Worldwide, companies specializing in distribution and supply chain management are straining as never before. It is increasingly more challenging to predictably and cost effectively meet customer demands while remaining viable and profitable. In this series of six blog posts, we discuss distribution issues that you can address with the right technologies, refined and deployed by industry experts at Sikich.
In our first post, we discussed supply chain challenges and how technology could help. Today, we share highlights of how Sikich expertise and solutions can help distributors manage their business.
Industry expertise meets state-of-the-art software
Sikich consultants have assisted distribution companies succeed and evolve their businesses for three decades. On our industry team you find supply chain experts who had rewarding careers in businesses before they came to our organization. Keeping close watch on supply chain trends and technological opportunities, we help companies weather change to their advantage.
More recently, we often work with businesses, such as manufacturers, that are new to distribution or want to explore new models. Many of them see the volume and reach of companies like Amazon, Walmart, or Wayfair, and want to find the best way to distribute their offerings by partnering with them. Some manufacturing companies are also looking to segment their products and distribute a subset of their portfolio directly by establishing an ecommerce channel of their own.
Engaging with global online retailers and standing up new ecommerce venues both come with risks that Sikich can help you anticipate and address. We will also collaborate with you to elevate your visibility and avoid vulnerabilities resulting from dangerously strained processes.
The Sikich technology arsenal includes several cloud-based solutions that can make a big difference for distributors, including:
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management, the powerful, widely adopted ERP system
- Microsoft Power BI for business insight and analytics
- Microsoft Power Apps to build apps on your own
In the cloud, these technologies can be universally, securely available wherever people are. Distribution, supply chain, and logistics managers and teams can also access the ERP and analytics capabilities through their preferred mobile devices.
A supply chain partner you can count on
As we hear from clients, the Sikich ERP and supply chain management practice offers a unique combination of assets:
- Other consultancies may deploy powerful, state-of-the-art solutions, but don’t offer an efficient, low-risk deployment approach optimized for supply chain and distribution management like we do with HEADSTART.
- Even some larger consultancies and systems integrators lack end-to-end, modern, unified supply chain management capabilities in their arsenal. To address clients’ supply chain concerns, they need to deploy and integrate several software products. Clients have to invest significant effort for updating and managing the integrations and applications in the complex environments that result, which drives up their total cost of technology ownership (TCO).
- At the same time, we build on decades of experience of supporting distributors, accompanying them throughout their journey from startups to industry leaders. Sikich consultants have frequently assisted companies make a successful transition to partnering with online retailers to extend their distribution channels. We have also helped them shift rapidly when business rules or market conditions changed without advance warning. Our deep bench of expertise includes distribution disciplines like warehousing, barcode scanning, voice picking, conveyor automation, radio frequency (RF) technology, and others.
We start with the current state of your business, but we don’t stop there. We learn your company’s unique vision, value proposition, and direction. When we deploy your Dynamics 365 platform, we ensure that it is extensible and flexible to support change and growth. Some technologies may not be called for right now, but they may make a difference in the future. Using the internet of things (IoT) for anytime, anywhere tracking of products, materials, containers, and vehicles may be a next step for you. Or, machine learning and artificial intelligence to anticipate demand, optimize logistics, or determine best-fit suppliers. On your ERP foundation, you can manage today’s business and foster innovation to outperform the competition.
The next step
If you are ready take your distribution management to the next level, let’s talk. If you are still in a research phase, be sure to check out this eBook: What’s Next for Distribution Management: 7 Key Areas for Modernizing Distribution.