Wholesale is a complex process, involving the tracking of products and terms for different suppliers and consumers, and is a vital part of the connection between manufacturers and customers. This complexity has to be matched by the wholesale software systems that execute it.
As a result, there are a huge variety of systems available, depending on the requirements of different kinds of buyers. This guide will show you what to look for when buying distribution solutions, and illustrates some of the best options available to help you decide which is the best wholesale software solution for you.
What Kind of Software Buyer Are You?
There are four main groups that buyers of wholesale software fall into. Determining which one you are can help to establish which software solution you require.
- Full-suite buyer - These customers are interested in one system that takes care of all functions. They tend to value the smooth integration of data that a complete distribution management software suite allows.
- Small business buyer - Users from small wholesale businesses, or who have a wholesale component as part of their business, often work with few clients and supplies, and with smaller inventories. Such buyers tend to favour paper-based systems or general wholesale distribution software, such as Peachtree or Intuit.
- Departmental buyer - If you are a specialist for an organisation with an internal distribution network, you may need software that can sustain multiple departments.
- Multiple warehouse operations buyer - If you run multiple facilities, using software that can track and balance inventories over long distances. The system needs to track customer and vendor accounts, produce overall enterprise data and dissect each operation.
Some of the Best Wholesale Software
3PL is the first Cloud-based warehouse management system especially built for logistics providers, but its features can suit any kind of warehouse. These include turnkey integrations with global visibility, automated reporting, electronic data interchange and bar-code scanning. The system allows users to manage multiple customers, processes and billing schedules, and permits access to real-time information. 3PL Warehouse Manager is flexible and scalable, and helps third-party logistics providers automate processes and bill correctly. You pay for what you use, and there are no multi-year contracts.
TradeGecko is a cloud-based inventory management platform for small and mid-sized retailers, wholesalers, distributors, multi-channel and e-commerce businesses. The software merges inventory management functionality, online commerce and business critical applications. A B2B e-commerce portal comes as part of the system, letting a user sell directly to retailers through customised storefronts. TradeGecko also provides customer relationship management, demand forecasting, order fulfilment, accounting and sales reporting features. You can easily streamline business functions by integrating with QuickBooks, Xero, ShipIT and ShipStation accounting software, as well as platforms such as Amazon, Shopify, Bigcommerce, Magento and WooCommerce. You can set reorder points for each product, and have real-time updates and reports delivered to aid better tracking and analysis.
Distribution One brings us ERP-ONE, a solution that works for wholesalers and distributors in a large range of industries including hardware, industrial supply, retail fulfilment, foodservice equipment, fastener distributors, HVAC, fast-moving consumer goods, janitorial and sanitary suppliers, and hose and accessories. ERP-ONE’s system is ideal for full-suite buyers, as it offers a system that can take care of every aspect of a distribution business, including order entry, warehouse and accounting automation, inventory management, general ledger, shipping and logistics and customer relationship management. ERP-ONE saves the user time by integrating with other services such as FedEx, UPS and EDI to conduct their requirements which could include logistics and tracking, e-commerce or mobile applications. There are three deployment options to suit your needs: a traditional on-premise version; Software-as-a-Service or a cloud-based version. ERP-ONE can also transfer your data to another system you are using, which minimises downtime.
Another fully-integrated ERP and supply chain management system, Apprise’s software can be customised to a user’s specific industry with out-of-the-box features. This solution is particularly suitable for consumer goods manufacturers, importers and distributors. The ERP application offers everything a distributor would need, including demand planning, financials, manufacturing, warehouse management, import management, transportation and logistics. A company’s retailer relationships and performance can be improved through the retail compliance functions that Apprise offers, such as electronic data interchange and chargeback management.
Inform ERP, by DDI System, is suitable for a variety of industries by virtue of it being a configurable application with industry-specific workflows for paper, electrical, packaging, plumbing, HVAC, fastener distribution, industrial supply and janitorial and sanitation. Accounting, advanced demand forecasting, purchasing, pricing, reporting and analytics, wireless warehouse management, customer relationship management, e-commerce and mobile sales are all integrated into its platform.
Microsoft Dynamics GP is a financial accounting system suited to small-to mid-sized businesses with applications for financial management, human resources management, manufacturing planning, supply chain management, field service, business intelligence, collaboration, compliance, and IT management. It runs on a stable SQL database and can be used out-of-the-box. There are hundreds of add-on tools for the wholesale industry without sacrificing its core financial features. These add-ons are built specially to function with the software. Dynamics GP uses Microsoft’s Windows and .NET frameworks, which allows for useful technical consistency. The system can be deployed on-site or hosted for a monthly fee.
Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Software can assist companies of any size, but is perfect for medium to large-sized businesses. It is an open platform that supports a range of different technologies, so that you can choose your operating system, database and middleware. It’s scalable and supports multiple languages and currencies.
After you decide that industry-specific software will help your wholesale business, there is still the problem of finding the software that will support your business processes the most. There are a host of options available, tailored for businesses of different sizes, requirements and goals. How do you know which one to choose?
With our team of qualified experts, Software Advisory Service can help you. We offer a service providing non-chargeable buying advice, and can offer a shortlist of the most appropriate software vendors for you, depending on your business’s requests. Just click through the button on the right to get expert assistance.