In a recent webinar series, we were able to view a demo on Infor ERP for distribution. In a broader sense, the series as a whole served to teach us that companies who seek ERP for Distribution do so in large part because they find themselves in a unique segment of the supply chain. The industry faces many challenges when juggling the responsibilities of warehousing, AP, and both purchasing and sales, and these can intensify astronomically if a company is utilizing outdated technology. To demonstrate the enterprise solutions that can help mitigate these challenges, we recently invited three top wholesale distribution ERP vendors to a webinar series to showcase their software and answer the following questions:
- How does technology today support businesses?
- What is possible with today’s ERP systems for distribution?
- Who are the vendors and how do they address the critical needs?
Infor ERP for Distribution
Infor has over 30 years of experience in the ERP marketplace and has attracted over 73,000 customers globally – over 6,000 of which are distribution companies. The company employs over 14,000 people and operates in more than 200 countries and territories, therefore making Infor one of the world’s largest technology companies. In addition, the company has reported roughly $3 billion in revenue.
Infor’s software, both cloud and on-premise, utilizes a super grid format, which allows for easy navigation and manipulation of the presented information. The software hosts various functions, including a Demand Planning and Replenishment Center, Order Entry tool, Warehouse Management tool, Invoice Exception Management tool, and Reporting Dashboard. In addition, Infor ERP for distribution has continued to supplement by providing mobile applications for quicker response times, as well as a portal called Infor Ming.le, which allows for real-time social collaboration through its familiar social media feel and design.
Demand Planning Center
The Demand Planning/Replenishment Center Dashboard found in the Infor ERP for Distribution system allows the buyer to review workloads by sorting – whether it’s by name, assigned vendors, or even vendor-specific product lines the specific buyer is responsible for. This takes the user to a buyer’s dashboard, which shows vendors needing replenishment, and includes details surrounding the product and quantity.
The Purchase Priorities feature offers a quick snapshot of reasons why replenishment is being suggested. This feature, presented in pie chart format, is also interactive and can quickly transform the super grid to sort by a specific reason for replenishment, and permits adaptable data. This adaptability in the Infor ERP for distribution system is key when facing so many variables, as it can relate to many product lines, suppliers, and orders.
Within the demand planning center is a tool that allows a user to drill down into the suggested replenishment PO’s. Here, the user has visibility into each line item and product that is being recommended, as well as the ability to edit the quantity and price fields. This tool allows the user to generate stock transfers to take advantage of warehouse location surpluses, and in turn accurately update the purchase quantity for that given item on the PO. Adjustments can be made to the criteria the replenishment model forecasts, such as EOQ, Min/Max, or any other criteria the user deems appropriate.
An Order Control Screen offers a robust customer order history and the ability to add previously purchased items to the current order. Infor has created quick view pricing sheets showing the user margins on each line item as well as the ability to adjust pricing accordingly. Additionally, an Interaction Advisor utilizes algorithms based on the best time, most likely to sell, and product pairing methodologies to recommend products a user may be able to upsell to a customer.
Warehouse Operations Tools
The Infor ERP for distribution software suite offers both paper-based and electronic receiving technologies. This tool can handle regular, ASN receiving, RMA receiving, cross-dock receiving, and others. The optimized step-path feature is unique and allows the warehouse employee to take as few steps as possible while storing or picking product for multiple orders. Emergency order notifications can be sent to pickers to tell them which order picks need priority.
Invoicing Exception Dashboard and Infor Reporting
The theme throughout Infor’s presentation was “management by exception.” This idea especially shines through with the Invoice Exception Dashboard, which allows users to change customer invoice delivery preferences and also view invoices that, for whatever reason, may not quite make it through the invoicing process. This tool is beneficial because it allows a user to catch all errors on the front end, quickly adjust, and redeploy the invoices.
Visibility and adaptability are even more apparent in the Infor Reporting Dashboard, which contains various reports for real-time flexible data. Snapshots of these reports are presented on the home pages, all of which have the ability for the user to drill down and manipulate the reports criteria.
To learn more about Infor ERP for Distribution software, head to our On-Demand Webinars page where you can find the ‘Distribution ERP Webinar Series’ for August 9-12, 2016 and request access for our webinar with Infor.