How Dynamics 365 is Making the Next Generation of Distributors More Successful

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As the digital economy takes over the world, distributors need to change to survive; developing new capabilities that can drive competitiveness and growth.

 

Traditional distribution is changing as it is challenged by organizations in the e-commerce space. For example, as Amazon continues to invest in their same-day delivery model, an auto mechanic could order a part online and get it delivered the same day, rather than contacting their local distributor.

 

In addition to the increasing expectations of their customers, distribution organizations need to address the changing needs of their employees, specifically, in this example, their sales force. Serving your sales force with modern tools will become more critical as more millennials join your team. In the past, it was standard procedure for a sales rep to visit a customer, receive the order, and then fax/email it to customer service team for processing. A modern sales force is expected to have the ability to enter their order directly on their mobile device without any processing delays.

 

Distributors need to address the changing needs of their employees.

 

From a supply planning perspective, it is critical for a distribution business to ensure that you have the right inventory to serve your customers. Profit is lost when inventory and demand are not matched. Rather than reacting to historical data about inventory levels or trying to manage future inventory projections based on pipeline, new analytics tools have entered the market that can dramatically improve your inventory forecasting. Microsoft’s Azure Machine Learning, as an example, can analyze inventory usage over time and predict what inventory will be needed in stock to ensure that you meet the forecasted future demand with more effectiveness

 

The processing of real-time data and applying predictive analytics tools brings you closer to achieving the level of truly optimal forecasting.

 

Current ERP solutions are modernizing. They are bringing data processing closer to the actual transaction by placing devices in the hands of those who are executing the transaction. From the field to the warehouse, users are entering and accessing the data real-time using mobile devices.

 

Dynamics 365 helps organizations move closer to this real-time data and order processing nirvana by delivering full ERP functionality on the mobile devices in the field and by delivering Power BI dashboards to showcase key business data. Distributors should no longer be frustrated by the minutes, hours or in some cases, even days it used to take due to delayed processing of transactions.

 

What Business Outcomes Should Distribution Organizations look for?

 

When investing in technology there are two outcomes where Distribution organizations should expect to see the most payback:

 

  1. Inventory Management and Demand Planning. Meeting customer order fulfillment rates, while maintaining lower inventory levels, is a key profitability measure for any type of Distribution company.

 

This will have an immediate impact in the bottom line.

 

Demand planning tools, included in Dynamics 365, will ensure the right amount of inventory is stocked in the right locations to meet customer order fulfillment rates.

 

  1. Order Fulfillment. Customers are more likely to re-order from you if doing business with you is easier and faster, for example, by enabling online order entry, shipping items the same day via the fastest carrier

 

86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience*

 

Western Computer has helped several Distribution organizations to achieve these business outcomes. Contact us today to get started.

 

References:

 

  • CEI Survey conducted by Harris Interactive

 

By Western Computer

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