Telltale Signs of a Distribution Management Platform on its Last Legs


Transforming the way you run your business can be nerve-racking. I’ve heard expressions like, “installing a business software solution is comparable to open-heart surgery.” What I take from that is, if that’s the case–how good is your surgeon? How confident do you feel about them? Have you done your research? Have you asked the right questions about the procedure? Have you prepared yourself for the transformation that’s about to occur? Are you excited about the future?

We recently added a new customer to our 1000+ customer list. This customer is a small but fast-growing industrial distributor. As with other new customers, I wanted to know what prompted them to start looking for software to run their business. Their answers were ones I have heard many times before.

  • We’re outgrowing our current system.
  • Our inventory is a mess.
  • We’re not properly utilizing our warehouse space.
  • Manual processes are taking a toll on productivity.
  • We’re over or under purchasing.
  • Our customers and bottom line are impacted by missed shipments, short shipments and double shipments.
  • We have no time to shape and sculpt our business and be innovative.
  • We’re unable to access data we need to make day-to-day business decisions.
  • Years of workarounds and “making-do” have taken a toll on our people and our company.
  • We’re afraid of losing customers to our competition because we’re not providing efficient service.
  • Our data is in various places with zero integration.


The one that really stood out for me was, “We have no time to shape and sculpt our business and be innovative.”

Being innovative–in any business–is critical. It gives you leverage over your competition and allows you to be a trusted and forward-thinking organization for your customers and vendors to do business with. It also allows you to out-Amazon Amazon, a challenge many industrial distributors are faced with today. If your customers don’t see you as a modern, efficient business, you will eventually lose them.

Transforming a supply chain into a true “value chain” requires a modern distribution management software that can help reduce non-value related activities and adopt demand-driven strategies. To compete and be successful today, distributors need to have the right business software that allows them to utilize the power of data to make quick and accurate decisions, provide excellent customer service, and stay ahead of their competition.

If any of the pain points listed above sound familiar to you, it’s time to start looking for a modern distribution management solution. Go back to the open-heart surgery comparison if you will; do some research on your surgeon. Talk to them. Tell them where you are today and where you’d like to be tomorrow. Address your concerns. Get the answers you need to feel confident about the journey you’re going to take. Get your house organized.

For industrial distributors, it all boils down to your inventory and insightful business data. The goal is to increase sales, reduce operational costs, and as a result, increase profitability and growth. A modern distribution management solution should enable these three core goals. Don’t settle for any less.