To say that we're living in an unprecedented age of uncertainty is, at this point, probably a little bit of an understatement.
Thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic alongside other contributing factors, many distributors are struggling to understand how to best set themselves up for success in a market that is constantly changing. Adaptation has always been the strong suit of many businesses, but during a time when things are changing rapidly in unpredictable ways, it can certainly begin to feel like you're always trying to hit a target that won't stop moving.
One of the best solutions for any distributor to invest in to help relieve some of this stress is a cloud-based system. While a lot of distribution companies have long relied on spreadsheets and in-house systems, the evolving world requires a solution that can be accessible from anywhere on the globe, on any device with an active Internet connection, at literally any time. A cloud-based system like a CRM, ERP or PRM solution is your best shot at doing that, and all of these are worth your consideration for a number of important reasons.
The Power of the Cloud: The Customer-Facing Functionality You Need
One of the major reasons why cloud-based systems are so important for distributors these days has to do with the customer-facing functionality these tools often bring with them. Even something as simple as how a cloud-based CRM can help automate a lot of those important (but time-consuming) back office processes will quickly prove invaluable, as it frees up the valuable time of your employees to focus on those matters that really need them.
A cloud-based ERP can also be a great way to bring the disparate parts of your business together, allowing them to act as a cohesive whole for the first time. By finally connecting together all of the data being created by inventory management, sales, distribution marketing, and other processes, everyone in your enterprise has access to all of the same information at the exact same time.
Not only does this allow them to better track all of a customer's interactions with your brands, but it also helps them get the most out of your website, your sales team, your customer service representatives, and more. That consistent, unified experience can become your key value differentiator during a time when competition is fiercer than ever.
Real-Time Business Intelligence, Powered by the Cloud
Another one of the best ways for distributors to adapt during uncertain times involves setting themselves up to capitalize on any and all opportunities across the supply chain as soon after they appear. You never know when a new business opportunity is going to reveal itself and once it does, you need to be in a position to act on it as quickly as possible. If you're not, you're only going to be forced to watch it pass you by—which is a situation you want to avoid.
This is another opportunity where cloud-based systems excel, thanks to the real-time business intelligence and other analytical tools that they bring to your organization. If every portion of your business is organically connected together and is sharing data with one another, you suddenly have access to all of the insight you need to better plan to meet your customer's needs, regardless of what they happen to be.
You'll be able to quickly understand that the key way to remain competitive is through better price points, for example. You'll be able to take meaningful action to guarantee faster service across the board. All of this will ultimately increase satisfaction levels while allowing you to remain competitive, all while enhancing your supply chain for as much "right place, right time" availability as possible.
However, none of this is possible unless you have a system in place that makes sure that the right people have access to the right information at exactly the right time. Only then will they be able to make the best possible decisions moving forward, which is a big part of what cloud-based systems are all about.
This is especially true during a time like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, when your workforce is probably more disconnected than ever. Even though certain key personnel are likely working remotely for the foreseeable future, they still need to remain as productive as possible while they complete their important work. Cloud-based systems break down these geographical barriers and allow someone to be just as productive at home as they could in the office, which may very well be the most important benefit of all.
The Future of Your Business is Born in the Technology of Today
At ManoByte, we've been big believers in the power of the cloud for many years, to the point where we've become intimately familiar with just what a crucial role it plays in an organization like yours. If nothing else, it's an opportunity to finally make sure that your technological base is aligned with your long-term goals as a business.
So if you have any additional questions about why cloud-based systems are essential for distributors, or if you'd just like to learn more about what the right ERP system can do for an organization like yours, please contact ManoByte today.