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How Leading Distributors Are Navigating Today’s Supply Chain Challenges

In a recent webinar, Mike Tatara, product marketing manager for Epicor, takes a no-nonsense look at the challenges faced in managing today’s supply chains and how ERP can help businesses meet those challenges. As someone who spent over a decade in wholesale distribution, Tatara’s take on the subject should be particularly interesting to those in this sector.

Business relationships are more tenuous than ever for distributors. Trading partner expectations are at an all-time high, while loyalty can no longer be taken for granted in a volatile, rapidly changing marketplace. An agile technology strategy can help a business cope in this environment by preparing it for long-term viability and sustainability.

According to Gartner, IT leaders must put the brakes on perfectionism and take calculated risks that may surprise their own business and their competitors. “This is not the time to retrench,” says Peter Sondergaard, senior vice-president and global head of research at Gartner. In the webinar, Tatara discusses the early origins of the “means versus risks” dichotomy, and agrees with Gartner that winners are more likely to ask, what if we don’t?, rather than staying with the status quo.

ERP is expanding and evolving dramatically as business strategy and technology are increasingly intertwined. Epicor ERP is used as an example of a purpose-built yet nimble technology that enterprises can leverage to build a stronger supply chain.

The top supply chain management concerns are detailed:

  • Globalization and increasing complexity
  • The need for visibility and business intelligence across the supply chain
  • Increasingly volatile markets and increasing demands
  • Effective collaboration as a core tool
  • Costs and revenue: the bottom line

The case is made that Epicor ERP, built from the ground up using a service-oriented architecture (SOA), provides an essential triumvirate of technology, features/functionality, and lower total cost of ownership (TCO) that enables companies of any size to optimize their supply chains, In particular, the SOA architecture features five characteristics (customizability, open standards, configurability, global engines, and distributed or local data scenarios) that Tatara says are essential to compete in today’s markets.

For distributors, the benefits are clear, including:

  • Improved order management
  • Streamlined WMS operations
  • Greater control over inventory
  • Additional capabilities to make companies stronger, more attractive trading partners.

A recording of the presentation is available here. It’s a good listen, and well worth your while.

Posted by the Epicor Social Media Team

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