Not all businesses are created equal, and neither are all distribution management software. It’s key to understand your business’s unique needs and how each software can address those needs in order to make the right choice, one that will allow your business to grow and your customers to feel satisfied – not to mention make running your business easier.
With this in mind, here are key points to consider when choosing the distribution management software that will allow your business to operate at its peak:
• How can you keep your customers happy? Customer management is a full-time job unto itself – one which the right distribution management software should make easier for you. Will the software you’re considering allow you to improve your service levels? Will it allow you to improve on-order fulfillment and thus raise your customer retention rates? Will it allow you to identify any areas in which you’ve been slacking so you can tie up loose ends?
• Who are your best suppliers and vendors? Another point to keep in mind is whether your software will allow you to identify your company’s best suppliers and vendors. If you are involved with a number of either or both, odds are you have just as complicated a job on your hands managing them as you do with managing your customers. The right software will allow you to track the service you get from these parties and potentially identify any weak links which may need to be replaced.
• Is your inventory being closely tracked? Much of what you’re looking for in a distribution management software will depend upon the extent of your inventory and your needs when it comes to managing your warehouse. Not only do you need to keep close track of what’s currently there, but your software should also be able to determine for you where your inventory dollars will go farthest through demand planning and forecasting. If you don’t currently house an extensive inventory but plan to expand at some point in the future, keep this in mind and choose a scalable software that will support your growth.
• Where is your money coming from? Are you able to identify which of your products the customer is spending the most money on? How about pinpointing your most profitable customers so you know with whom you need to maintain a warm relationship? This knowledge allows you to focus your energy on the channels which bring you the most money in order to encourage an even stronger cash flow from those directions.
• What’s the state of your financial records? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to create accurate, real-time financial reports at the drop of a hat? Will your software allow you to do this? And should you need to create custom reports, will you be able to do so? Be sure to get a good feel for any software’s reporting capabilities – after all, being able to review your stats and figures easily allows you to make decisions with greater confidence, not to mention making life a lot easier when meeting with accountants.
• How user friendly is it? Let’s face it: Even the best distribution management software will do nothing for your business if your employees don’t know how to use it effectively. An intuitive interface, one which makes usage not only easy but enjoyable, will go a long way toward having your business running smoothly and your employees on the same page in regards to how you’re performing.
The best distribution management software will address your organization’s pain points and make every aspect of running your business flow more smoothly. Putting in the time to assess where your current software (or lack thereof) is letting you down and to explore your options is sure to pay off great dividends as time goes on and your business begins running like a well-oiled machine.
If you still have unanswered questions on choosing the right software for your business, contact Michell Consulting Group and let one of our experienced consultants guide you through the process.