How to Manage Greater Output with Less Staff
August 04, 2020
It’s ECON 101: supply and demand must meet. If there’s a surplus supply, it’s likely you’re wasting money and have excess product. And if there’s too high a demand, then you’re not fulfilling your customers’ orders and risk losing their business.
If you aim to run a business that’s successful and sustainable, that is the principle: supply and demand must meet.
We think it’s fair to say, though, that the coronavirus pandemic has made this simple principle exponentially more complicated. The basic principle of it remains true, but what happens when, for example, your demand increases (or even stays the same) but you don’t have the labor, tools or products to fulfill those orders?
This is a reality for so many consumer goods importers and wholesale distributors. Whether labor forces have been furloughed, let go because of financial constraints, or quarantined, many businesses are operating with a leaner staff than what they may have been previously accustomed to.
It’s invaluable to implement practices and processes that make it easier to manage similar or greater output with less staff. So much of this comes down to efficiency. You want to use a system that’s going to make it easy to run smoothly and efficiently, where it won’t be challenging to streamline your operations and processes.
An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is just the ticket. It’s a solution that organizes all of your data and integrates it into one unified system. It’s a single source of truth that provides you with all the visibility you need to run your business. You have real-time insight into all of your business operations, which can enable you to become more efficient, more productive, and more easily grow your bottom line even amid a challenging global environment.
An ERP that’s created specifically to support the challenges of the consumer goods industry can help you tackle those pesky pain points and create efficiencies, particularly with regard to the following aspects:
- Integrated solutions – Many consumer goods companies use a combination of best-of-breed systems to manage the requirements of their supply chain. However, this approach has many deficiencies versus using a full-suite ERP software solution. Best-of-breed solutions need to integrate all the disparate 3rd-party solutions. This adds significant extra recurring time and costs to an ERP project. Full-suite solutions come fully interconnected and ready to go from day one.
- Accounting processes – If you’re dealing with many, many retailers, you want to automate anywhere you can, even as it applies to accounting. This could be anything from payment application to remittance to printing checks and pushing paper. With an all-in-one ERP, you can automate these processes, making confirmations and checking data accuracy along the way.
- EDI transactions – You can more easily interact with your trading partners and in real time to help you increase revenues and reduce costs by meeting mass merchant compliance requirements. You want your electronic data interchange (EDI) solution to be built-in with your ERP so that you can improve collaboration and trading partner relationships. As far as efficiencies, this solution helps to ensure compliance, includes verifications with pricing, addresses, and more, and is fully automated. This saves you time and energy.
- Warehouse operations – An ERP supports order staging and encourages you to manage your waves of orders efficiently, so that, hypothetically, you’d only have to walk the floor once, bulk picking, and perhaps packing, as you go. This limits movement, touchpoints, and the number of processes necessary to get the orders out the door. The right ERP maximizes warehouse efficiency in terms of order processing and fulfillment.
- Validations and verifications – As orders come in you want to get them into the system as quickly as possible, so that you can begin processing them and get them out the door to the customer as quickly as possible. But to ensure that the orders end up at the correct final destination and that there is price verification is pivotal to your success at this stage. An ERP system that, as an order comes in, validates the order, verifies the address, and confirms the price is accurate (for both you and the customer), creates efficiencies and helps to ensure accuracy.
Aptean Apprise ERP is focused on solving the unique efficiency challenges of consumer goods importers and wholesale distributors. Apprise ERP provides your business with the tools needed to connect your teams together, making your supply chain more efficient and your business more profitable.
If you’d like to talk more about how Apprise ERP can help you manage greater output with less staff, please reach out to us. We’d love to talk.