Wholesale ERP in the 21st Century

Mark Canes

There is no doubt that wholesale ERP software – and technology in general– has changed drastically over the past 15, 10, 5 and even 2 years.  With such a fast rate of change, it can be hard for businesses to keep up to the latest trends leading some to miss out on the advantages provided by these changes.  When it comes to wholesale ERP software specifically, advances in technology have brought more flexibility, simplified migrations, seamless upgrades, and global partnerships.  The latest ERP technology offers many benefits, and failure to evaluate your systems and processes on a regular basis can be dangerous, as many software companies stop supporting legacy systems once they have released several new versions.  Some of the ways in which new technology has improved ERP systems are discussed below.

Cloud (Hosted) Implementations

Cloud software has been around for a while now, but there are still many companies wary of choosing it as a deployment method. Although there is no right answer when it comes to determining which method is best for your company, cloud software offers many benefits that were not previously available with on-premises solutions. The most obvious benefit is that backups (or the lack thereof) are no longer a risk factor, and of course, cloud software also allows users with a reliable internet connection to access the system remotely from anywhere in the world.  This has provided opportunities for companies operating offices in multiple countries, for sales reps frequently travelling on the road and for employees who work remotely.  Cloud software also ensures companies continue to receive the latest system enhancements with seamless upgrades.  Vendors are able to deploy new versions much more easily when doing so on their own servers and within their own hardware environments.  Companies no longer have to manage and maintain their own servers and hardware, allowing them to focus their attention on other areas of the company.

Simplified and Detailed Implementations

One of the biggest concerns that many companies have, especially those using an out-dated software system, is how to get their old data into a new system.  Although this process tends to vary significantly from one vendor to the next, with sophisticated technology, many vendors are able to easily migrate data one way or another from all the various systems they encounter.  That being said, there are still many vendors who require the end-user to key in opening data including customers/vendors/ open AR/open AP etc. into spreadsheet templates as their ONLY way of importing data.  For those vendors who have taken advantage of sophisticated technology, this will not be necessary.  The vendor itself will be able to electronically migrate all data into the new system, validate it to ensure the correctness of the transferred information and then repeat the process multiple times in order to maintain the most up-to-date information.

Remote Support & Training

Traditionally businesses would look for software vendors within the same geographical area in order to receive on-site training and support and manage interactions face-to-face.  Even though there are still several businesses who prefer this type of partnership, it is no longer necessary in order to be successful.  Screen sharing applications have made it easy for support teams to diagnose and fix software problems and for vendors to interact with prospects during the sales process.  This has also provided companies with the option of remote training sessions after purchasing a software system.  Although on-site training is still highly recommended, for those companies looking to save money, remote training is now a decent option.

Even if you haven’t been keeping up with the latest trends in ERP software technology, it is never too late to start learning about some of the benefits that new technology provides.  In order to get the most from your software implementation and purchase experience, put aside any preconceived opinions and biases on how to do business and be open to learning about new ideas.