Streamlining Transformative Software Projects for Distribution Companies

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Worldwide, supply chains and distribution channels are straining as never before to predictably meet customer demand and allow companies to remain viable. In this series of six blog posts, we discuss distribution issues that you can address with the right technologies, including the right software, refined and deployed by industry experts at Sikich.

Earlier, we discussed supply chain challenges and how Sikich expertise and solutions can help address them. If there’s a “secret sauce” in how Sikich works, it’s our deployment methodology, Sikich HEADSTART.

Aligning technology with distribution management goals

When we deploy Microsoft Dynamics 365 in your business, you get a lot more than the standard solution, competently and efficiently implemented. We put our own intellectual property to work and follow a proven, fast-paced methodology to keep your software project running predictably and shorten the time-to-benefit. We call this approach HEADSTART. It could be described as a standardized, working model of Dynamics 365 that can meet most of the needs of distributors, manufacturers, and other companies without customizations. For some Sikich clients, the opportunity of a smooth, predictable ERP deployment with HEADSTART is a key consideration in their choice of ERP software and deployment partner.

We invest ongoing research and development efforts in HEADSTART, so you can replace legacy software and disparate systems and processes with a unified, streamlined technology and elevate supply chain management to be state-of-the-art. HEADSTART includes a portfolio of thousands of preconfigured business processes based on best industry practices. Because HEADSTART incorporates the experience of distribution and supply chain leaders and the learnings from hundreds of Sikich deployment projects, it also minimizes the risk that your software deployment might go awry and not deliver the outcomes you look for.

Enhancing Dynamics 365 for your business

In HEADSTART, we have fully preconfigured the Supply Chain Management and Financials modules within Dynamics 365. For example, for wholesale distributors, we provide capabilities for high-volume distribution, warehousing, and transportation. Another set of capabilities addresses the needs of equipment manufacturers that handle some of their distribution themselves and also work with trading partners.

Sikich refines and adds to the process library in HEADSTART as the industry changes and new de-facto standards emerge. We also update HEADSTART whenever new capabilities become part of Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Delivering critical capabilities

Some businesses require deep functionality in certain aspects of supply chain management. To meet these needs in the most effective and streamlined manner, HEADSTART includes solutions from independent software vendors (ISV) that are tested to work reliably with Dynamics 365. They are integral components of the deployment methodology. You can thus maintain a cohesive ERP environment without making everyday management or upgrades more complicated. For example, ISV technology in HEADSTART makes it possible to use electronic document interchange (EDI) communications or move and automate paper-based processes in the digital realm with optical character recognition (OCR) functionality.

In distribution and supply chain management, business processes differ from company to company more than they do, for instance, in finance. That particularity drives much of Sikich research and development in this discipline. In deployments, we usually prioritize important processes that are not yet part of HEADSTART to enable them within your schedule and with minimal solution changes.

The next step

If it’s time to take your distribution and supply chain management to the next level, we should talk.

This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.

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