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How ERP Solves Distribution Challenges

By Candice Schuval

ERP Distribution Challenges

3 Issues Facing Modern Distributors 

Modern distributors can’t let anything get past them. With growing global competition and high customer expectations, distributors are under a lot of pressure to maintain optimal levels of efficiency and precision. That’s what enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is for. ERP stores and updates your back-office data in one place, so you always know where to look to find the information you need. It also automates processes and gives you control over operations across your entire enterprise, enabling you to achieve greater productivity. 

No distribution challenge is too great for ERP software. Below, we explain how ERP solves three common issues in modern distribution.  

1. Lack of Enterprise Visibility 

Without a complete view of their enterprise performance, distributors can’t detect issues or make fast decisions. This puts businesses at risk of providing poor customer service, making critical errors or wasting money. ERP software ensures you have up-to-date information at all times. By consolidating enterprise data into a single solution, ERP gives you a full picture of your organization, allowing you to become a more responsive workforce.  

One area where distributors often lack visibility is in inventory management. Prophet 21, Epicor’s ERP solution for distributors, provides users with real-time inventory data, so they can reduce costs and improve inventory turnover. Even if you have multiple branches, Prophet 21 will give you one view of your warehouses to help you control inventory levels.  

Prophet 21 includes other tools designed to enhance enterprise transparency. A variety of reporting and data analytics features enables users to easily drill down into metrics and KPIs. Your ERP solution will monitor the flow of data around the clock and can also be set up to send email alerts when certain order, shipping, purchasing and account events occur. With instant, reliable information at your fingertips, your enterprise can respond quickly to serve customers and optimize processes.  

2. Labor Shortage 

Finding and keeping the right people for the right jobs is becoming increasingly difficult, particularly for distributors. Businesses struggle to find people with the required skill sets, resulting in understaffing and a lot of time and money spent on training. Though solving this problem will require changes that extend far beyond your specific company, you can at least get a start on reversing your labor shortage using ERP.  

ERP software plays a critical role in modernizing workplaces. Mobile accessibility, for example, gives employees greater freedom to perform tasks and check data on whatever device they want, wherever they are. Prophet 21 includes mobile solutions designed to keep users productive in the warehouse, in the field or on the road. It provides mobile proof-of-delivery to instantly record delivery and pick-up information for better record-keeping and customer service.  

Additionally, Prophet 21 automates processes, so you don’t have to hire people for repetitive tasks or discourage your workforce by making them perform rote, manual labor. Prophet 21 also includes an easy-to-learn interface that will help you quickly onboard new employees. ERP can improve your work environment, resulting in better employee retention and recruitment efforts.  

3. Customer Demands 

As customer expectations continue to rise, distributors must adapt to growing demands for fast, accurate service. The best way to do this is through adopting an eCommerce strategy. Prophet 21 makes this easy. Epicor Commerce Connect (ECC) is a comprehensive eCommerce solution that fully integrates with your ERP solution. ECC allows you to set up an enticing online store without any coding or hassle. With access to a wide array of templates, SEO tools and multiple payment options, you can create a rich online experience for your customers. 

Because it’s integrated with your ERP system, ECC can maintain a high level of accuracy and efficiency. Rather than manually enter data between your platforms, online orders are automatically transferred from your online store to your ERP system. Inventory and pricing data are also accessed by your eCommerce system, ensuring that product information is always up to date on your website. The combined power of Prophet 21 and ECC will help you meet even the highest customer expectations.  

Wrap Up  

For over 45 years, Epicor has specialized in creating software solutions for multiple manufacturing and distribution industries. The ERP vendor keeps up with modern industry trends to ensure each customer has the right software to optimize their business processes.  

Datix, an Epicor Gold Partner, has performed countless implementations of Prophet 21 and Epicor ERP. With extensive experience in multiple manufacturing and distribution environments, we know how to align your software solution with your unique business requirements. Our certified consultants work from start to finish to transform your business through software.  

Let an ERP expert help you solve your biggest distribution challenges. Contact Datix today to learn more about our ERP services and solutions!  


Tags: automating processes, Customer Experience, Epicor® ERP, epicor partner, distribution software, erp consulting firm, erp for distribution, shipping and distribution, prophet 21, visibility, epicor commerce connect, labor shortage


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