2 November 2023

Find your perfect ERP-wholesale software [5 tips and free advice]

Looking for ERP software for your wholesale business? It's a wise decision, as using a well-functioning ERP system will pay off handsomely!

As a wholesaler, you may notice that your business processes are becoming increasingly complex and that using multiple systems complicates the overview. Fortunately, there is a solution to that called “ERP systems”!

An ERP system is the hub of your operational efficiency and brings all your business processes together. These types of systems also help you achieve better integration with your supply chain. 

Are you ready to take your wholesale business to the next level? Then your next step is to choose your perfect software. 

Use our advice and our comparison tool and find the system that fits your wholesale business perfectly.

business software woman

In this article, you'll discover the following: 

Why buy ERP software for your wholesale business? 

ERP software helps you get a grip on all the processes within your wholesale business and make it more efficient. Think of order processing, financial administration to customer relationship management. All within a single system. 

In short: with an Enterprise Resource Planning system, you gain insight into the complete operations of your wholesale business. This enables you to continuously improve your business. 

An ERP system also helps you improve your supply chain integration. In fact you ensure yourself that your business processes communicate effortlessly with all the links in your supply chain (from supplier to end users!). 

Read more about the specific benefits of ERP systems below.

Benefits of ERP systems for wholesalers

Here are the biggest benefits of ERP systems for wholesalers:

  • The coordination between your purchasing and sales departments improves
  • You have fewer manual administrative tasks
  • You have all your data in one system (this ensures overview and fewer errors)
  • You reduce your costs (with proper implementation and handling of the system!)
  • You increase your delivery speed (again: with proper use of your ERP software)
  • You gain insight into your current processes
  • You maintain and/or improve your position compared to your competitors
  • With a properly working ERP: a higher turnover and profitability!

Green moduels image representing ERP system modules. The image has dark green squares placed in a manner to create a random pattern.

Advice so you find the perfect ERP for your wholesale business

Below I, Peter de Bruin, give you five pieces of advice to help you choose your perfect ERP. I have over 15 years of experience within the ERP and CRM market. As a result, I know perfectly what you, as an ERP seeker, should pay extra attention to. I also know where things can go wrong when selecting ERP systems. 

The advice below will help you avoid picking the wrong ERP system for your wholesale business. It is very annoying to select less-than-optimal ERP software! 

Use my advice and find the ERP that's right for you.

Advice 1. Choose your ERP based on your type of wholesale business (B2B vs. B2C)

Depending on your type of wholesale company, we advise you to put extra emphasis on certain ERP functionalities.

But what exactly do we mean by this? We mean that B2B companies benefit extra from certain ERP features. And that B2C wholesalers experience extra utility from entirely different functionalities. 

An example: good insight into outstanding accounts receivable is more important for a B2B wholesaler than for distribution centers focused on consumer products. On the other hand, insight into well-run products is more important for companies within the consumer sector. 

Below we have listed the most important ERP features for both B2C and B2B for you. This allows you to know which features should not be missing from your new ERP system.

Pay extra attention to these ERP features when you are a B2C wholesaler

  • Insight into your shipping process
  • Insight into current inventory
  • Data related to high-performing and low-performing products
  • Information about how much cash is in your inventory
  • Automatic entry and exit of your inventory.

These functionalities are particularly important for wholesalers focused on consumer products. This is due to the numerous small orders your business handles daily.  This makes accurate insight into order status essential.

Are you a B2B organization? And are you looking for an ERP for your wholesale business? Then make sure your system has these features: 

  • Extensive logistics functions
  • Functions related to loading goods
  • Debtors (large orders with high values, so very important!)
  • Creditors
  • Functions related to the production process

Advice 2. See if your ERP software has good forecasting functions.

Within an ERP-software package, good financial functions cannot be missing. Yet, we often see people opting for systems with poor financial functionalities. 

So our advice is to check carefully whether the ERP you choose has your desired financial functionalities.

For example, do you want to make good predictions about the future? Then good forecasting should not be missing!

Especially, Seasonality is a critical part of good forecasting. Are you a wholesaler dealing with highly fluctuating demand? Then Seasonality features are essential! 

