In the past, distributors were slow to adopt e-commerce platforms because the existing methods of selling had always worked, with sellers going to customer locations. When distributors did choose to adopt e-commerce platforms, it was largely out of necessity, as a cost- and time-saving measure to avoid having to send sellers out to distant customer locations. The decision to adopt these e-commerce platforms was not strategic, and the platforms themselves were not particularly user-friendly, as they were lacking a lot of the information that customers would want to see and they were often hard to navigate.
Now the expectation from customers is distributors need to offer an e-commerce platform for ordering. Customers want the ability to placing orders when it’s convenient for them and from any location and device. They expect seamless navigation and the ability to see their sales data, all of the products they can buy in easily searchable fields, and the promotions that are available to them, so that they can make the best buying decisions for their businesses. Of course, the benefits of moving to an to e-commerce platforms isn’t just for the customers. Distributors can have their sellers focus more on strategic goals. Rather than acting simply as order takers who go to customer locations, they can focus on selling product. Sellers can work as partners with customers, coming up with the right strategic product mixes that enable these customers to sell more high value products, enabling a win-win situation for both the distributor and the customer.
eoMarket provides a seamless sales experience for your customers and keeps your sellers free to upsell and recommend products. Customers will love the freedom to order what they need, when they want it, and prepare for events based on their own schedules. With sellers not having to add an additional stop or call, you save time and money and give your sellers the freedom to provide a higher level of service. Be sure to talk with one of our sales experts to discuss eoMarket and how it can benefit you.
In the distribution industry, few decisions are more important than picking the right software. The right software can transform how you relate to your clients, run your warehouses, and use your data. On the other hand, the wrong software can leave you frustrated and dealing with so many issues that you spend more time troubleshooting than growing your business. eoStar is designed to help you avoid those hassles. It’ll help you run your business smoothly and efficiently. Here are a few of the top reasons why.
eoStar Software Streamlines Business Processes
In distribution, efficiency makes a big difference. In fact, it’s vital to success. Your software can either hinder your efficiency or help you become more efficient. eoStar software does the latter by streamlining key business processes.
First, eoStar provides warehouse optimization options to help your team stay on track. eoStar is designed to keep your warehouses working as efficiently as possible. With eoStar, you can stay up-to-date on your most important warehouse information, including inventory, space, equipment, and much more.
eoStar also lets you maximize warehouse efficiency with voice picking options. Many warehouse managers are surprised to learn just how much faster the picking process becomes once they remove the need for clipboards and paper lists. When team members don’t have to look down at a clipboard all the time, they can focus more easily and pick items more quickly.
This warehouse optimization can also help you reduce costs by preventing item breakage. And because you’ll spend less time dealing with breakage, you can cut back on unnecessary delays.
Finally, eoStar is proven to improve fulfillment and reconciliation speeds, both of which contribute to overall efficiency.
Make the Most of Your Data With a Centralized Framework
When it comes to efficiency, one of the most important factors is knowing how to use your data. When you can read and analyze your data, you can see which areas could use improvement, which areas are doing well, and which areas you might be missing in terms of efficiency.
eoStar software provides a centralized framework that you can use to analyze your data. Your data will become more organized so that you can take a closer look at it, improve your performance, and increase productivity. As a result, you can increase your profitability, too.
Simplified Route Accounting
The right route accounting software can do a lot for your company’s efficiency, and that’s where eoStar comes in. eoStar’s route accounting software can help you stay efficient by keeping your team informed. When everyone is on the same page, you don’t lose any time to miscommunications.
Furthermore, this route accounting software will let you simplify your routes, which will help you save both time and money.
Streamline With Mobilization
Next, eoStar can help you streamline your processes with mobilization. The eoStar mobile app lets you take your information on the go. You can check in with the mobile app no matter where you are, which means that you can reduce delays.
eoStar Fosters Company Growth
eoStar also helps business owners who want to see their companies grow. A lot of factors contribute to business growth, and eoStar is designed to help you maximize those factors in your own company.
eoStar provides more flexibility than many other software options. Flexibility enhances company growth. Among other things, flexibility means that you won’t outgrow your software. You can make adjustments as needed without having to pause for major overhauls. Since major overhauls can put business on pause, preventing them can help you keep up your company’s momentum.
Win Over New Customers
Of course, you can’t grow your company without growing your customer base. eoStar can help you do that. For one thing, your data analysis opportunities will let you get to know your customers better. When you know your customer base, you can find more ways to meet their needs.
Furthermore, when you reduce breakage, increase accuracy, and create an efficient company, you can increase customer satisfaction. Satisfied clients are loyal clients, and loyal clients help your company grow.
eoStar Provides a Host of Resources
Finally, eoStar provides a huge amount of resources in a single package. Instead of using multiple resources to fulfill your business needs, why not choose a single resource that provides everything? eoStar takes care of everything from route accounting to business intelligence.
