5 Considerations When Purchasing New Distribution Software

Updated: August 05, 2010

While each distribution company may have certain business processes that make them unique, most organizations will have a core set of requirements that manage the majority of their operations. Below is a list of five core criteria to consider when review distribution software packages.

Considerations for Selecting New Distribution Software

Purchasing and procurement. Because distributors have more money tied up in finished goods inventory than manufacturers, effective and consolidated procurements becomes increasingly important. Clear visibility to vendor purchases, product costs for different vendors, and other such information becomes very important. An effective distribution ERP system should enable these processes.

Planning and demand forecasting. Given the higher finished goods inventory. accurately planning demand and corresponding inventory needs is very important. This is an area where ERP software solutions vary considerably, so this area should be carefully explored during the software evaluation process.

EDI and customer integration. The increasing importance of business to business sales underscores the need for seamless communication with customers. Integrated and automated communication of areas such as EDI, advance ship notification, and order status updates are very important and should be carefully considered with potential distribution software offerings.

Complex financial reporting. Many distributors expand their product lines as a result of their shifting focus away from manufacturing to distribution. As a result, it can become increasingly difficult to track sales by a number of different variables, such as sales by brand, product line, geography, etc. Your distribution software should contain robust financial reporting to support these needs.

Light assembly. While most distributors do not require sophisticated product configuration or other engineer-to-order functionality, it is still important that the distribution software enable final assembly of products. Packaging and value-add assembly processes are two examples of potential functionality that should be supported.

Featured Research
  • The New 2016 ERP Comparison Guide

    Selecting an ERP solution is no easy undertaking. You have to select and configure a system that fits your exact business needs. The right system can make operations more streamlined, efficient, and agile. But choosing the right vendor can be difficult. more

  • ERP Cost Guide

    ERP is the most complex—and costly—business software product available today. Many businesses struggle to implement an ERP system without breaking the bank. Read this guide to learn more about what you can expect in terms of cost—and how to save money during the implementation process. more

  • Build a Business Stronghold to Protect Your Data, Inventory, and Profits

    The retail landscape is changing, particularly in the area of security and loss prevention. With mega-breaches at Target (40 million stolen debit and credit cards), Home Depot (56 million unique cards), and eBay (145 million people affected), security has become a topic that cannot be ignored. more

  • Five Mistakes Retailers Make When Selecting a New Software Solution

    With the immense changes the retail industry has undergone and continues to face today, there are mistakes that you as a wholesaler simply can’t afford to make. Certainly, one of these—perhaps the greatest of all in our technology-driven age—is choosing the wrong retail business management software for your business. more

  • Has Your Business Outgrown Your Business Management Software?

    Does your current software give your retail business the visibility and flexibility you need to be responsive and competitive? Or has your business outgrown your business management system? more