A wholesale operation is not for the faint of heart. From tracking thousands of products to distributing them to millions of customers, wholesalers go through many challenges on the day-to-day. Fortunately, wholesale distribution software simplifies your workflow, manages inventory, and makes business functions more efficient.
If you’re looking for reliable wholesale software suppliers, this guide will tell you how to find the best one.
What is wholesale distribution software?
Wholesale distribution software simplifies business processes by providing financial and delivery management tools.
These distribution management systems centralize organizational data, making them easier to access and share. With the right software, your business can reduce manual efforts and conduct operations more quickly.
How wholesale distribution software works
Basic warehouse management software comes with standard features like:
- Route optimization.
- Inventory management.
Most distribution management systems are modular, enabling businesses to purchase features only as needed.
Some full-suite software covers all aspects of business, including customer relationship management, accounting, and human resources. Other smaller-scale systems might only sustain several departments or offer hyper-targeted features.
Benefits of wholesale distribution software
Your wholesale business can benefit significantly from integrated software. Regardless of your company size, investing in software for manufacturing is a good idea for the following reasons.
- Reduced operational costs: Automating tedious tasks significantly reduces operating costs. As a result, your team members and sales reps can focus on more pressing tasks and provide more accurate forecasts for a leaner supply chain.
- Enhanced visibility for inventory levels: Accurate information and detailed forecasts prevent warehouses from under or overstocking inventory items.
- Real-time information sharing: With real-time data and a central dashboard, you can keep track of low stock levels, active deliveries, and incoming and outgoing inventory items. The appropriate departments can receive instant updates and make quick adjustments if necessary.
- Improved communications: Contact the right people without ever having to leave your system dashboard.
- Effective quality control: Pinpoint inventory and product issues as they arise. Track every item you move via tracking number, lot number, or batch number.
All that said, investing in ERP wholesale software for manufacturing can be either an advantage or disadvantage depending on your circumstances.
Features of wholesale distribution software
Not every software for manufacturing shares the same features. However, every basic warehouse management software should have the following:
- Inventory control: Distribution software suppliers enable users to track products — whether something is in the warehouse, in transit, or on backorder.
- Accounting: Software with accounting capabilities can accommodate order entry, purchasing, invoicing, and accounts receivable.
- Lot tracking: Traceability features help wholesale distributors be mindful of schedules and expiration dates, which is especially useful if they distribute perishable or dangerous items.
- Route optimization: Deliveries account for most of a distributor’s shipping costs. With route optimization, you can improve fuel efficiency and ensure that drivers make as many stops as possible on their routes.
- Reporting and analytics: Accurate and thorough reporting and analytics can provide actionable insights that make decision-making easier for wholesale distributors.
How to choose a wholesale software supplier
Weeding through wholesale software suppliers can be daunting.
Especially when you consider that all software for manufacturing serves the same purpose — to make your day-to-day operations easier to manage.
However, no two systems are identical. Here are a few tips for choosing the right software for your wholesale distribution business.
- Set-up: Most software for manufacturing is available in two set-ups: on-premise or cloud-based. Nowadays, cloud-based software is more prevalent because of ease of access and future-proofing. However, businesses that want complete ownership of their systems might want to opt for on-premise setups.
- Budget: Some software charge monthly, while others require a one-time fee. These fees typically cover a set number of users and features, with additional users costing extra.
- Scalability: If your chosen software comes in tiers, it may support additional features. As your business grows, you’ll want to use a system that can grow alongside it.
- Customer support: Integrating new software isn’t always straightforward. Having a dedicated customer service provider can prevent downtime and potential data loss.
- Integrations: If you already use existing software, can your new system accommodate these applications? Most systems promise seamless integration with other accounting and communication software.
- User reviews: Give you an accurate idea about how specific software functions. You’ll identify strong and weak points that software vendors may not disclose.
The best wholesale software suppliers
If you want to streamline business operations and see excellent returns on your distribution, consider the following wholesale software suppliers.
The first on this list of wholesale software suppliers is Method.
Method:CRM is a full-suite manufacturing software that supports two-way syncing with Quickbooks and Xero. It offers robust CRM functionality that makes it ideal for businesses who need more than a CRM but less than an ERP.