Get Started With eoStar
The transition to a brand-new software can seem daunting, but eoStar is here to make things easier. Want to learn more about what eoStar can do for you? Get in touch with us now to get started. The eoStar team would love to help you make the most of your software.
Having a route accounting system can make a world of difference in your distribution business. A good system can help you grow your business, keep things flexible, and stay up-to-date on the latest changes.
Of course, it’s not enough to have just any route accounting system. You’ll want to make sure that you choose the right one. So how do you do that? One thing you should do is take your time and do your research. Instead of rushing into your decision, make sure that your new software has all the features that you need. Second, keep an eye out for these specific traits. They’ll help you keep your routes efficient and effective.
Sales, Inventory, and Financial Tracking
First, think about the basics. Your route accounting system should let you track sales, inventory, and financials. This is the bare minimum for any route accounting software. The more your system tracks, the less you have to worry about.
This tracking is important for a couple of reasons. For one thing, it helps you stay efficient and organized, and it minimizes mistakes. When you stay on top of the details, you can make sure that you’re running your business effectively.
For another thing, accurate sales, inventory, and financial tracking can take a big weight off of your shoulders. When you know that your tools provide accuracy and up-to-date tracking, you don’t have to make those updates and track those numbers yourself. As a result, you can focus on other things that you may have been putting on the back burner.
Financial Reporting and Cash Flow Management
A similar principle applies to financial reporting and cash flow management. Reporting is an important part of running a distribution business. When you have accurate reports, you can notice patterns in your data. Those reports can help you make adjustments as needed to make your business as effective as possible.
Cash flow management is equally important. Cash flow can become overwhelming if you don’t have the right system to deal with it. However, if your route accounting system helps you manage your cash flow, it can remove some of that stress and allow you to maintain a more balanced focus.
Sales and Promotion Options
Your route accounting system should also allow for sales, promotions, and similar discounts. This kind of system requires a lot of flexibility, which is something that not all software options have.
Still, you’ll want to make sure that your system does have rooms for sales and promotions, because sales and promotions are some of the best ways to gain new clients and grow your business as a result. Sales, seasonal discounts, and two-for-one deals give potential clients the incentive they need to check out your business. Often, when potential new clients are on the fence about a decision, it’s things like promotions that nudge them in the right direction.
Customization and Flexibility
Speaking of things that require flexibility, this is a good overall trait to look for in your new route accounting system. In the distribution business, things change all the time. The businesses that adapt and adjust are the businesses that thrive no matter what the market looks like.
If you want to run a flexible business, then you need tools that allow for flexibility. When it comes to your route accounting system, some options are better than others. As you do your research, ask yourself how certain systems build flexibility into their products.
When your system has flexibility, you can also rest assured that your system is conforming to your business. Too often, business owners have to adjust their practices to conform to their software, when it should be the other way around. Flexibility will help ensure that you and your company get exactly what you need.
Next, look for simple and straightforward reporting from your route accounting software system. Reporting matters when making decisions. The results of your reports can make a big difference when determining one decision over another. That means that your reports should be clear, simple, and fast.
When you look for route accounting software, look specifically at your reporting options. Do these systems make reporting easy? If so, then you may have a solid candidate.
Your Own Needs and Preferences
Of course, you’ll have your own specific preferences when choosing a route accounting system, and those preferences aren’t any less important than the items listed above. Decide what you need from your software. What tools and features would serve your business best? Make a list of your company’s route accounting needs, and then look for systems that specifically mention those features.
Once you choose your perfect route accounting system, you’ll notice a big difference in the way you do business. When a system meets your needs, everything flows smoothly.
Looking for a route accounting software that features everything listed above? eoStar’s software features all of the above and much more. Get in touch with eoStar today to get started.
Business growth can get tricky, especially when there are so many things that impact the distribution market. Last year, for example, the COVID-19 pandemic did a number on a lot of people’s businesses. Small and medium-sized businesses took the biggest hits. Markets have their ups and downs, so if you want to keep your business growing, it’s important to have the right tools at your fingertips. If you work in distribution, one of the most important tools is route accounting software.
Route accounting software can keep track of certain types of data. That data can include things like sales, inventory, cashflow, and a lot more. Basically, if it has anything to do with your routes, then your route accounting software can track it.
All of that data can help you with business growth if you know how to use it. When you gather and examine your route data, you’ll start to notice patterns in your routes and sales. You’ll see which actions lead to growth and which ones hinder sales. You may even notice connections that you never would have thought of without the help of your software.
