How wholesale and distribution companies can improve customer service with ERP
Let’s get back to basics. What do customers of wholesale and distribution businesses want?
Wholesalers and distributors, like all businesses, need to ensure that they achieve and maintain top quality customer service. Simple enough to understand – not always so simple to achieve.
So, let’s get back to basics. What do customers of wholesale and distribution businesses want?
They want their orders to be completed accurately and in a timely fashion. They want transparency – to understand where in the picking and distribution process things currently stand, and when they can expect to receive their goods. They want interactions with their wholesaler or distributer to be straightforward, with relevant information available seamlessly. And they want their loyalty, when they offer it, to be rewarded accordingly.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software such as Odoo can help wholesalers and distributers to achieve all these things, and ultimately to deliver the highest levels of customer service, which set them apart from competitors. Let’s take a look at each area in turn.
The journey from picking the correct item from within the warehouse, packaging and labelling it appropriately, and transporting it to the final delivery location, is at the heart of achieving the best customer service for wholesalers and distributors. ERP software can optimise this journey, ultimately making it quicker and easier to get the right products to the right customer.
For example, ERP software can automate many time-consuming manual tasks within the warehouse, such as generating stock pick lists, printing labels, and tracking the location of inventory within the warehouse. Over the longer-term, ERP software can generate rich data on the productivity of warehouse and logistics staff, the movement of inventory and stock levels, and processes from picking to delivery, ultimately helping the business to remove bottlenecks and optimise performance. A more productive wholesale or distribution business can ultimately deliver a faster and more efficient service to customers.
ERP software is designed to draw together information from various different business functions, including finance, operations, and human resources, and analyse and present it through a single consolidated platform. In turn, this means that the business in question can unify multiple different information sources in one place and match up related sets of data such as a customer’s order history when that customer gets into contact. And from there, it becomes easier to give that customer a clear and comprehensive answer to their queries, to quickly get to the bottom of more complicated enquiries and ultimately to build longer, more loyal customer relationships.
By the same token, ERP software can be used as a platform for building out into more engaging and interactive forms of customer communication, such as apps and web forms. Many customers prefer to handle their own service needs as far as possible, but this requires intuitive and well-connected platforms for placing and tracking orders. ERP software can provide the centralised information repository for such systems to draw on.
Rewarding loyalty with special offers, discounts and even simply prioritised delivery becomes far easier with an ERP system. Because records of all customers and their order histories are not only kept in one place but actively analysed, the organisation in question can quickly make proactive predictions as to each customers’ lifecycle, when they are likely to need to place a reorder and so on. This enables a far smarter, better informed approach to marketing and customer communication, which consequently makes each customer feel like they are receiving truly tailored treatment. Because they are!
If you'd like to discuss how Odoo can help your organisation improve customer services, then get in touch with the UK’s number one Gold partner, Smart IT.