The deep sync with QuickBooks and Xero combines your accounting data with customer information to enhance your customer experience and operations.
Plus, its no-code backend makes it possible to automate any workflow you need.
Perhaps most appealing to manufacturers is the ability to get a 360-view of customers and suppliers. Collect all the necessary contact information, schedule follow-up activities, and assign employees to the appropriate customers.
Method:CRM directly connects with your everyday tools like Gmail, Mailchimp and Outlook. With the help of Zapier you can integrate it with over 3,000 other applications.
Begin your free trial of Method:CRM to get started with one of the top wholesale software suppliers for businesses on QuickBooks or Xero.
NetSuite is most popular among the manufacturing, logistics, and transportation industries for its tracking capabilities and superior customer relationship management.
Its real-time supply portal ensures compliance by monitoring data deviation and inventory movement. You can optimize inventory through barcodes, shipping labels, and warehouse activity dashboards before your products leave their original location.
Analyze demand and know precisely when you need to replenish inventory through supply planning. Then, use supply chain execution tools to ensure your items reach your customers on time.
For a combination of inventory management, business intelligence, and online commerce, you want TradeGecko.
The system employs a built-in B2B eCommerce platform that functions as a distribution center for users to sell directly. Its award-winning inventory features automate demand forecasts, set up reorder points, and even tell you what products are selling and what aren’t.
TradeGecko integrates with wholesale favorites, including Quickbooks Online, ShipIT, and Xero. The platform also links to popular storefronts like Amazon, Bigcommerce, and Shopify.
4. 3PL Central
3PL Central Warehouse Management is the first cloud-based distribution system developed with logistics providers in mind.
As the trusted technology partner of over 1,500 warehouses, 3PL Central aims to prevent manual errors and lost inventory by tracking items remotely and automating orders.
It also boasts segmented inventory and billing features that prevent lost inventory costs and capture all your chargeable hours.
3PL supports direct integrations with leading shopping carts, enabling 100% accuracy and verifying all your orders in real time.
If you’ve outgrown disparate legacy systems and want to start optimizing your databases, Sage Business Cloud is for you.
Track everything you need, including product profitability, warehouse operations, and supplier quality, from a central dashboard. Then, use accurate sales and inventory information to make better purchasing decisions and improve performance across the board.
If you manage multiple warehouses, just add all your locations, international operations, and currencies. Then, consolidate financials for each location on demand.
Wholesale distribution companies that want to lower shipping costs, improve cash flow, and achieve operational excellence need distribution software.
Unlike paper-based systems, wholesale distribution software automatically logs important information such as inventory counts and suppliers.
Most wholesale distribution software is available as a cloud-based or on-premise solution, depending on your needs. Most companies seek wholesale software suppliers for financial management and inventory control.
When choosing the appropriate solution for your business, consider:
- The type of software set-up your business can accommodate.
- Your budget.
- How scalable the software is.
- What features you need.
FAQs about wholesale software suppliers
How do you choose wholesale software suppliers?
How to choose the best software for manufacturers will depend on several factors.
- Your business goals
Do you want to avoid cash flow oversight or track your current inventory?
Are your manufacturing systems experiencing too many manual errors? Do you need software with eCommerce integration, or will basic features suffice?
Wholesale software suppliers provide unique solutions to your specific problems.
- Your budget
While some software business distributors charge per user, with a base subscription, or per additional service, others will charge a one-time fee. Consider what your business can afford at the moment and whether you will need to scale up in the future.
- Your team
First, consider who will be using this software.
Some business distributors enable access to all teams and sales reps, while others only provide software for managerial-level users.
What is a wholesale management system?
Distribution management systems typically include features like customer relationship management, inventory tracking, and sales management. Their goal is to simplify buying and selling processes between businesses and vendor accounts.
Which is the best software for a wholesale business?
As an all-around, complete distribution management software, Method is the ideal solution for cash management, sales order fulfillment, and financial management. It is compatible with the Quickbooks Enterprise network and supports a two-way sync – enabling you to monitor inventory items, accounts, and sales channels.
See what Method:CRM, the best software for wholesale, can do for you.
Image credit: Adrian Sulyok via Unsplash