Once you start gaining some insights, you can turn those insights into actions. Make adjustments where necessary. Find ways that you can maximize sales and minimize costs. If these changes become long-term changes, then they can create business growth.
Make Orders Easy
A key part of business growth is simplicity. When you simplify your processes, business growth becomes a natural and organic process. Furthermore, the more things you can simplify, the more you can divert your focus to growing your business.
That’s where route accounting comes in. One of the best things about route accounting software is that it can handle many tasks at once. In addition to data tracking, route software can also help you simplify order loading, keep up with supplier reporting, manage your inventory, and more. In other words, this kind of software makes orders easy. It takes care of the details so that you can grow your business without hassles.
Route accounting software makes orders easier by taking care of all of the details. When you handle all of these details yourself, you may not realize just how much time you dedicate to them every day. These little things may not always seem like much on the surface, but those minutes add up. However, when all of those tasks become simpler, they free your time and brain space so that you can focus on real growth strategies.
Have you been putting off a new marketing campaign or another growth strategy because you can’t seem to find the time? See if you can simplify things with the right route accounting software features. The extra time may be just what you need to make your vision come to life.
Gain Clients With Sales and Promotions
It’s tough to win new clients without sales and promotions. Buyers always want to minimize their risks, and that means not spending too much money on a product that they’ve never used before. When you offer discounts, you give potential new clients a way to minimize their risk and have more confidence when they buy your product for the first time.
With the right route accounting software, you can manage sales and promotions to help you gain new clients. As a result, you may see your business grow quickly.
Get the Flexibility You Need for Business Growth
Business growth requires flexibility. Running a business at all requires flexibility, and that goes double when you want your business to grow. The COVID-19 pandemic proved this concept. When you run a business, you always have to be ready for the unexpected, and you always need a way to adjust. Business growth can happen in all kinds of circumstances as long as you have the right tools.
Route accounting software provides the flexibility you need to make growth happen. It lets you adjust your processes as needed so that your business can thrive in any circumstance.
Choosing the Right Route Accounting Software
Of course, not every route accounting software is the same. Some provide more features and simplicity than others. When you choose your route accounting software, you’ll want to make sure that it’s the right one.
For example, eoStar software comes with flexibility, easy ordering, business intelligence, and everything else that distribution businesses need from their route accounting software. If you need a software solution that fits seamlessly with your business, take a look at eoStar.
When you work with beverage distribution software, you keep a close eye on the market. New companies with strong marketing teams emerge all the time, and old favorites stay strong with different demographics. The beverage market also has a strong seasonal component, with different drinks selling better at different times of year.
With all these changes, are you using your beverage distribution software to keep up with the trends? Tracking beverage trends, both in your own company and with the market as a whole, can help you stay on top of the market and keep up with demand.
Business Intelligence and Forecasting for Beverage Distribution Software
First, consider a beverage distribution software with business intelligence and forecasting capabilities. You can accomplish all kinds of tasks with the right business intelligence software. For instance, you can analyze the value of a potential retailer to decide whether or not you want to pursue that retailer. You can pick the best location sites and make quality placements based on those sites.
Meanwhile, forecasting software can work with business intelligence software to help you make inventory decisions. You can predict which items you’ll need to restock based on purchasing trends.
Both forecasting and business intelligence software can help you keep an eye on local beverage trends and trends within your own company. The more information you have in these areas, the better decisions you can make.
Use Route Accounting Software to Track Data Beyond Your Warehouse
Beverage distribution software isn’t just for warehousing. You can also find a software with route accounting capabilities. Route accounting lets you track things like sales and inventory in real time. You’ll receive updates as they happen, even beyond the walls of your business. Route accounting also lets you track your sales history, suppliers, and promotions, which is essential to running an effective beverage distribution company.
Route accounting software, just like business intelligence and forecasting, can show you how certain beverage distribution trends apply to your own company. You’ll gain insight on things like seasonal changes, regional beverage popularity, and more.
Use Analytics to Track Your Own Data
Similarly, business analytics can show you whether or not you’re responding to market trends effectively. All businesses produce usable data, but few businesses take advantage of that data. If your beverage distribution software comes with data analytics capabilities, then you can make your data work for you. Additionally, you can hire a data analytics provider to handle your data for you. Some software providers also offer data analytics services.
What do these services do with this data? They gather it into one place and then turn it into simple, usable insights. For example, they might find that your sales change with certain weather patterns, or they may find that some products appeal to specific age groups. Once you have that information, you can turn it into action. You might adjust your marketing plans, for example, or make changes to your inventory.
