Wholesale distributors generally rely on some form of business management system—or systems—to run their companies. This may include a standalone accounting solution stacked on top of a customer relationship management (CRM) system, warehouse management software, an inventory management application, and more. Unfortunately, when disparate solutions are cobbled together this way, they may or may not play nicely with each other. In other words, each individual piece of software may do the job for which it was created, but the tech stack as a whole may not operate symbiotically.
Such a lack of integration produces siloed data, which means different sections of the company’s data are trapped in individual programs that can’t communicate with one another. Accounting data is stuck in the accounting solution; CRM data is stuck in the CRM solution, and so on. This limits collaboration between teams, prevents businesses from collecting and analyzing companywide data, and forces employees to resort to manual, error-prone workarounds.
So, what can wholesale distributors like yourself do to manage complex processes, link disconnected business systems, and automate workflows? Consider taking your cue from Eagle Fence Distributing, LLC.
The Power of Real-Time Data in Your Hands
For years, Eagle Fence Distributing—which sells high-quality, wholesale fence products—relied on multiple instances of Sage 50 housed on separate servers at each of the company’s branches. It was “very cumbersome” for the Eagle Fence teams, so they decided to tackle their challenges by replacing Sage with a cloud-based wholesale distribution ERP system.
Their search led them to Acumatica.
After implementing Acumatica’s modern cloud ERP system for wholesale distributors, Eagle Fence had access to a “single source of truth,” which eliminated the frustrating data silos that once plagued the company. “We’re seeing a lot more interaction amongst executives, and everyone can now view inventory, sales dollars, and sales performance at each location,” says Keith Ford, president of Eagle Fence. “That visibility allows them to call each other for help and locate inventory, which didn’t happen before.”
Eagle Fence now enjoys:
- An integrated, cloud-based solution.
- Remote access to ERP data for all employees.
- Optimized, synchronized inventory data across multiple locations.
- The ability to measure vendor and customer creditworthiness.
- On-demand access to critical data for strategic decision-making.
- Resources for rapid expansion, made possible by Acumatica’s flexibility, intuitive interface, and consumption-based pricing model.
Clearly, Eagle Fence’s decision to upgrade to Acumatica’s comprehensive cloud ERP solution paid off. So, let’s dive a little deeper to see how Acumatica’s modern wholesale distribution ERP system can put the power of real-time data in your hands.
1. Controlling Inventory
Whether you have one warehouse or multiple, international warehouses, accurately managing inventory is a challenge. Keeping track of what’s in stock and where each piece of inventory is located can be exhaustingly difficult, and the more items you have in your inventory, the more confusing it can become. But, with a wholesale distribution ERP system, this inventory guessing game is a thing of the past. You will be able to monitor incoming/outgoing shipments, apply lot and serial number tracking, improve demand forecasts, automate workflows to mitigate human error, monitor real-time data for greater business agility, and much more—all within one, connected system.
2. Commanding the Supply Chain
- 32% of small businesses have been significantly impacted.
- 34% have been moderately impacted.
- 22% have been mildly impacted.
These issues promise to continue in 2023, and having access to accurate shipping and delivery data is critical to taking the reins and commanding your supply chain. Acumatica Cloud ERP presents order statuses, delivery dates, and inventory updates in real time, so you can identify and react to ongoing interruptions and challenges—something Keith Ford appreciated when supply chain challenges came his way.
Says Ford: “When global supply chain problems caused prices on every widget that we sell to flux, we had to be nimble and quickly get replacement costs in the system overnight.” With Acumatica, he and his team were able to accomplish this easily and effectively.
3. Unifying Omnichannel Commerce Experiences
Consumer expectations have undergone a huge transformation since the initial COVID-19 lockdowns. When virtual distribution (e.g., selling a physical product through a virtual channel) first become possible, it was an innovative and helpful option—but not a critical one. When the pandemic closed brick-and-mortar stores and forced customers to turn to eCommerce shopping, this mindset changed practically overnight.
Now that COVID-19 restrictions have eased in most places, consumers are choosing the shopping options most convenient for them: online, in-store, or over the phone. This is known as omnichannel commerce. To accommodate the various options customers now expect, you need a wholesale distribution ERP system with powerful eCommerce functionalities. Customers shouldn’t be able to feel the seams between virtual and traditional distribution methods, and Acumatica Cloud ERP is designed to make that effortlessness a reality.
4. Taking Charge of Financial Accounting and Analytics
General ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable, cash management, tax management, currency management, payroll management—all these financial needs can be headache inducing. Thankfully, Acumatica’s wholesale distribution ERP system links each facet of your accounting needs into one intuitive system and provides built-in, customizable reports, dashboards, and data analysis functionalities. With such an accurate, consolidated view of your accounting information, you can rest easy knowing your business has a strong financial foundation.
“We feel we can add a warehouse or branch in a 30-day window or shorter, because we have the financial backbone all set up and ready to go,” Ford says. “While it may take longer to get the property, trucks, and employees, the software is not a worry point for us; it’s the least of our challenges, which is invaluable.”
Finding the Right Wholesale Distribution ERP System
Cloud-based wholesale distribution ERP systems have some definitive benefits, but finding the right system that fits your unique needs can be a huge task that requires research—asking for peer recommendations, reading analyst reviews, using evaluation checklists, etc.
Ford heeded the advice of Eagle Fence’s technology partner, i-Tech Support, and added Acumatica Cloud ERP to the list of systems the team was evaluating—a list that also included Oracle NetSuite, Infor, and Sage Intacct.
Ford and his team found that Acumatica’s offerings (e.g., twice-yearly updates, unlimited user licensing, a mobile app, a robust CRM program, and industry-specific distribution software) eclipsed those of the other ERP systems. According to Ford: “Acumatica’s mindset is ‘Here are the resources [you] need to add to make [your] customers successful’….We knew we really had a great fit.”
How Acumatica Can Help
Acumatica’s distribution software empowers companies like yours to streamline sales orders, enhance purchasing, track inventory, know true costs, offer unbeatable customer support, and automate business processes with powerful artificial intelligence and machine learning. Instead of relying on disconnected and ineffective systems, you’ll manage all supply chain and logistics activities through Acumatica and achieve 360° visibility into every aspect of your distribution business. You can also personalize Acumatica to meet your company’s unique needs, evolving compliance regulations, and changing customer expectations.
Says Ford, “Ten years ago, the software would be at the top of the list of worries. Acumatica gives us the opportunity to accelerate [our] business.”
If you’d like to accelerate your own wholesale distribution business, contact our experts today. They’ll be happy to answer any questions or set up a demonstration.