What is an ERP system?

June 27, 2018


Can you answer this question: “What is an ERP system?”

Unless you’re already well into the stages of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) research and evaluation, this question may prove to be a challenge. While it’s well established that integrating ERP software can be transformative for a distributor or wholesaler, a fundamental understanding of ERP is essential for correctly identifying the perfect ERP software for your specific company.

For your convenience, we are sharing information pertaining to core ERP functionality as well as offering to you a helpful tool for evaluating ERP systems that is built upon more than two decades of experience.

So, with this understanding of what’s to come, let’s get down to basics and answer, “What is an ERP system?

At its core, ERP is a comprehensive software technology that unifies a company’s entire distribution process around data access and efficiency. Comprised of interconnected applications, ERP software encompasses the entire distribution process: order entry, CRM, financial management, inventory control, warehouse management, purchasing, shipping, reporting, dashboard analytics, and more.

Put another way, your entire company operates out of one unified software system. No more stacks of printed spreadsheets, weekly manual inventory counts, or excuses for deadstock. Once implemented, ERP software synchronizes departments, eliminates manual processes to maximize productivity, and ensures the accuracy of your business data.

Of course, this just scratches the surface of all there is to know about ERP. Cloud deployment, mobile applications and connectivity, e-commerce and Amazon integration… there’s a lot more to discover. To help you pull back the curtain on ERP software, we have created an ERP knowledge path highlighting common topics like ERP vs. Accounting Software, Implementation Speed, and ERP Scalability.

In addition, we are offering a helpful ERP Software Purchasing Guide to remove confusion and uncertainty during your ERP selection process. Built using best practices from over 400 successful ERP implementations, the ERP Software Purchasing Guide outlines 5 key steps:

  • Recognize the Need for ERP
  • Identifying Vendors
  • Evaluating Software
  • Choosing the Right Vendor
  • Implementing ERP

We hope this free guide helps you identify the correct ERP software solution for your company.

Of course, Distribution One is happy to be your resource in this process. If you have questions about applying ERP functionality to your business or the benefits of our comprehensive ERP-ONE+ software, please contact our team of experts. We stand ready to answer every question you have.

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Highlighting distributor successes

Customers share their ROI achievements. Click each testimonial to read the full case study.

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Empire Bolt & Screw

“Out of the gate, our first cost savings occurred in accounting. What was previously a full-time job went down to just 2 hours a day. This change alone saved us $40,000 in year-over-year labor costs.”

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Patlin Inc.

“Distribution One has allowed us to deliver 30% more orders without having to increase our labor force.”

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The Nut Place

“ERP-ONE actually helps our business be more productive. We operate more efficiently because our software performs like a world-class product. And that’s not marketing hype. We trust in its reliability. It is one of the best decisions our company made.”

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Colorado Industrial Packaging

“ERP-ONE tracks product costs and sales margins for us… that benefit alone has added 4% to our bottom line after the first year of implementation and has more than paid for the cost of ERP-ONE.”

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A-Jax Fasteners and Tools

“Enhanced productivity, lower operational costs, higher service levels, and stronger customer relationships—it’s all been attained through our ability to provide continuous real-time data generated through the myriad of programs within ERP-ONE.”

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VLC Distribution

“Having spent 30 years on the operations side of distribution using SAP and AS400 software, I have not encountered a better system than ERP-ONE. The efficiencies and expandability has allowed us to improve our sales by $500,000 per employee in a year.”

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On Time Supply

“We had immediate visibility into which sales representatives were performing and which product lines were providing the best return for our business.”

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Cathy’s Concepts

“The ability to manage orders online has created greater efficiency in their business and has delivered more flexibility in modifying and tracking orders. Changes to an order instantly cascade all the way through the terminals and the processing stations cutting production time by at least 15%.”

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“I’m excited about the future. We processed hundreds of orders in the first week and project our webstore will be handling over 10,000 orders per year.”

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