Add Mobility to Your Beverage Distribution Software
If you add mobility to your beverage distribution software, you can keep up with market trends even when you’re not at the office. Merchandiser software can help you track sales opportunities based on current market trends. You can also use mobile surveys to get better insights into these trends. Mobile software can help you track changes in real time, and it can help you better understand the reasons behind the trends. Once you have those insights, you can measure your company’s performance against these market changes, and you can keep your business flexible so that you always respond appropriately.
The Right Software Gives You More Time to Pay Attention
You need the right tools to keep up with beverage distribution trends, but you also need the time to monitor those trends. Finding time isn’t always easy, which is why the best beverage distribution software is the kind of software that helps you save time. The more efficient your software, the more time you’ll have to keep an eye on the beverage market.
It’s all a matter of finding the right tools. For example, you might use a voice-based workflow to keep your warehouses efficient. This way, you can save time by increasing your pick rate accuracy. You can also use palletization to reduce breakage, which means that you’ll spend less time replacing lost inventory. E-commerce software can help you save time, too, by letting you make quick inventory changes and view orders quickly.
With the right tools, you can win back some of the time that you didn’t have before, which will let you stay on top of market trends. Having the right beverage distribution software can make a big difference to business owners. The better you understand trends in the beverage market, the more confidence you’ll have in your business decisions.
Want a software that can help you keep your eye on the market? eoStar is here to help. eoStar software provides several solutions, including the ones listed above, to help business owners keep up with beverage distribution trends. Get in touch with us today for more information.
As we get further along in the year, consumer behavior will change as do the seasons. Each season tends to create a variety of demands across different sectors as it relates to what consumers are seeking with the new weather. On top of the changing seasons, we are also still dealing with the effects of COVID-19. More people are going to want to experience the outdoors as the weather heads towards summer heat, yet there are still concerns about the effects created from the pandemic.
Given the two significant factors that may affect the supply chain, forecasting software is necessary for any business and warehouse that wants to continue operations and have a positive profit going into the next quarter.
Forecasting software can allow an enterprise to plan logistics, finances, and workload for future business activities. This software draws on previous data and results to draw possibilities of future results. The paths that are created can be analyzed by management, and the best or optimal route can be chosen.
Here’s a look at the more detailed aspects and benefits of forecasting software.
One of the main benefits of forecasting software is its ability to prevent needless spending or investment. Through gauging proper supply levels, warehouses can avoid spending excessive amounts on inventory that may not meet the same level of demand. This will also save on costs when less space is taken up by inventory that is not moving anywhere. With more space free, the warehouse can use it for other inventory that may have different demand thresholds.
Forecasting software allows warehouses to create inventory levels that provide the right amount of inventory at the right time. In order for this to happen, the software uses different types of forecasting.
Qualitative and Quantitative Forecasting
Qualitative and quantitative forecasting are two different methods in which forecasting software can help warehouses keep proper inventory levels.
Qualitative forecasting occurs when there is a lack of raw data. This can be the case when a business is new and may not have months or years of historical data from which to draw upon. It may also be useful as a forecasting tool when significant challenges impact the supply chain; a perfect example is the effect of COVID-19.
In order to perform qualitative forecasting, data collection is done to discover consumer opinion and sentiment. This forecasting draws upon focus groups, consumer surveys, and market research. The collection of qualitative data allows forecasting software to develop possible demand forecasts based on consumer opinion.
Quantitative forecasting is the opposite of qualitative forecasting. This technique involves drawing on raw data and numbers to perform inventory forecasting. This approach can be more accurate and precise than qualitative forecasting. However, the challenge it faces is that it cannot incorporate present data from significant events such as COVID-19. Quantitative data will draw on historical numbers to discover trend lines over time that impact with different time periods.
For example, quantitative data in an established warehouse can determine that X number of sleds are sold at the beginning of the winter season. The software can make a note that throughout however many years the warehouse has been operational, they have never shipped above a certain amount of sleds. The management team can use this quantitative data to determine how many sleds they will have in their inventory for the upcoming winter seasons.
Combined, qualitative and quantitative forecasting can provide substantial insights into the future financial and inventory planning for any warehouse.
Forecasting software allows warehouses to reduce the amount of manual labor necessary for continuing operations. Determining inventory levels related to supply and demand can become more automated with forecasting software. Increased automation reduces the chance of human error, which is always a possibility when labor is performed manually.
As a result of reducing the likelihood of error, the management of the supply and production cycle will be more efficient.
Additionally, with more manual labor being refocused in different areas where automation is not available, work productivity will increase. This will ultimately lead to a more efficient enterprise with fewer errors and increased productivity.
Inventory forecasting can improve customer satisfaction because it increases the efficiency and productivity of the warehouse. Customers are less likely to encounter “out of stock” messages when browsing for goods.
