merchandise
  4. Managing multiple currencies and exchange rates
  5. Controlling diverse inventories across multiple locations
  6. Improving inventory turnover and minimising obsolescence
  7. Managing traceability of your merchandise
  8. Managing goods in transit
  9. Reducing inventory replenishment errors

Assuming we are still a long way off from being able to break down any physical item into an electronic pattern which can be teleported across the globe, the disconnect between a highly individualised, automated purchasing model and traditional distribution methods will continue to grow. Solving this disconnect will be the big challenge in distribution over the next decade.

 

 

Topics: Business Strategy, Supply chain, innovation, distribution


Cathie Hall

Cathie Hall is the Operations Director of K3 SYSPRO, where she is responsible for providing customers with business solutions through SYSPRO.

Cathie leads a strong team of support, customer services and technical consultants, along with project managers to provide SYSPRO customers in the UK and Europe with high levels of service throughout their ERP journey.

Cathie’s approach is to always put the customer first, and to build and support a strong internal team of people, ensuring that each individual has a secure place within that team.

Cathie holds a BBA in Management from Lancaster University. Prior to joining K3 SYSPRO, she worked at a manufacturing company as their Group IT Manager, where her first challenge was to select a new ERP system for the company. SYSPRO was chosen and this was when Cathie got her first taste of the ERP industry. Following that, Cathie ran her own ERP Consultancy and implemented various ERP systems in different regions, across the world.

In her spare time Cathie is an Explorer Scout Leader, providing fun, challenge and everyday adventure for 14-18 year olds in West Lancashire, UK. She also enjoys running and riding motorbikes.

 

Subscribe to Email Updates