Wholesale distribution is a busy industry, and those in the industry welcome anything that makes their job easier. These days, that’s software.
The right software makes your daily wholesale distributor tasks simpler and more efficient.
However, it takes some research to find the best solution for your business.
Keep reading to learn:
- What wholesale distribution software is.
- How the right solution supports your business.
- Which wholesale distribution solutions are worth considering for your needs.
In the end, you’ll have an idea of which platform works best to drive you to your business goals.
What is a wholesale distribution solution?
A wholesale distribution solution is a software that connects all aspects of your business to save time and boost productivity.
Two popular types of software for distribution companies are:
- Customer relationship management (CRM).
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP).
A CRM primarily focuses on managing your customers, while an ERP deals with the financial side of your business.
Both platforms are useful, and you may even find a single solution that carries both features to minimize the number of tools to manage.
Why you need wholesale distribution solutions
When product distribution opportunities come up, you have to act fast. If you aren’t using software in today’s fast-paced world, your business won’t keep up.
From inventory to shipping, there’s a neverending list to keep tabs on, and one mistake can mean days of revenue lost.
That’s where wholesale distribution solutions come in.
Every wholesale distributor needs a solution that simplifies their processes and ensures that they never miss a beat.
The right software keeps you organized and takes loads off your plate, providing you with a series of benefits.
Let’s take a look at what some of those benefits are.
Benefits of wholesale distribution solution
The benefits of wholesale distribution platforms depend on your business needs, but software certainly gives every business an advantage.
Below are a few benefits of wholesale distribution software.
Achieve operational excellence
With wholesale distribution software, your business runs like a well-oiled machine. This is because the right solution combines your workflows and transforms your processes.
Automation is the secret to seamless operations and is at the heart of the best wholesale distribution solutions.
Knowing which tasks you want to automate is key to choosing the right solution for your business.
Improve customer loyalty
Customer retention keeps your business afloat, so providing excellent customer service is a priority.
The top wholesale distribution solutions give you complete visibility into your customers, including their contact details and order history.
This allows you to give each one the attention they need. And when your customers feel like they’re seen, they’ll keep coming back.
Reach your business goals sooner
The purpose of wholesale distribution solutions comes down to one goal: to allow your business to reach its full potential.
Thanks to a number of features, wholesale distribution software lets you reach your business goals sooner and then surpass them.
Key features of wholesale distribution software
A software solution is only as good as its features. There are a few features that wholesale distributors, in particular, need in their software.
Here are some key features to look out for in wholesale distribution software.
As a wholesale distributor, keeping track of inventory items is among your main daily tasks.
Imagine how much time you’d save automating this task. Wholesale distribution software makes that happen.
For optimal inventory management, find a solution with features such as:
- Inventory lists with custom fields.
- Central dashboards.
- Inventory categorization.
What’s more, when your inventory management is correct, your entire supply chain management improves, allowing you to keep track of your total operations.
As mentioned, your customers are the bread and butter of your business. When you have a high-value customer, you don’t want to risk losing them through a simple mistake, such as forgetting to ship their order on time.
Wholesale distribution software puts your customer’s needs right in front of you – literally.
In a second, you can pull up your customer’s full history to provide personalized service during a call.
Better yet, wholesale distribution solutions get your products out the door and into the hands of your customers faster with features such as:
- Work order management.
- Automated scheduling.
- Optimized routing.
This leaves a lasting impression on your customers and establishes your business as reliable.
Rather than a new tool to learn to use, you should think of a wholesale distribution solution as a tool that centralizes your processes.
That’s why you should choose a solution that connects with your existing tools.
For best results, find software that connects with:
- Accounting software, such as QuickBooks and Xero.
- Calendar tools, such as Google Calendar and Outlook.
- Marketing platforms such as Mailchimp.
Before jumping into our list of the best wholesale distribution solutions, let’s highlight the criteria used to create this list.
How we selected the best wholesale distribution software
The wholesale distribution solutions on this list were selected based on their:
- Automation capabilities.
- Estimate creation.
- Customer service features.
However, the solution you choose should be based on your business needs. Therefore, you should put more weight on certain factors over others.
Best wholesale distribution solutions for 2024
Here’s the moment you’ve been waiting for: the best wholesale distribution solutions for 2024.
First on the list of the top wholesale distribution solutions is Method.
Method is the #1 QuickBooks CRM, and works with all versions of the accounting software, including:
- QuickBooks Online.
- QuickBooks Desktop.
- QuickBooks Enterprise.