Additionally, good forecasting software can improve response speed and shipping times. Due to the process being more automated and precise, less time will be spent trying to identify which goods are going to be shipped. Instead, the supply will already be present in the warehouse and ready to be shipped.
Forecasting software that draws data from trends and qualitative analysis can also identify the types of goods that may fit into new and exciting trends. If a warehouse can utilize that data to get the newest items that are most appealing, more customers will use that warehouse to get those goods before they are sold out.
Overall, forecasting software will create improved customer satisfaction because it ultimately improves performance and productivity of the warehouse itself.
Regardless of your business size, it is always important to consider growth potential. Of course, managers will want to meet deadlines and thresholds for the immediate future; however, long-term growth should also be considered. With effective forecasting software, warehouses can gain strategic insights into how they will wisely use their resources. It will also create more accurate data reports involving productivity and efficiency in the warehouse. Managers can use this data to plot out their growth path and to avoid or mitigate any challenges they may face.
At eoStar, we have developed a variety of software options to improve warehouse logistics and performance. We have decades of experience and are willing to work with you to develop a customized forecasting software experience. Additionally, our team is on standby to provide continual support after our software is integrated into your logistics systems. Contact us today for a consultation.
A comprehensive inventory tracking system is an essential tool for any warehouse that wants to operate efficiently. An effective system will let you track your inventory across its entire supply chain, from the moment it arrives in your warehouse to when it gets sent to your customers. Accurate and easily accessible data regarding your supply chain will aid your warehouse business in seeing increased profits and productivity. In addition, an effective system will help you avoid errors, provide you with a variety of inventory alerts, help you optimize warehouse space, and more.
At eoStar, we have customizable software that can be tailored to suit your needs. Our inventory tracking systems let you monitor your supply chain and ensure your operation is productive. Read on for a variety of elements that are essential to effective inventory tracking software, and what you should look for if you are considering replacing or upgrading your system.
With the constant changes in American economics, there will be continuous change in warehouse processes. As your warehouse grows to satisfy demand, you will want to stay on top of tracking your inventory as it fluctuates. Failure or errors that arise during tracking can lead to compounded issues that surface later on. This will require backtracking and trying to fix all of the issues.
Instead of worrying about problems that arise from increased growth, you should consider implementing software that will scale with your business. This does not just apply to inventory tracking; scalability is applicable to all aspects of your warehouse business.
Having inventory tracking that will scale with your business also means you can avoid having to replace or upgrade software multiple times in the future. Instead of searching for new products, you can transition into the increased productivity and responsibilities that come with increased growth.
We recognize that your employees must have quick access to easily understandable data. Our inventory tracking system utilizes an intuitive system that will be easy to train new employees on. This will allow less time to be spent training or trying to decipher information. Our user-friendly dashboards will improve productivity and reduce the likelihood of human error or misunderstandings.
Trends and Metrics
The inherent nature of any warehouse business is to get goods from one location to another. However, in order to do this effectively in our modern economy, analyzing trends and metrics of your inventory from retrieval to delivery is essential.
Inventory tracking will allow you to understand the degrees of demand for certain products and when that demand happens during the year. For example, there may be products that sell more frequently during the cold season, and your inventory tracking system can help prepare you for that. As the year progresses, your trends and metrics dashboard can prepare reports that will advise you to increase your supply of certain products that you have historically shipped a lot of during the winter season.
A good inventory tracking system will also contain an alert system. These alerts can advise you on low or depleted inventory levels. As a result of being better prepared for low inventory levels, you can replenish your supply faster. This will reduce the lag time between getting products and then getting them to your customers. This benefit can also keep you apprised of future inventory levels so that you may be better prepared; as a result, you will not have to rely on an alarm system and instead can have the correct supply beforehand.
Inventory forecasting will also nicely complement the trends, metrics, and alarm systems present in an inventory tracking system. Like trends, inventory forecasting is analysis that can be performed on trending data and metrics. This takes the data and turns it into an actionable insight.
Our inventory tracking system has Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) integration to help your systems operate more efficiently. EDI integration allows users to exchange data electronically instead of through traditional means such as paper. While it is expected that you will likely use paper in some aspects of your business, it is still more efficient to use EDI in locations where it can be integrated.
EDI integration will reduce the likelihood of errors, increase the speed of communication, and expedite processing.
When it comes to getting your orders out the warehouse doors, an effective inventory tracking system can help ensure your orders are accurate. When your inventory tracking software has EDI integration and an easy-to-understand dashboard, drivers will have an easier time doing their job. With these additional elements, drivers will have clearer instructions on their destination so they may acquire their orders. Clearer instructions lead to decreased likelihood of human error.
