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Keeping stock

ERP software can help you connect all areas of your business, enhancing productivity and customer service, says Mark Hughes, Regional Vice President UK and Ireland for Epicor Software. 

Business management software plays an ever-increasing role in connecting entire distribution businesses together. Take ERP solutions, for instance, which have transformed over time from what were typically seen as simple order entry systems into crucial business applications that touch and often manage an entire wholesale business. ERP software makes operations extremely efficient and processes simple and unified. It plays an important role in improving customer interactions and relationships, rebate management and claim support, advanced catalogue management, warehouse management and stock control, and all-important mobile working. To ensure your wholesale business can benefit, take these four key steps to make ERP solutions work for you.

  1. Move to a modern and efficient business management system

This might sound daunting, but it can be a smooth and painless process if approached in the right way. The BisTrack solution, for instance, is easy to deploy, access, understand, use, and upgrade. Its Advanced Stock Management (ASM) module also reduces costly errors and offers improved inventory management, greater stock visibility, and enhanced cost control.

To reap the benefits of ERP, wholesalers need to work with a software company that understands the market. The BisTrack system has been implemented in more than 150 distribution businesses across the UK and, unlike many other generic ‘one size fits all’ solutions, offers the comprehensive and highly specific functionality electrical wholesalers need. This includes everything from cable reel management and interfaces to Luckins or other catalogue services, through to rebate management and a quick and intuitive trade counter.

  1. Improve stock accuracy

Once the right solution is in place it’s important to ensure you get real value from it. For example, having better insight and accuracy into stock levels will help improve customer service interactions and increase overall business efficiency. The BisTrack ASM module does this by combining real-time picking and stock control functions with the accuracy of bar code scanning carried out in the warehouse or yard, so you know exactly what you have and where it is. This means the right stock can be delivered faster, to help consistently meet or exceed customer service expectations. As a result, businesses will see a reduction in the number of credit notes being issued as there is less need to arrange for the collection and refund of incorrectly delivered items.

With all tasks carried out on a handheld scanner that records both the user who performed the task, and when the task took place, ASM also allows you to monitor the performance of the picking teams. It is ideal for businesses of every size, from large warehouses with vast volumes of stock to track, to small enterprises where the tight control of sales and finance is imperative.

  1. Connect the warehouse with the trade counter

Customers expect to be able to compile an order in seconds, even one worth thousands of pounds, and wholesalers can only facilitate this if the warehouse is digitally connected to the trade counter. The BisTrack ASM solution enables this and suggests reorder quantities based on trends, rather than using predictive stock replenishment. Wholesalers can accurately view how the business is performing by branch and product, and reorder quantities are automatically suggested based on this information. Bringing everything together to provide a single view of stock and orders, BisTrack ASM gives ‘dashboard reporting’ enabling you to see all aspects of business growth and figures on one screen—which helps you make better investment decisions going forward.

The BisTrack solution also allows wholesaler Managers to immediately see what they’re selling and adjust prices accordingly. Customer data is instantly available to everyone. The sales team for instance, can quickly and easily view credit accounts to identify which customers are near their limit and proactively intervene by either arranging for them to make payments or extending their credit limit. Sales teams are no longer just an order point—they have access to valuable customer information which enables them to have meaningful dialogues with customers. This might include reviewing a customer’s past order history to suggest popular products, to help make best use of their time.

  1. Link branches together

When a product is unavailable in one branch, being able to locate it at another one nearby increases the value that a business can bring to its customers. ASM for BisTrack enables counter staff to do just that. A product can then be transferred to the customer’s nearest branch or even delivered straight to their location. This high level of service prevents the loss of potential sales and improves customer loyalty.

Our users tell us that one of the best results of implementing BisTrack is how it has enabled them to elevate customer service and use it as a competitive differentiator. Better access to data means that questions or queries can be dealt with quickly and effectively, leading to improved customer retention and spend.

With the right technology on your side, you can ramp up the customer experience, prepare for growth, and get ahead of your key competitors. Find out more about how Epicor can help you manage your warehouse: www.rdr.link/WH002



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