There is no better time to re-evaluate your business processes than when you are about to select and implement a new business system. While you’ll need a distribution software solution that conforms to your business, many distributors overlook the fact that today's technology and industry best practices can allow them to do things more productively. You should use this opportunity to architect new processes that will immediately impact your profitability and customer service levels.
According to a study performed by Cisco Systems, "Companies that changed their business processes at the same time they implemented new technology saw a 25-30 percent increase in productivity. Without changing their business processes to fit the new technology, businesses actually lost productivity at a rate of 6-9 percent."
As discussed in previous Connected Distributor blog posts, the best solution providers adhere to lean methodology when it comes to distribution functionality and processes. Be sure to inquire with each prospective solutions provider if they have staff certified in lean methodology. You must be convinced that the solution will help you achieve your objectives to keep your business lean and competitive.
You also need to be sure that your company’s distribution software solution will be able to grow with the organization and adapt to changes in the business, as well as continue to offer the best in ERP functionality as the technology evolves. For those business processes that are truly unique to your company, your new technology should be modifiable to handle exceptions.
Keep in mind that there is a big difference between modifying and customizing. The former, by common definition, should not require tampering with the source code at all. Often, distributors insist on custom development for a process that they later admit could have been handled using the existing software capabilities. Be sure you are comfortable with the amount of flexibility your selected solution offers from day one.
Replacing your distribution software system involves a certain amount of innovation, as well as risk. Innovation creates market leaders, and market leaders are the first to achieve a return on their investment—usually a significant return. Look for a solutions partner that is passionate about inspiring that innovation in their customers, and knows how to manage the risk associated with it.
To learn more, read our white paper, 5 Mistakes Distributors Make When Selecting an Enterprise Software System.