Optimising business operations is essential for wholesale distribution companies who wish to maximise their profit margins. There is no doubt that the current economy is putting increasing pressure on many companies. With increasing competition and tightening margins, it’s a challenge for many wholesale distribution companies to keep pace with the competition. Updating systems and business processes are key areas of consideration to enable companies to do this.
With any business contemplating change however, there are always the questions of when, and how, to go about it? Often businesses are forced into making this change when the pain of carrying on with how things were becomes greater than the ‘pain’ of change.
Before embarking on any digital transformation project, as with any project that involves major change, it is important to ask the following questions:
Where are we now?
So many projects fail because companies have not examined in depth the source of their business pains, and what exactly is holding them back from achieving their objectives and goals. This is specific to each business but could be related to:
• Outdated systems not communicating with each other, resulting in duplication of effort and manual labour.
• Inefficient processes that increase admin time, because ‘that’s how we’ve always done it’.
• Inflated IT and staff overheads to support inefficient processes and outdated technology.
There will always be numerous reasons that support the desire to change but working out why you need to do this is an essential starting point for any project.
Where do we want to be?
And what do you want to achieve from your digital transformation project? Most companies want to automate processes, reduce manual administration and duplication of effort. Reducing overheads and increasing efficiency is the aim, while increasing sales and customer satisfaction through having more automated processes are longer term goals. Using technology to adapt to market conditions and optimise working processes will help wholesale distribution companies scale and compete in the future, providing memorable customer experiences and ensuring long-term customer relationships.
It may seem risky to change systems and processes, but there are always innovative new competitors emerging who approach things in a different way – it’s so important to be able to compete on a constantly changing playing field, and optimising use of technology and business processes is one of the most fundamental ways to help this.
How are we going to get there?
Warehouse management technology is evolving all the time and means that you can use technology to do a lot of the hard work that used to be a labour intensive, manual process. Wholesale distribution companies can use sophisticated features within their ERP system, such as SAP Business One, to streamline the inventory transaction process, manage batches, serial numbers and product traceability for regulatory compliance, and improve their customer relationships by being able to provide real-time information on stock levels and delivery schedules.
If you’re concerned that your operations aren’t as productive or as efficient as they could be, it may be time to review your warehouse activities to see if you can use technology to improve processes. SAP Business One, in conjunction with a warehouse management system (WMS) such as Produmex from Boyum or iSAP from Inter-Concept, can transform logistics processes into finely tuned operations. Real-time reporting provides detailed management information, which enables strategic decisions that drives productivity throughout your operations. In addition to this, it provides employees across the business with a single source of truth about the information they need to maximise their efficiency, whatever their job role.
For more information about how SAP Business One and warehouse management systems can help transform business operations for wholesale distribution companies, please contact our friendly team now.
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