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Tech Insights 6 min read

ERP software: a logistics management transformation

With an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system, all data is centralized in one place. From orders to inbound and outbound sales, supply chain, and inventory management, a single source gives you access to comprehensive logistics information. Now, you won't have to search for different data sources to make sense of your logistics information. You can manage it all from a single, cohesive source.

Data about company resources, recorded and centralized in an ERP system, can help forecast and decide on resources like management, inventory, goods, and/or personnel.

ERP software is a game-changer for any business, and it's definitely something you should be considering for your company. Not convinced yet? Keep on reading!

What's the Role of an ERP in a Manufacturing Business?

First, let's get back to basics

An ERP software is a system that integrates various business processes and functions. These include finance, human resources, manufacturing, supply chain, and logistics, into a centralized database. It provides a single, comprehensive view of an organization's data and enables efficient management of resources, operations, and information. In the logistics context, an ERP system streamlines and automates logistics operations by maintaining real-time visibility, control, and optimization of the entire supply chain. It facilitates accurate demand forecasting, inventory management, efficient order processing, transportation planning, warehouse management, and tracking and tracing of goods.

Improved overall efficiency

An ERP system removes redundant tasks, manual processes, and data silos.

Data recorded in real time lets managers know inventory status, order progress, and any problems with the inventory level or delivery failures. To put it simply, an ERP system enables you to:

  • Reduce inventory;
  • Optimize supply chain operations;
  • Maximize operational efficiency;
  • Ship each customer's order on time;
  • Simplify resource planning;
  • And ultimately, make informed decisions!
Deliver on promised customer income
Track customer agreements to quickly access details about prices, discounts, delivery dates, product availability, and fulfillment status.

Enhanced visibility and control

With an ERP system, businesses gain real-time insights into their logistics operations, such as inventory levels, order status, shipment tracking, and performance analytics. This visibility enables proactive decision-making, accurate planning, and effective risk management.

Take your business on the go
Work wherever your business takes you, with full capabilities on desktop, tablet, or mobile, on premises or in the cloud, across Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices.

Cost reduction

An ERP system helps businesses reduce costs by optimizing inventory levels, forecasting demand accurately, using transportation routes, and doing things automatically.

Improved cash management
Increase your cash flow by rightsizing inventory and maximizing the lifespan and governance of asset capitalization.

Customer satisfaction

An ERP system allows businesses to provide better customer service by providing on-time delivery, accurate order fulfillment, and effective communication throughout the supply chain. This leads to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and repeat business.

Track customer returns and repairs
Offer full replacements or simple repairs, with parts and labor charges in one service order. Boost loyalty by providing spare equipment to customers awaiting service.

Scalability and growth

As businesses expand their operations, an ERP system facilitates scalability by offering flexible modules, and customization options. The manufacturing industry also needs ERP integration with other software solutions such as transportation management, customer relationship management, warehouse management system, etc. An easy integration will enable businesses to handle increased transaction volumes, adapt to changing market demands, and support future growth.

Get purpose-driven extensions, such as Shopify Connector, from the Microsoft AppSource business applications marketplace to meet your unique vertical or business-specific requirements.

Regulatory compliance

An ERP system helps businesses follow industry regulations related to logistics, such as customs, trade compliance, product safety, and traceability requirements. It provides accurate documentation, complete audit trails, and compliance with legal obligations.

Learn how Bedard increased their accounting efficiency with Business Central x Gestisoft
Learn how Bedard increased their accounting efficiency with Business Central x Gestisoft

Some core features of an ERP logistics management system

Inventory lists

This is one of the most useful features: displaying all your products in a list. You'll be able to sort, classify, and organize these goods in groups or classes. You'll find here a comprehensive display of inventory, cost, weighted average cost, replenishment, and inventory history. A display panel showing each of the data for the products in a listing if you specify the criteria.

Don't forget to read our article on the advantages of ERP inventory management!

Get a holistic view of your inventory
Use one or multiple costing methods for inventory items, and easily move items between locations to control the quantity on hand using cycling counting.

Variables and details pay off

Here you can add information to each product and to each product category. Add both variants and details: from SKU codes, to barcodes, to vendor codes. Size, weight, and purchase price options can be added as well. You'll also be able to manage costs and visualize them through price display panels such as: wholesale, retail, tax, etc.

