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About Distribution Software

A distribution software package is a robust technology tool that automates and streamlines the various processes and activities involved in the collection, transport, and delivery of finished goods or products. Offered as an integrated component of many enterprise resource planning (ERP) suites or as a stand-alone application, a distribution software package provides full support for all related functions, including sourcing, routing, order processing, warehouse management, inventory monitoring, and delivery tracking.

Key Benefits for Your Company

Wholesalers, distributors, logistics service providers, and other similar companies who implement and utilize a distribution software package can achieve tremendous advantages. Among the most notable benefits is the ability to:

  • Reduce order processing and fulfillment time.
  • Eliminate inventory overages and shortages.
  • Improve service levels and performance.
  • Respond more rapidly to changing customer demands and shifting marketplace conditions.
  • Reduce freight expenses and other operating costs.
  • Enhance relationships with business partners.
  • Increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention.

Does My Company Need a Distribution Software Package?

An intricate series of highly complex front- and back-office activities must come together seamlessly in order to ensure the most successful distribution operation possible. Over the past decade, these tasks have become far more sophisticated. As a result, the inefficient, error-prone manual processes that were previously used to execute key tasks are simply no longer enough to keep things running smoothly.

With a distribution software package in place, businesses can completely eliminate those cumbersome manual procedures. Distribution software streamlines, coordinates, and automates all key business functions. So, companies can ensure smooth and swift process execution, while monitoring all mission-critical activities to identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. This can provide them with a solid, sustainable advantage in a highly competitive market, by giving them the efficiency and agility they need to broaden their customer base and boost revenues.

Key Features of Distribution Software Packages

The distribution software packages on the market today are powerful solutions that offer deep and broad capabilities. Robust and innovative features are provided to enable real-time business management from end to end, fully automating and supporting the most critical functions and operations, including:

  • Sourcing, purchasing, and vendor relationship management.
  • Sales order entry and processing.
  • Invoicing and billing.
  • General ledger, accounts receivable, and accounts payable.
  • Inventory management and replenishment (single or multiple locations).
  • Customer and contact management.
  • Shipment and delivery scheduling and tracking.
  • Multi-channel service delivery and management.

Additionally, many of the distribution software packages on the market today include comprehensive reporting and analysis. This capability allows for the ongoing monitoring and tracking of core operations. This can help companies to rapidly identify key patterns and trends in their distribution activities and uncover areas in need of improvement.

Because workers at many logistics and distribution companies are always on the go, most distribution software vendors have incorporated web and mobile access capabilities into their offerings. This makes it fast and easy for any employee to retrieve the information they need, whenever they need it, even when they are on the road.

What to Look for When Choosing a Distribution Software Solution

Industry Expertise
Distribution processes vary greatly from one industry sector to the next. For example, companies who transport chemicals operate quite differently from those who distribute paper goods, apparel, or large equipment. Therefore, you may want to select a distribution software vendor that has experience in – or even a packaged application designed specifically for – your industry.

Integration with Third-Party Systems
As a distributor, you frequently collaborate with a variety of third parties. So, it is important that the distribution software application you choose be able to share information with a variety of external applications such as those maintained by FedEx, UPS, and other shipping service providers, as well as e-commerce software, and point-of-sale systems.

End-to-End Visibility
The distribution chain includes many external stakeholders – suppliers, customers, etc. Unhindered information-sharing is the key to solidifying these relationships and ensuring effective collaboration with all constituents. Therefore, it is critical to select a distribution software application that provides all your business partners with complete, real-time visibility into all key activities and related data.