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Evaluating ERP Solutions: Focus on Functionality

You expect enterprise resource planning (ERP) to be the lifeline of your business, but what if it’s not producing the results you expected?  If your ERP solution is not purpose-built for wholesale distribution, you may be missing necessary functionality, therefore making your company reactive instead of proactive.

A recent Mint Jutras survey on ERP solutions revealed that functionality continues to be a challenge for many wholesale distributors: 

  • Thirty-six percent of wholesale distributors rated “missing required functionality” as more than moderately challenging. 
  • “Customization-related challenges” ranked as one of the top five challenges to achieving ERP goals, a telltale sign that functionality is an issue.  In fact, distributors with heavily customized systems may have spent more in creating and maintaining customizations than they would have if they’d selected a solution with a better fit.

If you are not yet realizing the full benefits of a successful ERP implementation, it is worth asking some tough questions:

  • Is your current solution provider staying on top of technology by making software upgrades regularly available to your company?
  • Does your current solution provider understand the intricacies of the wholesale distribution business?
  • Does your existing solution easily supply the metrics that directly contribute to your company’s profitability, such as customer buying habits and margins?

Unlocking the value of ERP requires a combination of people, processes and technology.  Don’t assume you have to settle for a general-purpose ERP solution.  Instead, you should seek out function-driven competitive advantage that will set you apart from other wholesale distributors.

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