Fine-tune your inventory tracking
Keep track of variations in color, units of measure, shelf life, and other attributes to improve inventory tracking throughout the product lifecycle, from demand planning to customer service.

Product history‌

To provide effective supply chain management, each product will have a particular tracker, that's a history tracing each movement of the product in question. This feature is useful in many ways. It aids in the replenishment process and helps teams with planning and allocation. It also logs dates to track each step from receipt to product shipment.

Barcode scanner

The barcode scanner will enable you to search for any product having a barcode. Here you'll enter the details of each item, as well as set the order and purchase date. An optimal system that works with all existing barcodes.

Replenishment report

All the help you need with inventory replenishment can be found here. This will let you predict when new supplies will arrive and tell you who made the order, what to replenish, and where to find the report.

Predict stock replenishment
Replenish inventory based on actuals, demand, and availability using built-in intelligence, sales forecasts, and expected stock-outs to automatically create purchase orders.

Running a smooth organization

Managing your staff can prove to be very challenging at times. Even more so when you're dealing with a logistics company where your employees can be anywhere at any time.

In this case, employee management can become a real business problem. An ERP system simplifies this process to the point of ease. Thanks to such software, you'll be able to:

  • Manage your employees' hours and lunch breaks
  • Manage the information related to each employee as well as their file
  • Follow your staff on the road
  • Manage salary increases and bonuses
  • Increase employee productivity
  • Manage sick Leave
  • Manage temporary or seasonal staff
  • Provide a complete list of staff (permanent or temporary) present in case of emergency

Reducing your handling and shipping costs

The enhanced data accuracy ERP software provides will greatly help with expense management. It'll enable you to identify your major business expenses, to reduce them, and to make quicker and better decisions. No more relying on unsolicited or bad advice. An ERP application will guarantee that your decision-making is strictly data-driven.

Solving problems as soon as they arise contributes directly to cost management, which, in return, significantly reduces the cost of risk for your business. Furthermore, you'll increase productivity while maintaining perfect logistics through real-time visibility of your operations and instant access to your global supply chains.

Download our free ERP self-evaluation guide

The advantages of ERP software for managing your logistics

A quick but detailed look at the advantages of such software:

Controlled inventory transfers between warehouses

Easily create an inventory transfer document. Manage, analyze, and move your inventory between each of your warehouses without any surprises, and on time!

Receive your inventory in a specific warehouse

Receive inventory at any warehouse. Here you'll specify both the warehouse where you wish to receive the inventory, and its location once the order is received.

Fulfill orders from a specific warehouse

Specify the location from which you wish to ship your goods. The inventory in that specific location will automatically decrease when the sales order is filled.

Connect customers and operations
Use real-time data on every item’s zone, bin, and quantity to better fulfill your customers’ orders.

Track order status

Order management can sure be a pain when you have several warehouses. But with a logistics ERP software, you can manage the location of your orders in different warehouses. Track and print order lists once the shipping process is concluded for optimal tracking and management.

Log in and sell your products

Set up a new warehouse. Transfer inventory within and deliver or ship sales orders from this new location.

Manage your warehouses by location

Manage your warehouses remotely. Select a location and check: inventory, orders, last purchased inventory item, replenishment rate, profit amount, and your profit margins.

And as you can see, ERP will save you money…

In fact, research shows that, with an ERP, operational and administrative costs are reduced by 23 to 22% respectively.

Companies requiring a tailor-made ERP system will have the freedom to customize the software to fit their needs perfectly.

Another research study has confirmed that 93% of users do just that: customize their ERP system according to their needs.

Beyond Business As Usual: The ERP Transformation

An ERP system enables optimal inventory management to make for an overall, more effective business management strategy. But that's not all. Not only will you improve your logistics through each of the various software tools, you'll also save time.

By keeping your warehouse inventory well organized, ERP software provides both product traceability and effective employee management. With access to a wealth of data on every aspect of production, you'll be able to optimize your costs and increase employee productivity.

You'll also be able to spot any problems with your production line, which will make the operation more efficient.

Any company can improve productivity and lower costs by choosing an ERP solution. Contact us to discuss your ERP implementation needs.

Give us a call to jump start your digital transformation!

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October 03, 2023 by Frédéric Charest VP of Marketing

Data-driven Growth Marketer with a Passion for SEO - Driving Results through Analytics and Optimization