The food service chain is a lifeline to our way of life. It’s important that we not interrupt that supply chain and that people remain able to get exactly what they need when they need it.
To run your foodservice distribution business effectively, you need to be able to get access to your data quickly and easily and be able to analyze it in a way that you find it most useful.
A lot of people have found through limitations of their software, it is not easy to get to their data. Most software wasn’t built for the everyday person to get to their information.
In today’s world, everything has to be agile. The ability for each user to be able to pull the data they need in real-time and understand what’s happening to make those critical decisions, is very important.
A modern ERP system gives you access to real-time business data, which allows you to do a number of things:
REDUCE THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS
First and foremost, it reduces the cost of doing business. It’s either A. the number of people that may be necessary or B. understanding what products are doing well, which ones aren’t, what’s being ordered more regularly vs. what’s sitting in my warehouse, if things are getting near an expiration date, how do I get that information out to people who have ordered those items in the past so that I don’t have to deal with as much spoilage.
STAY TOP-OF-MIND WITH CUSTOMERS
The last thing we want is to find out that someone is ordering one of your products or product lines from one of your competitors. You’ve got to be able to let your customers know what’s happening, where you excel, promotions or specials for that week, new areas that you’ve expanded into in order to expand from your existing customer base. Ultimately, we always want to be the first person our customers think of.
MANAGE AND GROW YOUR MARGINS
We live in a very tight margin type of business so anything that we can do to manage and grow our margins is going to be critical. As we know, even a 1% change in the gross margin means significant dollars finding their way to the bottom line. So it’s important to be able to quickly and easily see, in a product line where the market fluctuates so quickly, to be able to adapt to that to be able to preserve your margins.
SELL THE RIGHT PRODUCTS AND THE RIGHT TIME TO THE RIGHT CUSTOMER
Understanding your product mixes, being able to maximize your warehouse space, talking to the right customers and knowing where you’re gaining traction. Maybe you’ve really taken advantage of pizza restaurants, you offer something that your competitors can’t or your pricing is so much better for the types of ingredients that they utilize, so we want to be able to give you that data so that you can find more and more good-paying and high volume customers.
ENABLE CUSTOMER SELF-SERVICE
In today’s world, especially through COVID, customer self-service is huge. I’ve talked to a lot of our clients who have expanded and quickly transitioned from B2B to B2C and often even a B2C model, realizing that they could capture a fair amount of that business and grab a lot of local people when the typical supply chain was not available. As we know, once people get used to something, they tend to use it going forward.
Finally, remain agile. Agility means that you are able to understand when things change, you are quick to adapt and change strategies, and you are able to not lock up your dollars in your inventory and get it out the door.