Additionally, the workers in the warehouse will have a better understanding of what inventory they need to prepare for shipment. This will create a more effective synergy between preparing inventory for shipping and getting the inventory onto the fleet vehicles for transportation.
Inventory tracking also allows you to keep an eye on inventory when it is on its way to your warehouse. This can sync with your supplier’s data and allow you to be better prepared. As a result, warehouse workers can better prepare inventory space. This allotted time to prepare for inventory space can allow for your supplier’s transportation to more quickly and efficiently dock at your warehouse, deliver their goods, and be on their way. This reduces time spent trying to find space for new inventory, and also reduces congestion at the warehouse.
At eoStar, we are happy to work with you to develop a customized inventory tracking system that will suit your needs. The warehouse industry is constantly developing and overcoming challenges, and eoStar stands ready to work alongside you. Our years of experience mean we have helped both small and large warehouse enterprises be set up for future success. Contact us today for a consultation.
Enterprise Resource Planning, also known as ERP, is an essential tool for any distribution business. ERP for distributors allows employees and managers to have a centralized network that operates multiple aspects of the business. This includes elements such as payroll, inventory, KPIs, marketing, and more.
ERP is a suite of various software modules and components that are tailored to your business needs. Regardless of what sector of beverages you operate in, ERP will improve optimization of logistics and accounting. ERP for distribution provides an advantage over those operating via spreadsheets and paper. This is why ERP for your business is necessary if you want to grow and remain organized and efficient.
Here are some of the important aspects of ERP that may help your distribution company. These are aspects of ERP software suites you should research before purchasing an ERP suite from a vendor.
Utilizing an ERP can be a scary venture, especially if it is your first time. When you are first starting off, the idea of tracking trends over time may not be at the very top of your priorities list. Regardless, after you have established your baseline, you may discover that you need to start analyzing trends for market growth.
The importance of analyzing trends and business data is that it will give you a closer insight into your business’s performance. You may often find areas in which improvements can be made when you look at trends such as inventory tracking, employee performance, delivery routes, and so on.
Business data and trends can be analyzed on a short- or long-term basis. This can show you how new products are doing or how employees have been performing. If you are looking to improve your business growth, even if things are going well, using an ERP to analyze business data will provide you with the knowledge to expedite growth.
There are ERPs that are also scalable for your business. Ideally, most business owners want to see their businesses grow and prosper. Using an ERP to begin with will expedite that growth process; however, you will want to ensure that your ERP suite will continue to work optimally when your business grows. As more responsibilities, tasks, and logistical goals are created, your ERP suite must be able to accommodate the new workload.
There are multiple aspects to scalability that should be considered. Depending on the type of ERP you are using, additional hardware for your system may be necessary. This comes in the form of additional memory to store data, or perhaps additional processors to keep up with higher numbers of transactions or calculations. If you are shopping for a new ERP suite, you will want to make sure you can customize the hardware so it can physically keep up with your growth.
The software itself is another element that is important to consider. The software, its dashboard, and access to data must be able to accommodate the increase in workload. This means being able to change or update modules so they can handle additional data and usage.
Another important aspect of scalability is that it will likely cost you more in terms of time, money, and productivity to completely replace your ERP suite with another software suite to organize your business. During such an upgrade or replacement there will be downtime, new bugs or glitches to resolve, and new training that employees must undergo. Due to the fact that distribution businesses are prime candidates for later growth, scalability is an important aspect to consider when shopping for an ERP system.
Dashboards and Accessibility
Having an easily understandable dashboard for users is important for all distributors and their ERP. Easy-to-understand data and user interfaces will improve productivity because the user will spend less time trying to figure out how to find what they are looking for. Accessibility also reduces time spent trying to train new employees on how to figure out the system. If the ERP has an intuitive dashboard, users will feel more comfortable accessing data and compiling reports.
When you are looking for a new ERP suite for your distribution business, make sure to research how easy it is to integrate and implement the product. A grand and complex ERP suite may be great, but if there is significant cost or conflicts of software, it may turn out that your return on investment will not be what you had hoped. It will be important to compare and contrast your different systems with your potential ERP product.
When integrating a new ERP system, or any new tool or technique for your business, it is wise to consider your return on investment. While you can factor in the initial cost, you will also want to compare future cost/benefits of different aspects of your business performance and how it relates to your ERP.
Lastly, while you are researching products to optimize distribution operations, be sure to research the vendor itself. Different vendors will provide different quality products, including long-term management and support. Integrating any new software suite will likely come with bugs or technical glitches; that is to be expected with any new system. However, if you purchase an ERP from a vendor who provides no support after the product has been integrated, you may find yourself struggling to overcome the challenges. Additionally, a good vendor may have other products that can accompany your ERP and further improve your small business’s efficiency. Creating harmony and synergy between your ERP and other third-party programs will be beneficial for your distribution organization.
