In this series exploring opportunities for wholesale business growth next year, we look at the significant impact timely adoption of the right software can have on business productivity and profitability. Sustainable growth will rely on technological solutions that simplify, streamline and inform the business.

Making informed decisions
In addition to the e-commerce and warehouse management solutions mentioned already, getting the wider IT setup right will help companies negotiate the challenging path to growth.

To successfully align their operational activities to their strategic goals companies will need complete information. The timeliness, ease of access, quality and relevance of data will all influence their ability to make the right decisions in the most effective timeframe. A total overview of the entire range of business activities is the key to understanding the health of the enterprise, and to executing the right plans in the specific departments within it.

Best of suite over best of breed
A piecemeal approach to covering the full range of business processes often proves inefficient and ineffective at streamlining operations, particularly for companies attempting to up the scope of their activities. Having the insight to make informed decisions on new ventures is absolutely essential, and with a number of individual software products and/or MS Office involved, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to access trustworthy, accurate data at the company level.

Manual combination and interpretation of information from individual systems is prone to the influence of human error – whether through the loss or misunderstanding of system information. Custom solutions to try to combine individual point products are costly to implement and difficult to manage in their complexity and inflexibility. One integrated system interlinking core business information between disciplines allows the business’ processes to be executed in the most effective, efficient and profitable manner possible. And when management has access to complete, company-wide information, they’re empowered to make smart decisions that support their strategic objectives.

Choose software providers that understand you
Businesses must look to suite vendors with a track record of wholesale expertise if they are to increase their volume and complexity successfully. Solutions must match closely with the way cutting edge companies want to do business.

Having a back office financial administration fully integrated with dedicated systems for warehouse/inventory management ensures that all processes run from one point of truth. Functionality allowing e-commerce solutions to be integrated directly with bookkeeping, or order processing with inventory records and invoice generation, will offer huge economies of efficiency for businesses running these operations as data islands. Embedded CRM also empowers businesses to not only protect customer information, but use it simplify order management, distribution and invoicing.