Maximizing the Value of Data in ERP Software

Distributors have identified three key areas to empower their companies.

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Today’s fast-paced business landscape has led to increased competition and market shifts that make it difficult to maintain customer trust, especially when it comes to inventory control. One of the most common ways businesses fall short is by not having reliable inventory data. An efficient inventory control solution automates the inventory process and provides accurate, real-time data to help reduce costs, maintain a competitive edge and drive sustained profitability.

Unfortunately, many businesses still rely on outdated, time-consuming and error-prone methods of managing their inventory through manual spreadsheets. But a more sophisticated solution is needed to keep pace with the demands of modern commerce. As distributors identify the need for improved inventory performance, many are implementing a comprehensive ERP software system.

By learning how to maximize the value of data in an ERP software system, distributors have identified three key areas where they can empower their company with the data management advantages necessary for growing customer trust through inventory control.

Data Accuracy

Customer trust hinges on a company’s ability to maintain its own data. From customer and order descriptions to stock counts and product locations, distributors are responsible for keeping track of this data and ensuring its accuracy.

However, the quest for accurate data can be a daunting challenge for businesses that rely on manual inventory control methods. Manual inventory counts are not only labor-intensive, but also financially burdensome, often demanding substantial time and resources. While manual efforts can deliver an accurate snapshot of inventory at a specific moment, they often fall short in providing a comprehensive view of trending products and pending sales. Furthermore, item returns and discrepancies in stock locations frequently introduce errors into the equation, eroding data reliability.

By utilizing an ERP system, the software handles it all. The transition to ERP software minimizes errors and fosters a higher level of data accuracy by incorporating real-time updates and predictive analytics for trending products. As a result, the once time-consuming process of inventory control becomes a seamless system that minimizes errors and promotes accuracy.

Data Accessibility

Accurate data is only effective if users can access it on demand. According to a study by IDG Research, accessible data through ERP systems increases productivity by 10%. Additionally, a 20% increase in data accessibility has been proven to result in a 3% increase in new customer sales.

For distributors, delays in data accessibility can impact decision-making and increase turnaround times. In manual systems and standalone software programs, sales, item data and customer data are not easily shared throughout the organization. These systems lack the seamless integration required for information to flow smoothly. Additionally, conducting comprehensive system-wide searches can be a cumbersome task.

In the context of data accessibility, an ERP system becomes a critical ally. An ideal ERP solution should offer the flexibility to incorporate multiple descriptive fields per item, ensuring that every piece of information is meticulously cataloged. It also empowers users with the ability to conduct searches across all available fields, facilitating superior data discovery and the ability to generate reports. This heightened data accessibility, in turn, not only enhances productivity but also minimizes the potential for human error.

Ultimately, ERP systems act as the gateway to enhanced data accessibility, empowering businesses to harness the full potential of their data, streamline operations, and ultimately drive growth through improved operations and customer interactions.

Data Security

Another pillar of building customer trust, data security helps to correctly secure inventory data to ensure ultimate operational stability.

The benefits of ERP data security are immeasurable when compared to manual processes, as manual data security processes often incur unnecessary risks through practices like storing company data in a desktop spreadsheet or keeping ledgers in a locked drawer.

Both on-premise ERP and Cloud-enhanced SaaS ERP software provide enhanced data security for companies. Through on-premise ERP, companies are able to store data onsite within servers managed by their IT team. This is a good solution for companies that prefer the ability to control their data internally. However, on-premise ERP incurs some added expenses through IT employment and software updates.

Cloud-enhanced SaaS ERP is a great solution for companies that prefer the ability to access their inventory data anytime and anywhere. Cloud ERP solutions eliminate the need for in-house IT through monthly maintenance. Additionally, cloud providers store data in a secure environment that utilizes best security practices and any upgrades and are handled by the provider directly.

By implementing ERP software, distributors are able to harness powerful tools for managing inventory data. With enhanced accuracy, accessibility and security, distributors are able to maximize their inventory control, earning the trust of their customers in the process.

Dave Snider is VP of marketing at Advantive.

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