Automation is at the heart of Method’s offerings. Its two-way sync lets your data flow between your accounting software (Xero included) and Method so that your information is always up-to-date.
Method allows you to provide the best customer experience with features like follow-up reminders for your sales team and a custom self-service payment portal.
Plus, with the ability to convert estimates into invoices, there’s one less obstacle between you and future payments.
Grow your business with lead generation features such as activity tracking and easy estimate management. Thanks to custom reporting dashboards and a mobile app, you also gain real-time visibility into your business.
- Two-way QuickBooks and Xero sync for seamless data flow.
- Empower your customers with a self-service payment portal.
- Native integrations with Google Calendar, Outlook, Gmail, and more.
- Third-party integrations available with Zapier.
- Unlimited customization for a personalized solution.
Method is best suited for QuickBooks and Xero users. The solution is currently only available in English.
Method offers the following pricing plans:
- Contact management: $25 per user per month.
- CRM Pro: $44 per user per month.
- CRM Enterprise: $74 per user per month.
They also offer a 30-day free trial. No credit card required.
Image credit: Software Advice
Next on our list is Fishbowl.
Fishbowl is known for its inventory control system. This software reduces the number of steps in your processes by integrating with several other popular software, including:
This software can predict your future inventory requirements based on your sales trends so that you always stay one step ahead. It also has tools that help prevent and fix inventory shrinkage to maximize profit.
- Inventory requirement predictions to meet future needs.
- Cloud software allows you to access your data anywhere.
- Connect with QuickBooks and other software to create an all-in-one solution.
As an inventory management tool, Fishbowl’s capabilities are too limited for other areas of your business, such as customer service.
Fishbowl’s pricing packages are custom, so you must contact them to request a quote.
Image credit: Agiliron
Next on our list of the best wholesale distribution solutions is Agiliron. Made specially for retail, it integrates and manages operations and apps in one central system.
Agiliron’s software suite includes:
- Retail and mobile POS.
- Reporting and forecasting.
- Inventory management.
These features connect to well-known e-commerce apps such as Shopify and PayPal and accounting software such as QuickBooks. As a result, Agiliron simplifies your processes and optimizes cash flow.
- Connect all your tools and simplify your processes with various e-commerce integrations.
- Access POS anytime with a mobile app – no internet connection required.
- Cover every area of your business with product modules ranging from Online Channels to Team Collaboration.
Agiliron specializes in e-commerce, so this solution may only work for some wholesale businesses.
Agiliron has three pricing plans:
- Premier: $85 per user per month.
- Enterprise: $169 per user per month.
- Global Enterprise: $255 per user per month.
They also offer a 30-day free trial.
Image credit: GetApp
WinWeb is an all-in-one cloud software with the features of a CRM and an ERP. They have a product made specifically for wholesale distributors called WinWeb WHOLESALE.
WinWeb WHOLESALE reduces stock levels and increases revenue with features such as:
- Multi-location stock control.
- Integrated order management.
- Integrated shipping gateway.
Use the Project and Task Management module to schedule your team efficiently for peak productivity. They also offer e-commerce solutions, such as shop floor software.
- 360-degree client view, including customer history, social media, and more.
- Simplify customer communication via every channel possible.
- Comprehensive business reports ensure you meet your financial goals sooner.
WinWeb lacks some features needed in the wholesale distribution industry, such as advanced inventory features.
WinWeb starts at $399 per 3 users per month, which includes 10GB of storage.
5. Focus X
Image credit: Software Advice
This is the software for you if you’re looking for a solution with the most up-to-date technology.
Focus X is an AI-powered ERP wholesale distribution solution that leverages business AI for optimal forecasting. It uses “AIFA” (Artificially Intelligent and Futuristic Applications) to empower your business with AI and machine learning.
One of their top features is customer vendor portals for effective communication and secure transactions. They also have a built-in Business Intelligence engine that generates data-driven reports for confident decision-making.
- Personalize your solution with a variety of modules.
- Better forecasting with comprehensive analytical tools.
- Monitor your entire supply chain with advanced supply chain management.
Some users say that Focus X has some bugs to work through.
“A lot of bugs and errors. Sometimes the software crashes while working on something important.”— Ali via Software Advice.
Focus X does not have pricing on their website. You must contact them to request a demo.
Image credit: Capterra
Next on the list of the top wholesale distribution solutions is Acctivate Inventory Management.
As the name suggests, this solution focuses on inventory control for QuickBooks users. Acctivate simplifies inventory actions such as:
- Importing and exporting.