If you are managing and operating a warehouse and are looking for a new ERP, contact eoStar. We can help you integrate a new and customizable ERP suite into your warehouse enterprise. We have been in the business of optimizing warehouses, both small and large, for many years and will be happy to help you grow.
An effective inventory tracking system is one of the most important tools for any warehouse management tool. An optimized system will allow you to track your inventory from its arrival in your warehouse to the customer’s hands. When you have accurate data about your supply chain that is easily accessible, your warehouse business will see increased productivity and profits. A good system will also help you avoid errors, provide you with alerts, help you with warehouse space, and more.
Here are some of the most important elements that any inventory tracking system must have.
Alerts for Inventory Levels
Gauging supply and demand is a constant aspect of the warehouse business. A customizable inventory tracking system can provide you the opportunity to set alerts for inventory. These alerts can be set based on certain thresholds that you deem appropriate. With alerts for overstocked items, you can create promotional advertisements to clear those items out sooner. It will also allow you to reduce or suspend any pending orders for that item in order to avoid further overstocking.
If you receive alerts for understocked items, you can preemptively review any pending orders. This can allow you to gauge whether or not you need to increase orders. Additionally, this can help prevent a lag in delivery time in your supply chain if you are able to mitigate the chances of the warehouse delaying shipments due to understocking.
Having alerts in your inventory tracking system is a crucial part of ensuring your warehouse maintains efficient levels of inventory.
Metric and Trend Reports
While getting your products from your warehouse to the consumer is the quintessential element of a warehouse business, it is also important to have access to the data and metrics that are generated from your activities. Having access to data will allow you to see different trends that are occurring over time. It is generally easier to get a grasp of what is happening in the immediate moment; however, our memories are fallible and it may be challenging to know what the trends are without access to historical data.
Trends can show you which inventory leaves your warehouse the most, the optimal price for that inventory, when that inventory leaves with the most frequency, and other metrics. When you have access to this data, you will be able to more effectively optimize your warehouse enterprise.
In order to sustain long-term growth and profit, your inventory tracking system should include the ability to analyze and observe trends. Short-term and long-term trends can speak volumes about employee efficiency, optimal inventory levels, and more.
Easily Understandable Dashboard
It is great to have a system that has lots of data; however, if that data takes a long time to read or understand, then that negates the point of having access to that information. Whether the employee or manager is a seasoned pro or a new hire in your warehouse, it is essential that they have access to easily understandable information.
The less time employees spend trying to figure out what certain data means, the more time they can spend performing other productive tasks. Additionally, if you have an easily understandable dashboard, it will reduce the amount of time newly-hired employees will have to spend in training. This will save the warehouse time and money. It can also help reduce the amount of human errors if data is easily understandable.
An accessible and useful dashboard that provides understandable data and metrics is another key component for an effective inventory tracking system.
Important Inventory Metrics
Different inventory tracking systems provide different types of data. However, regardless of how the system is used, there are a few critical tracking metrics that must be incorporated in the system.
Your inventory tracking system must have the ability to track returns. Items that come back from customers may be siphoned into a “damaged goods” category, and sent elsewhere. Or perhaps the customer got the wrong item or is unsatisfied with what they received. Whatever the reason, you will have an item coming back to your warehouse and your inventory tracking system will need to know how to accurately measure this metric.
Your system will also need to efficiently track items that come from your supplier. Some of your inventory may be on-site at your supplier’s warehouse or storage, or in transit to your warehouse. It is important to know where the items exist in the supply chain. If there are points in the chain in which the item’s location is unknown, it will ultimately lead to an error or miscalculation. Errors and miscalculations will cost you time and money.
Before integrating any new inventory tracking systems, be sure it includes the ability to track returns, damaged goods, and the location of items in the supply chain from your supplier.
As warehouses grow, so too do the inventory levels. Increased growth is certainly a good thing; however, with more inventory come more organizational and logistical responsibilities. It is a good idea to find an inventory tracking system that can grow and evolve alongside your enterprise. Having growth coupled with optimized organization and tracking will aid your warehouse in avoiding negative trends or significant logistical issues. Employees with access to customization options in the system can review trends involving growth and identify which types of modules or metrics to incorporate in the newly scaled system.
One element of scalability is finding software that uses a cloud-based system. This will let you more easily back up your data, allow access across various locations, and you will not have to hire a large IT staff to maintain computer servers.
