Published on: August 03, 2021
Distribution ERP software takes much of the guesswork out of workflows. By automating workflows through the software, your company can save time and money. Other benefits include reduced errors, faster shipping, improved customer service and communication, and more. Distribution ERP software provides the framework for workflow automation that supports a thriving distribution network.
10 Benefits of Workflow Automation With Distribution ERP Software
Workflow automation takes common processes and systematizes them using technology to manage the system from start to finish for improved efficiency. Distribution ERP software supports the complex workflows found in the distribution industry. Such software handles complex tax regulations and jurisdictions, complicated shipping arrangements, and other situations common to the distribution industry.
There are many benefits derived from using distribution ERP software for workflow automation, but some of the most important benefits for distributors include:
- Increased transparency
- Enhanced communication
- Faster order shipping
- Fewer redundancies
- Fewer errors
- Streamlined billing
- Easier collaboration
- Better data reporting
- Enhanced supply chain visibility
- Improved strategic planning
- Increased Transparency Into All Aspects of Distribution
Distributors face many challenges. Increasing fuel prices, labor shortages, transportation challenges, and shipping lag times are just a few of the problems distributors face on a daily basis.
You can’t improve what you can’t measure—and you can’t measure what you can’t see. In order to address challenges head-on, you need to know what they are and where they exist. That’s where distribution ERP software comes into the picture. Increased transparency into all aspect of your distribution business means you’re able to take proactive steps to address the challenges. This includes better forecasting, smarter inventory management, and enhanced time tracking.
Increasing transparency throughout the distribution workflow also means analyzing progress toward KPIs. With increased transparency comes the ability to measure, monitor, and repeat what works while discarding what doesn’t work.
- Enhanced Communication with Customers
A distribution ERP system enables you to monitor and track shipments easily. This enhances customer communications. If you integrate your software into the front-end website, your customers may be able to track their own orders. This provides a high degree of confidence in your company and enhances ongoing communication.
- Faster Shipment Equals Happier Customers
Amazon’s overnight and next-day shipping has set a high bar for people everywhere. This includes your customers, who may be ordering for their business needs but who still expect fast, on-time shipping.
With distribution ERP software, you’ll be able to view inventory levels, reach suppliers who have in-stock items, and process orders quickly. Workflow automation takes out many of the extra steps in the process, too, which speeds things up. The result is faster order fulfillment and reduced shipping times, two things that are almost guaranteed to make your customers happy. Happier customers mean repeat business, which can lead to higher profits.
- Fewer Redundancies Improves Profits
Workflow automation reduces redundancies and improves process by taking the guesswork out of the distribution steps. Without an automated workflow, tasks may be repeated, or unnecessary steps taken to complete the same task. Automating the workflow means ensuring that a replicable, standard process is in place to handle tasks. This improves efficiencies, which in turn can improve profits.
- Reduces Human Error
Along with improving efficiency, automating the workflow also reduces the risk of human error. With an automated workflow, tasks move seamlessly through the system. Computers don’t forget to tackle a step in the workflow, nor do they get distracted or take sick days. With automated task flows, there are fewer opportunities for human errors and mistakes to be introduced into the system.
- Streamlines the Billing Process for Faster Payment
Another key benefit for distributors from workflow automation and distribution ERP software is a faster, easier billing process. Distribution ERP software can take the process from job costing through invoicing the customer, send reminders for late payments, and ensure payments are credited to the appropriate accounts. The result is a streamlined billing process that makes it easier to estimate, invoice, and collect payments which reduces open receivables and improves cash flow.
- Makes Collaboration Easier
Without automation, collaborating can be a complex and cumbersome task, especially if your distribution company manages multiple warehouses or locations. With ERP distribution software, you can access the same data in Plano as your colleagues in Dallas. Together, you can collaborate on projects and work through solutions to tough projects. Collaboration becomes easier when you share the same data through an ERP system.
- Offers Better Reporting Capabilities
One frustration common to distributors is the challenge of finding the information they need in a standard accounting or operations system. Distribution ERP software offers enhanced search and reporting functions that transform raw data into usable information. Business intelligence and enhanced analytics can also make it much easier to share and interpret complex data.
- Enhanced Supply Chain Visibility
Another lesser-known benefit from distribution software is the ability to connect with suppliers. Some cloud ERP systems enable external vendors to connect through secure portals. This connection enables you to monitor inventory among suppliers and choose the supplier who can fill orders the fastest.
Improved supply chain visibility means your company can monitor supply levels, choose the right suppliers for the job, and ensure timely shipping. You can also track goods back to their source to resolve problems or handle customer questions. The right ERP software makes it much easier to see the status of your suppliers and take the appropriate action steps.
- Improves Strategic Planning
Improved data and reporting, enhanced supply chain visibility, increase transparency into workflows and processes, and improved billing all lead to better strategic planning.
The strategic planning process relies upon accurate and timely information to help managers create the appropriate plans. Workflow automation tightens up the entire distribution process to improve efficiencies, and distribution ERP software provides the data to show how automation has improved profits. Such data helps the strategic planning process by shedding light on areas of progress and areas for improvement. Better reports, accurate information, and timely updates all make strategic planning more effective and beneficial.
Distribution ERP Software Makes Workflow Automation Easier
The right distribution ERP software makes workflow automation easier. Acumatica offers a cloud-based ERP solution that integrates with warehouse and distribution software for complete end-to-end workflow automation. Monitor KPIs, automate billing, and streamline workflows with this user-friendly system. Acumatica offers a comprehensive solution for distributors that enhances efficiencies for improved service and profits.
Acumatica receives the highest praise from many experts in the distribution and warehouse management industry. It offers a flexible platform that can grow as your business grows. Customization options ensure that no matter how complex your business, Acumatica can make it easier to fill orders quickly and accurately.
If you’re curious to see how other companies have used Acumatica for their warehouse and distribution needs, we have two case studies you might be interested in.
- Miller Veterinary Supply is a 100-year-old distributor of medical supplies to the veterinary industry. With over 30,000 products distributed through four centers, the company recently faced many challenges upgrading from their legacy system to an enhanced distribution ERP system.
- RJ Star distributes automotive finishing and detailing products to warehouses nationwide. The company already used an ERP system but found that with a deeper look at what they had and an upgrade, they could make progress toward their goals for growth and profits.
Although the challenges faced by the distribution industry continue to increase, so do the technology solutions to help companies meet these challenges. Acumatica ERP offers an excellent system for distribution and warehouse management needs and can help take your business into a profitable future with ease.
Mindover Software provides ERP software consulting, training, and implementation. For more information, please, contact us or call 512-990-3994.