Small and medium-sized businesses, especially, are asking this question for good reason. Trying to keep up with the rapidly advancing technology fueling modern business isn't easy. Most businesses simply don't have the resources to do it (or so they think), because their resources are mostly used in the production and distribution of the products they offer. The good news is: integrating simple add-on order management software to your QuickBooks Desktop will vastly improve your business and exceed your customers' expectations.
Manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors face a unique set of obstacles when it comes to sales. There are various integral processes that are imperative to sustain such as access to real-time inventory, management of customer-specific order forms, upkeep of custom pricing, and record keeping of business and customer history.
In order to successfully manage the entirety of these processes, in an efficient manner with minimal time waste, many companies turn to sales order management software. This type of software not only offers companionship in multi-process maintenance, but can be utilized as a tool for growth, expansion, and diversifying clientele.
With the advent of cloud-based technology, wholesale e-commerce is a growing trend for B2B direct purchasing. Overall e-commerce sales in the U.S. alone have been steadily increasing yearly by an average of 15%. According to an InternetRetailer.com article on April 2, 2015:
In a report released today, Forrester Research Inc. forecasts that business-to-business e-commerce sales in the United States will reach $780 billion this year—more than twice the most recent figure of $304.91 billion in U.S. retail e-commerce sales released by the U.S. Department of Commerce, for 2014—and is on course to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.7% until it reaches $1.13 trillion in 2020.
For many wholesalers, the process of managing orders is still handled entirely offline. This is, in part, due to a misconception that online order handling is only for B2C companies. In reality, there are now online order management systems made especially for wholesalers and other B2B distributors. These take care of all of the issues that are unique to the B2B industry and make it easy to modernize operations.
Here are some of the things this sort of order management software can handle that aren't usually covered by standard online shopping carts:
Modernizing the wholesale sales process by moving to order management software should be one of your strategic goals for the year. For years, you've likely used Excel spreadsheets, faxes, and emails to keep orders straight.
In your B2B wholesale business, this worked fine for the times, but you are getting busier and competition has stepped up in recent years. It's possible you're seeing more B2B businesses doing the same thing you are and attempting to take your loyal buyers away.
The rise of cloud-based software, which is run on remote servers and typically entails a recurring subscription, has gotten many people to wonder about its potential benefits. What could be better about this system than one in which software is bought once, or at most once every few years? It turns out that there are many differences that can be found between turnkey software in the cloud and on-premise software.
Here are some of the ones that are bringing more and more people to the cloud:
Having order entry software is the first step to improving efficiency and reducing errors, but it's only the start. In order to get the maximum benefit, you need to institute the right processes within your company. This will ensure that the software’s power isn't squandered by incorrect or unnecessary practices.
Here are some ways that successful wholesalers make the most of order entry software, broken down by department or group:
As the wholesale market grows steadily, one thing never changes, businesses are always in need of watching costs and growing revenue. Wholesale order management is one area to focus on and with the help of innovative software that simplifies and streamlines your wholesale ordering process, wholesalers can do both. Finding a feature-rich program that is compatible with your accounting software and also gives access to your customers and staff is one of the quickest ways to bring innovation to your company.
Think back before computers and the advanced technology integrated so heavily in business today. Paper notebooks, filing cabinets, ledgers, etc...
Order management is a crucial part of any business. Without it, orders get lost, delayed as they pass between departments, or suffer from an excess of transcription errors. For years, it has been typical for small companies just getting started to come up with their own systems for preventing these problems.
Alas, many homegrown systems are put together piecemeal as businesses try to keep up with changing times. The real solution is to invest in a well-built, polished order management system from a development firm that specializes in such programs. This will ensure that the solution not only meets current needs, but continues to meet your needs as you grow.
If you are running a wholesale or distribution business and can’t keep up with customer orders or updating information for your team it may be time for you to invest in B2B e-commerce software. Besides deciding what type of software you need, you also must decide what type of IT investment you are ready for and that is where the cloud vs. on-premise software comes in.
No doubt you've heard plenty about the cloud and how it can be the right choice when you are looking for an affordable solution. You've also likely heard about on-premise options and why some find it preferable. Your choice may come down to personal preferences. Nevertheless, you'll want to weigh both options carefully to see what the pros and cons are.