As businesses grow and become more successful, new pain points can develop. The processes that worked well when your business was new become frustrating by the time your business is more established. As your business continues to grow, those same processes become nearly useless.
If your business has reached this point, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system can help. These systems are a type of business management software that can make running a small business more efficient. They can resolve many of the pain points you’re dealing with.
Here are five wholesale distribution pain points ERP can solve.
1. Warehouse Management Woes
For small business owners, warehouse management is a big problem. There’s just so much to keep track of. Orders can fall through the cracks, and you may not realize until customers call to complain. You may order more of a certain inventory item, only to discover you already had a lot of that item in another location.
An ERP system can help you manage these warehouse management woes. With the system, you can see all your orders at a glance, so it’s harder for them to fall through the cracks. You can pre-process the orders, and route orders to the right warehouses. You can also monitor your inventory counts across multiple locations so you don’t make unnecessary orders.
2. Breakdowns in Communication
Do you feel like you’re playing broken telephone all day long? When you have multiple warehouses and distribution centres, it’s easy for communication to break down. By the time a message reaches you, it could be inaccurate. Worse, you might not receive the messages you’re being sent.
An ERP system makes it easier for you, your employees, and your suppliers to stay on the same page. For example, instead of having to call your suppliers to find out pricing information, you can just look up their pricing in the ERP.
3. Losing Money Due to Pricing Errors
If you manage your prices in a spreadsheet, you’ve probably lost money due to a pricing error before. Nearly 90 percent of spreadsheets have errors. For example, you could accidentally type the wrong pricing formula in your spreadsheet. Customers could purchase your products at a too-low price and eat into your profit. In businesses with low profit margins, like warehouses, these types of errors can cause big problems.
An ERP will help you maintain accurate pricing in your warehouse. You can input customer-specific or segment-specific pricing. You can also set up promotional pricing or coupons in the ERP system.
4. Workflow Issues
Workflow issues are a big problem in warehouses. For your business to succeed, workflows have to be fast and accurate. You can’t afford to have orders piling up. If orders aren’t sent out on time, customers could cancel, which costs you money.
An ERP system lets you smoothly manage your workflows. For example, you can use the system to fulfill orders in waves. You can tell the system the criteria you want to use for the waves, like shipping method or priority.
5. Not Being Able to Work from Anywhere
Have you ever had to head back to work in the evening to check something? That’s annoying, especially if it happens often. Nearly one-third of small business owners are already working more than 50 hours a week. If you’re one of them, the last thing you need is to have to head back to the warehouse to check something on the computers.
With a cloud-based ERP platform, you can check in from anywhere at any time. All you need to do is log in to the ERP with your web browser of choice. You can even use your mobile device to log in. That means you can see how your warehouse operations are doing when you’re at home or on vacation. This makes managing your business much more convenient.