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Is Your Distribution Software Holding You Back?

Posted by Steve Anderson

May 27, 2014

distribution softwareAs an ecommerce business, your success depends on your ability to coordinate all of your systems. Sales and fulfillment, specifically, need to be intimately connected to make sure you're not sacrificing accuracy or efficiency. That's the idea with your distribution software: one tool to streamline and coordinate your processes so you see immediate benefits in your business performance.

Your distribution system, however, is not a "set it and forget it" strategy. Just because you have a system in place doesn't mean you're benefiting from it. The first step to determining whether you've outgrown your distribution system is to diagnose the problems you're experiencing.

Diagnosis

Before you rush to judgment, you need to determine if your distribution software just needs a patch or a complete overhaul. Here are a few indicators that you've outgrown your software:
  • Your support strategies are suffering.
    If your support costs have risen or your support resources are no longer meeting your needs, it's time to think about a new system.

  • Your systems are bogged down.
    Slow systems seriously impede your ability to perform well as a business. If it takes longer to enter a customer order than it does to fulfill it, that's a big red flag.

  • Your systems are fragmented.
    Through the course of fulfilling an order, you're working with multiple, separate tools. With each handoff, you're losing valuable information or sacrificing accuracy. You may even be entering duplicate data, which is a waste of time and opens your records up to error.

  • Your systems are not user-friendly.
    If your system isn't easy for your customers and employees to use, it's not the right fit. A customer should be able to seamlessly navigate, and you should be able to perform your back-end tasks during every stage of the order and distribution process.

  • Your inventory tracking is stunted.
    Your distribution software should provide you with full visibility into your inventory. You need to know how much inventory you have and its availability for fulfillment. Your physical and digital inventory records should match in real-time, and you should be able to track where your inventory came from and to whom it went.

  • Your customers are displeased.
    You should be able to continue providing an exceptional customer experience even when you've grown. If you've been experiencing a rise in customer complaints, your software hasn’t properly grown with you.

If you find your business experiencing these difficulties, it's time to take another look at your distribution software. It may be that you’re just too mature for the systems that worked for you in the past.

Treatment

Once you've got sufficient evidence that your current distribution system is not achieving the goals your business needs it to, it's time for treatment. This may include a major modification of your existing system, or you may need to scrap the old ways and try new distribution software that's better designed for your company.

Identifying the right treatment is harder than it sounds. But, if you narrow down your qualifications, the process becomes less frustrating. The right order and distribution software must help:

  • Control your costs
  • Promote sales
  • Keep your customers satisfied
  • Integrate with your other systems (accounting, CRM, human resources, etc.)
  • Minimize your downtime with quick installation
  • Improve ease-of-use with simple configuration
  • Create quality reporting and assessments
  • Offer practical functionality
You should be rewarded for your company's success, not obstructed along the path of growth. SMB Suite’s order and distribution software solution seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Dynamics NAV to thwart all the challenges associated with business growth. You're encouraged to improve, and the path is cleared for you to become more productive and more profitable.

To learn more about SMB Suite's full-service ERP software options and how they're specially designed to encourage the growth of your business, click the link below.

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Topics: ecommerce software, ecommerce erp, distribution software