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Ready to Use a Distribution ERP That Supports Multiple Units of Measure?

Ready to Use a Distribution ERP That Supports Multiple Units of Measure?

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Ready to Use a Distribution ERP That Supports Multiple Units of Measure?

Sep 28, 2021

Ken Weygand
Man using laptop in warehouse

Consumer goods distribution has changed. Normally, your business is working directly with manufacturers while juggling logistics, warehousing and sales so that you can sell in bulk to retailers. To stay ahead of your competitors, you know you need to maximize the supply chain and deliver an outstanding customer experience. You know you need to rethink outdated processes and more readily leverage data to make informed decisions and improvements.

As a distributor, you’re an integral part of the supply chain—even more so since the pandemic. Any missteps in the pace of inventory flow can cause a massive ripple effect throughout the supply chain. It becomes even more difficult if you manually merge data from multiple SKUs.

Many distributors purchase items in one unit of measure, maintain stock in another unit of measure, and sell in yet another unit of measure. For example, a beverage distributor might buy pallets or cases, but sell in 6-packs, 12-packs, or eaches.

In the not-so-distant past, distributors would often create duplicate SKUs to manage products in different units of measure. However, this process makes inventory tracking unmanageable. Warehouse managers would create reports for each SKU and then manually combine the reports to try and get an accurate picture of inventory. Not only is this method arduous, but manual processes can lead to errors.

How can you optimize the entire operation and ensure that your inventory is in sync as you buy and sell? How can you avoid conversion confusion? The answer is simple—you need a distribution ERP that supports multiple units of measure (UoM).

Here are three reasons why.

1.     Control Efficiency in Warehouse Management

You know your products better than anyone. You want a system that allows you to customize how you sell, whether it be by the pallet, the case, or eaches—or all three. You need to be able to set up your SKU UoMs exactly how you want them. You need to manage the pace of inventory flow, and your lot numbering must be accurate. In short, you need an ERP system that allows you to define and manipulate units of measure on your terms.

With an ERP that supports multiple UoMs there are almost limitless possibilities.

 • You can input any numeric formula you choose. • You can break down the units you purchase into the units you sell. • You can include different SKUs or units for one item. • You can accommodate your vendors’ purchase units and easily convert currency. • You can set up special pricing for quantity discounts and still allow overrides.

With these capabilities, you can integrate multiple UoMs through all aspects of your business.

The system allows you to track and display inventory quantities in multiple units of measure simultaneously. When your sales team inputs an order, you know that the bar codes and labeling requirements will be correct. This means that your warehouse workers can pull and pack the correct items. A distribution ERP with UoM functionality allows you to manage all the products in your system. You can trace your items by the case, by container, or by any unit you want.  Choosing a specialized ERP with units of measure functions gives you full control over inventory in your warehouse.

2.     Gain a Better Customer Experience

By using information about your products, available inventory and customer history, your distribution ERP can help you avoid delivery delays. You’ll also be able to better manage expectations because you can provide accurate delivery estimates.

Order fulfillment is an integral part of the customer experience. But if your team accidentally sells an item that isn’t in stock, you might miss a shipping deadline. With the right ERP, you will know the inventory of your warehouses down to the last unit. Therefore, your team has a precise picture of what is in stock, what is selling and what isn’t.

You can break down your inventory into any quantity that your customer requires, and you can print the correct number of UCC-128 labels, allowing you to stay compliant. You can scale based on demand. And with Aptean’s Distribution ERP, you can understand your costs at the detail level, allowing you to adjust in near-real-time. What does this mean for you?

Your customers will have the products they want, on time, and you will know from minute to minute what your costs are, ensuring maximum profitability.

3.     Optimized Financial Planning and Insights

The ability to forecast and manage costs is key when you are dealing with commodity or market fluctuations in material costs. You want to simulate future costs and perform what-if cost scenarios to get ahead of the market when pricing your products.

You need to know current freight costs, tariffs and taxes, as well as market price fluctuations for accurate pricing models. You need accurate currency conversions as well as conversions from metric to imperial. A distribution ERP that allows multiple units of measure lets you buy your products in one unit of measure and transact in a different unit of measure. Because you will always get accurate conversions for all your UoMs, calculating landed costs is a breeze.

You also get timely updates on when you are low on high-demand products. Thus, you can restock the right products at the right time, avoid shortages, and avoid loss of sales. Detailed data on all your SKU sales metrics offer actionable insights into what’s selling and what’s not. You can track products by the container, pallet, case or in whatever combination your customer needs.

As a consumer goods distributor, you might deal with multiple product lines with different product features.  Each of these features needs to be recorded and defined. If your distribution ERP allows for multiple units of measure, you gain more accuracy in ordering, pricing, sales and stock delivery. You can also meet compliance regulations from your customers and maintain strict quality controls.

Everyone in your company has access to the same critical data and functionality. Because they can track stock and inventory in real time, your purchasing team can stay ahead of stock shortages. Your sales team can analyze trends and purchasing history to help your customers make informed decisions about what to buy next. Your warehouse team will know where everything is at every minute. Your logistics team—or providers—can give you data when items are delivered and inform you of any exceptions.

To learn more about what our distribution ERP can do for you, talk with one of our experts today.

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