Like anything else, functionality requirements small and mid-sized business regarding distribution ERP (enterprise resource planning) software have grown in direct response to the demands put forth by internet technology. For some companies, distribution is their business and order fulfillment a core competency. Customers, be they retail or business to business, have become accustomed to being able to go to a website, key in an order or purchase order number to get information on the status of their order.
Requirements of Small and Mid-sized Inventory-Based Businesses
This do-it-yourself mentality has become the rule and as the oldest generation fades into the past, individual comfort levels increase. Not only have comfort levels increased, so have the expectations of every customer from the corporate level down to the individual purchasing new cookware via the Internet. In some cases, distribution is a direct operation straight from the manufacturing point. In other instances (and most of the time, in fact) distribution is handled with the use of a shipping agent. This is especially useful where international shipments are involved and a whole industry has sprung up around it.
Something being shipped to Canada from the US often goes through the hands of a specialty agent well versed in the customs regulations and paperwork requirements. Organizations such as this, once certified, speeds up delivery considerably and factors in the increased security of today’s shipping reality.
Using distribution ERP software makes it possible to conduct business twenty-four hours a day the world round. The electronics component manufacturer can now ship its finished product any time of day, anywhere in the world. Time has truly become merely a relative concept as the Internet puts businesses immediately in touch with one and other. When the customer received those components, they are then able to assemble their special something and ship it on to its final destination or to the next step in the production process and thanks to distribution ERP software and the Internet; a window into that world is made available to customer or to the customer service representative supporting the order.
Distribution ERP software can take a snapshot of parts and stock and almost instantly provide more accurate lead times than were previously possible and all of this ability has been made available to business across the board. There is distribution ERP software available to meet the needs of everyone from the corporation to the self-employed vitamin supplement distributor. World markets created and nurtured by the direct connectivity that distribution ERP software makes possible are now accessible by businesses of all stripes who can no longer afford to remain local and stay competitive.
Small businesses now have ACH (automated clearing house) capability available to them. Payment is made electronically making for speedier, more accurate payment and enhancing the cash flow capabilities of even the smallest business. Where once, small inventory-based businesses were seen as mere cottage industries, distribution ERP software packages with Internet connectivity is no longer out of reach of those with small budgets. Cloud-based and hosted distribution ERP software has made virtually all inventory-based businesses responsive to world-wide market and transformed those cottages into skyscrapers.