Contact eoStar for a Consultation
If you are looking for help in developing an inventory tracking system for your warehouse, contact eoStar today for a consultation. eoStar has been in the warehouse optimization business for years, and we would be happy to help you increase efficiency with a custom inventory tracking system.
eoStar provides a wide range of enterprise resource planning features, professional services, and guidance to those in the warehouse industry. One of our leading products is the WMS module, headlined by our warehouse management handheld application: eoWarehouse. This software suite will grant you access to easily understandable metrics, optimize your space management, improve your inventory cycle/accuracy, and more.
These are some of the most essential elements you will need to optimize your warehouse enterprise. Read on to learn how eoStar fits into all those categories.
Easily Understandable Metrics and Dashboard
Having access to up-to-date information is crucial for managing an efficient warehouse enterprise. Managers and employees must be able to find the data they want in a short period of time, and then be able to understand that data without having to spend extra time trying to decipher what they are seeing. When users spend less time trying to find data, they will be able to spend that time elsewhere to improve workplace productivity.
Another important tool in understanding data from your warehouse management software is being able to define metrics. For example, you can define a year as the metric you want to analyze so that you can look at long-term trends. Alternatively, you can customize looking at a daily metric if you want to see things like short-term trends, employee performance, and inventory tracking.
When you spend time understanding trends and discovering weaknesses in your warehouse operations, you can improve customer satisfaction. The key element in retaining customers is on time, undamaged, and error-free delivery of their purchased products. Identifying why mistakes or failures happen will allow warehouse management to improve future productivity.
eoStar’s WMS software suite that will grant you access to easily understandable metrics and data for your enterprise. eoStar also has a support team ready to stand by and help you. Upgrading or switching to an improved warehouse management system can come with bumps and hurdles; however, our team will be able to quickly assist you in order to reduce or completely avoid downtime in your system.
Space management is another important element of managing an efficient warehouse. Some warehouses have to deal with empty space, disorganized space, or not enough space. As those challenges mount, whether it is due to business growth, human error, or changes in logistics, having an efficient warehouse management software system will help you overcome those hurdles.
One of the keys in efficient space management is having accurate inventory location data. It is also important to have a clear plan when you are finding new usage for empty or new space. Additionally, an efficient warehouse management system will compute the most efficient path for employees to move inventory. When time is saved through using the most efficient routes, workplace productivity will increase.
In addition to eoStar’s WMS software its eoWarehouse software can help your business improve its space usage efficiency through its accurate inventory system. eoStar also recognizes that the manner in which your inventory cycle operates will greatly affect your space management. Therefore, eoWarehouse was designed with that in mind. eoWarehouse can also help you figure out where to place certain inventory as it relates to employee travel paths. Reducing the time spent retrieving items for shipment by taking the shortest or most efficient route is another space management optimization technique.
While it is clear that having easily understandable metrics is important, it is also important to be able to clearly track productivity and sales. When a warehouse manager is able to track trends in employee productivity, they will be able to identify areas of strength and areas that need improvement. They can also identify the timeframes that it takes for inventory to enter and exit the warehouse.
If a warehouse has FIFO inventory, time is an important component in ensuring the products get out the door. Without optimized productivity, FIFO inventory may end up as dead inventory, which cuts into your profit margins.
Customer retention is determined through a number of factors, one of which is lead times. Reducing lead times without increasing errors is a goal that many warehouses strive for. In order to retain customers, a warehouse should reduce its lead time by using warehouse management system software that will accurately track inventory locations and levels. This will allow the warehouse to adequately meet customer demands.
WMS will allow you to accurately track product movement, picking metrics, and general work productivity. It will provide you with both micro and macro analyses of inventory cycling, code date tracking, and how efficiently your employees are working. Having an understanding of your work productivity will help your warehouse managers and staff understand their impact on your business..
SKUs can be a double-edged sword in warehouse management systems. They can allow you to become more organized, identify nuanced products, and improve efficiency. However, too many SKUs that are left unchecked can complicate and slow down a supply chain, reduce workplace efficiency, and reduce profits.
While it is important for warehouses to add new products to satisfy customer demands, it is also necessary to stay on top of organizing the SKUs. New and increased inventory has the potential to increase your revenue; however, that revenue could be reduced through increased operational costs if SKUs are mismanaged.
eoWarehouse offers tools and modules that will allow you to efficiently organize SKUs, especially if an influx of SKUs arrives at your warehouse doors. eoStar recognizes how important it is to both grow your business and inventory stock while also staying organized. Using eoWarehouse will help you accomplish both of those goals.
eoStar has been helping warehouses through providing professional services and optimization software for years. On top of our services, we will back up our products with a readily available IT team. We believe our WMS software and eoWarehouse is the top software suite for warehouse businesses to optimize their enterprises. If you would like a consultation about WMS, eoWarehouse, or any of our products, contact us today.