This solution is also great for multi-channel sales and e-commerce. Gain insights into your business using dashboards to track inventory task activity and reporting with easy search functions.
- QuickBooks integration to connect your accounting to your other processes.
- Use the inventory dashboard for quick search and easy navigation.
- Keep track of your credit with credit management features.
Beyond its QuickBooks integration, Acctivate is limited in its third-party integration offerings.
You must contact Acctivate for pricing.
Image credit: GetApp
Infoplus understands the challenges of running a warehouse, which is what inspired this warehouse management software (WMS).
Their top features include order management software to track product updates accurately and warehouse planning that provides a visual blueprint of your warehouse.
Infoplus’ other features include:
- Various integrations.
- Customizable reports.
- An API.
- Gain a 360 view of your customers with specialized customer management tools.
- Plan out your next move with confidence using user-defined metrics and reports.
- Keep your customers updated with a customer user portal.
While Infoplus is customizable, they don’t have a dedicated customization team to assist you.
You must contact Infoplus for pricing.
Image credit: Capterra
Acumatica Cloud ERP is a business management system that meets the needs of small to medium-sized wholesale distributors.
With an easy-to-use user interface, Acumatica allows you to integrate the tools you already use to build a central, personalized solution for your business processes.
This platform inspires collaboration across teams with cross-module workflows, ensuring that everyone is always on the same page.
- Real-time business insights from a single source of truth.
- Full suite of financial management tools for time management and payroll tasks.
- Schedule more efficiently with visual scheduling.
The platform’s native integrations are limited, and you must use Acumatica’s open API for most integrations. There is no QuickBooks integration.
Acumatica tailors pricing to your business, so you must contact them for a quote.
9. SPS Commerce
Image credit: Capterra
SPS Commerce is another retail solution that solves supply chain challenges. Its features let you:
- Connect trading partners.
- Accelerate product-to-shelf.
- Allow for collaboration between teams.
With SPS Commerce, you can easily share product information across all channels with your trading partners. The software’s EDI capabilities also ensure that order fulfillments are quick and secure.
- Analytical tools to turn data insights into results.
- Accurately manage product details with SPS Assortment.
- EDI testing to prove compliance with your partners.
Some users say that integrations with SPS Commerce can take time and effort.
“Integration with Netsuite was a steep learning curve and the setup took longer than expected.”— Jason via Software Advice.
You must contact SPS Commerce for pricing.
10. Deskera Books
Image credit: Deskera
Last on our list of the best wholesale distribution solutions is Deskera Books.
Deskera Books focuses on cutting your accounting time down to allow you to focus on other aspects of your business.
The workflows that this solution optimizes best are:
- Time tracking.
- Expense tracking.
With Deskera Books, you can send invoices from your laptop or mobile device in a matter of minutes, with the option of using their pre-built invoice templates or designing your own from scratch.
- Present your business professionally with pre-built templates.
- Get accurate tax reports with automatic tax calculations.
- Ensure that your accountants are in the know by adding them to the system for free.
Deskera is one of the pricier solutions on this list and bills annually, meaning they may be inaccessible to small businesses.
Deskara has two base plans:
- All In One: $200 per user per month.
- MRP: $300 per user per month.
They also offer an Enterprise plan with custom pricing.
Wholesale distribution solutions FAQs
What is an example of wholesale distribution software?
Examples of wholesale distribution solutions on the market include Fishbowl, WinWeb, and Acumatica Cloud ERP. But even software that isn’t specially made for wholesale distribution companies can offer important features, such as inventory control and work order management.
How do I start a wholesale distribution business?
To start a wholesale distribution business, you first need to understand the current market demands and then draft a plan for your operations. You’ll want to invest in software as early as possible. Doing so fast-tracks the success of your business by making it easier to monitor your progress and providing powerful insights.
What is the difference between wholesale and distribution?
The difference between wholesale and distribution is that wholesalers purchase products in bulk at a discounted price, while distributors work with manufacturers, retailers, or even wholesalers to distribute those products.
The job of wholesale distributors is neverending. Between keeping track of products, employees, and customers, the only way to get it all done is to centralize your workflows.
Wholesale distribution solutions solve this problem by integrating your favorite tools while providing you with additional ones to simplify your daily tasks.
With a variety of software solutions to choose from, make sure to try them out before committing to ensure that it’s the right choice for your business.
Start your journey towards the perfect solution with a free trial of Method.
Image credit: Tiger Lily via Pexels