In an increasingly digital world, wholesale distributors and retailers that are unwilling or unable to change their approach to doing business risk being left behind.
Before cloud ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and platforms like SAP Business ByDesign, overhauling processes was a daunting task. However, embracing a customizable, scalable solution enables distributors and retailers to seamlessly integrate multiple channels of business within a subscription-based model.
The Challenges Facing Wholesale Distributors
For wholesale distributors, keeping up with competition and enabling growth requires navigating challenges that threaten to decrease efficiency and disrupt the supply chain. In addition to improving the delivery of products and information, distributors must develop a sophisticated understanding of these pains to implement effective solutions.
Reducing Operating Expenses and Cost of Goods Sold
Improving workforce productivity within the warehouse goes hand-in-hand with streamlining complex processes and reducing IT costs. For instance, one way to increase margins is by focusing on reducing costs of goods sold (COGS). Strategies for reducing expenses include conducting vendor cost recovery audits and, as we’ll cover in more detail below, implementing agile processes.
With new business models and new competitors driving competition, customer retention is an increasing challenge for wholesale distributors. Meeting the demands of a changing business landscape means shifting focus from transaction-focused relationships to a customer-focused model. Achieving this goal takes exceptional transparency and visibility.
Attracting and Retaining Talent
An aging workforce creates succession planning challenges. Additionally, attracting talent is difficult in the wholesale distribution space because the younger workforce often doesn’t find the industry attractive. A lack of alignment between outdated business goals and the constant changes of the global digital landscape can create further barriers to workforce continuity and growth.
The Advantages of Cloud ERP: Increased Resilience, Connection and Revenue
As a recent Forbes article notes, cloud-based ERP is playing an essential role in allowing medium-size companies to enhance their operational resilience and organizational interconnectedness during the pandemic.
As the economy gradually adjusts to a post-pandemic world, businesses in the retail and distribution space can continue to thrive by leveraging cloud ERP. Here are the five key advantages that leading ERPs like SAP Business ByDesign offer wholesale distributors.
Advantage #1: Enabling Smooth E-commerce Experiences
DINTEC’s E-Commerce Cloud is a solution that seamlessly integrates SAP Business ByDesign, a leading cloud ERP platform, with a company’s e-commerce platform, as well as with handheld devices in the warehouse. This combination allows small and midsize businesses to leverage e-commerce functionality and improve warehouse management systems, enabling them to compete with larger distributors and grow.
These benefits apply both to B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) organizations. DINTEC has developed several add-on solutions to enhance ByDesign’s e-commerce capabilities, including the Customer Portal ByDintec.
Advantage #2: Improving Visibility and Predictability
SAP Business ByDesign offers businesses increased control and real-time visibility over their inventory and performance. For example, ByDesign allows businesses to create specific KPIs to measure the profit margins of individual products, resulting in more profitable sales.
By offering businesses a fully customizable, top-down view of their operations, a cloud ERP solution enables better decision-making and higher customer satisfaction. Plus, having more transparent, reliable data helps increase efficiency in other ways, such as cutting in half the time accounting teams need to complete end-of-month closing processes.
Advantage #3: Reducing and Controlling Costs
Before the introduction of next-generation cloud ERP solutions, warehouse distribution typically involved manual processes and multiple software vendors. With SAP Business ByDesign cloud ERP, businesses get numerous automated efficiencies on a single SaaS-based payment model, which lowers initial costs and reduces total cost of ownership in the long term.
Not only does this ease the headache of managing multiple bills and vendors, it also eliminates overhead expenses around IT infrastructure. Plus, the automation capabilities of next-generation ERPs enable distributors to reduce the effects of human error and limited visibility, including inaccurate views of their inventory.
Advantage #4: Allowing Agile Warehouse Management
DINTEC’s expertise in the distribution and retail spaces led to the development of Handheld ByDintec, an add-on for SAP Business ByDesign designed to further improve control over business processes. By integrating ByDesign cloud ERP with handheld mobile devices, the add-on enables a comprehensive mobile warehouse management system.
This provides several benefits, including:
- Decreased operating times
- Increased inventory control
- Improved product traceability
- Immediate data synchronization
An agile approach to warehouse management also increases employee and customer satisfaction. This means distributors and retailers that commit to improving their warehouse experience are better positioned to attract and keep talent, as well as new business.
In today’s increasingly digital economic landscape, businesses must adapt to maintain a competitive edge. Especially when combined with DINTEC’s E-Commerce Cloud solution, SAP Business ByDesign enables distributors and retailers to optimize their supply chains while keeping up with the changing demands of e-commerce and ERP.