Seasonality features are important for these reasons:

  • Better inventory management: Inventory management allows you to better anticipate changing demand for your products. Good inventory management ensures that you optimize your inventory levels. 
  • Higher operational efficiency: Seasonality features allow you to better adapt your operational processes to seasonal fluctuations. Think of personnel, logistics and purchasing.  
  • Higher customer satisfaction: Good seasonality functions ensure that your customers receive their deliveries on time. This ultimately leads to happier customers and increased customer retention. 
  • Better financial planning: Good seasonality functions improve a wholesaler's cash flow and financial stability. In an ERP system, you can analyze and report financial data. This is for the purpose of better financial planning and budgeting.

In short, using seasonality in ERP systems helps you as a wholesale business. It helps you increase your flexibility, optimize your financial planning, improve customer satisfaction and helps you maximize your profitability.

Advice 3. Do not choose too quickly based on low-cost

A common mistake: organizations that choose an ERP based on low cost instead of functionality and quality.

We therefore advise you to focus on the functionality and quality of your ERP. And not take cost as the main criterion. 

Imagine the following scenario: you pick a system (system A) based on a 20% lower price. Actually, you thought system B was just a little better for your wholesale business. You could already see that system B had just a bit more features. The cheaper system (system A) works well for the first few months. After six months, your wholesale business starts to grow. Your processes become more complex by the day. Now you find that your ERP (system A) lacks certain functionalities, such as forecasting. This is an essential component, and you want to switch to system B. Unfortunately, switching to another system is very complex and certainly not without costs.  

You want to avoid the above situation at all costs. Therefore, our bonus advice: always select your ERP system with the future in mind. Try to visualize what your wholesale business will look like in 5–10 years. And choose an ERP that fits this situation.

Advice 4. Look at what an ERP system adds to your business

Obviously, ERP software will cost you the necessary euros. Think of the implementation costs, training costs and license fees.

But why do you actually want to implement an ERP within your wholesale business? Exactly, you do this to improve your processes and to save costs.

Hence our advice: look at what an ERP will add to your bottom line. Not only focus on costs.

You may well need fewer FTEs for the same result. An ERP also allows you to process your orders faster. For example, you can process as many orders in 11 months as you used to in 12 months.

Advice 5. Choose an ERP system that fits your specific situation

Always make your choice based on the specific situation within your wholesale business. 

Do you have a distribution center where you sell only one product? Then a simpler system is probably fine.

Are you a wholesaler with many products and complex processes? Then an extensive ERP system will be a better fit. Do you fall into the latter category? Then we advise you to choose a partner who understands your industry.

What features does an ERP system for wholesalers have?

These are the most important ERP modules for your trading processes: 

  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Warehouse management
  • Inventory management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • E-commerce
  • Business Intelligence
  • Procurement
  • Order management

Want to know more about even more features of ERP systems? Read it on our comprehensive page on ERP modules.

What does such an ERP system look like? 

Curious about what this type of system looks like in practice? And are you curious about the most important functionalities? Via the ERP example below, we would like to give you a better idea of what to expect. 

Here you see the home screen of Microsoft's ERP with all the important statistics: 

The next screen, is an overview with the data per product. This functionality is especially important for B2C wholesalers:

Which ERP systems are suitable for wholesalers?

Some ERP systems specifically suited for wholesalers:

  • Exact
  • Microsoft Business Central
  • Priority

The systems above will give you an idea of possible ERP software for your wholesale business. Still, we advise you not to choose just any of the above options without further investigation. 

In fact, we recommend that you fill out our independent comparison tool. That way, you'll select the system that fits your specific situation. Not one wholesale business is 100% the same as yours.

Find ERP-wholesale software that fits your business

Which ERP system suits your wholesale business depends on your budget, the DNA of your organization, the desired functionalities, and much more! 

We therefore encourage you to fill out our comparison tool to find your perfect ERP system.

Find your perfect ERP-system
Peter de Bruin
CEO & Sr. Software Specialist
With over 15 years of dedicated experience in the enterprise software industry, I have seen firsthand how crucial it is for an organization to find the right software system for success. In this rapidly changing marketplace, a fair playing field is not always a given. My mission is to create a fair match between companies and vendors, putting the importance of appropriate and effective software first. Our independent selection tool is designed to fulfill this mission, with the goal of creating a future where everyone can effortlessly find the perfect software package, with a smile. Let's strive for that effortless future together.
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