When you break down data silos across your distribution company, you can unlock valuable insights that lead to more strategic growth, greater efficiencies, and increased resiliency. Data silos happen when one department has a repository of data that can’t be accessed from other systems, such as your core ERP system. These silos lead to inconsistencies in data quality, redundant manual work, disorganized data, and potentially costly errors. It can have a direct impact on your customers’ satisfaction, as well.
When you break down those silos with an integrated cloud ERP solution such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management – being able to see, for example, your inventory status, expected demand, ecommerce orders and vendor performance data in one place – you gain many benefits, including:
- Greater financial visibility for leaders
- A better omnichannel experience for your customers
- Improved supply chain resiliency
- Increased operational efficiency
These enable distributors to separate themselves from the competition and set themselves up for success in the future.
Greater financial data visibility
Financial leaders deal with loads of data that greatly affect the direction and future of their business. Disorganized, siloed data can leave leaders feeling like they are trying to piece together an incomplete puzzle.
Eliminate the missing piece for CFOs with financial dashboards that centralize and makes sense of data from across the organization, allowing for a 360-degree real-time view of your company’s operations.
With this, financial leaders can make better decisions based on more reliable and up-to-date data, including better forecasting, managing risk, tracking key metrics in real time, and more efficiently reporting to and working with leaders across the organization to keep people on the same page.
A better omnichannel experience
As technology has evolved, customer expectations have shifted. The norm now demands a consistent and streamlined experience for customers. That means that no matter how customers interact with you, everyone on your team has the same information about that buyer. The experience is linked, so that buyers don’t have to repeat themselves and sellers can make the most of that time.
Omnichannel requires all sales channels can talk to each other, so data must also update in real time.
Technology like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management and other Microsoft applications break down the walls between channels to enable the data visibility required to deliver a true omnichannel experience for distribution businesses.
Improved supply chain resiliency
Supply chain disruptions are up by nearly double a year ago, according to a Resilinc report, with supply chain shortages up by more than 4X. Greater visibility into every part of your organization means better forecasts and planning – just in case something unforeseen happens, which feels like everyday these days.
Without a centralized view of your operations – from vendor activity to inventory availability and customer demand – your supply chain is vulnerable.
Microsoft has multiple tools that have helped distributors navigate supply chain uncertainty in the past couple of years, including their new Supply Chain Insights, which provides AI-driven forecasts and visibility across the organization. Power BI provides easy-to-use and -consume dashboards for quicker insights and alerts; and Microsoft Dynamics 365 you a 360-degree view of your operations to ensure you have what you need where you need it to meet customer demand.
Increased operational efficiency
Instead of scrambling around, looking for the data they need or crunching data manually in Excel, users have immediate access to all the necessary data to make better decisions. Greater visibility means you can act more quickly and build more flexibility into your business.
Move resources where they’re most needed, reduce order errors, make sure you’re spending time and money on the right inventory (and it’s stored in the right spots), and act more quickly when you know a product might get hung up. Better data and real-time updates mean that you can be more efficient in your movements. The result: fewer fires to put out and happier customers.
Lean on a trusted partner like Sikich for complete data visibility — a 20/20 vision, if you will — of your distribution business. Reach out today.