The modern Wholesale & Distributor – How technology can help tackle challenges across departments

Tanveer Waseem breaks down how Sapphire can help your distribution and warehousing business embrace technology that can address pain points across multiple departments within a business…

Multiple departments play a part in a successful wholesale & distribution company and it’s essential these departments are synchronised with one another for the business to run smoothly.

An integrated ERP system provides tools to help businesses manage all aspects of the wholesale and distribution processes from sales ordering, pricing, shipping, sourcing, and billing, letting you streamline your business processes so all your information is in one secure location. With accurate, real-time information available, situations needing attention can be identified early and addressed quickly.

Below, we delve deeper into how an ERP system like SAP Business One can address challenges for key business functions:


Providing instant access to up-to-date information, quickly and automatically generating accurate reports, the right system stretches across the business pulling together business-critical information, resulting in complete company-wide visibility.

The accuracy of inventory management that’s possible makes it easier to not only keep up with demand but allows for greatly improved forecasting, with only one version of the truth available for all to see.

All information is in one place. There’s no need to pull together reports from multiple systems and spreadsheets as business-wide information is presented in clear, concise dashboards for ease and speed of access.

It’s not just access to data that makes all the difference, but the insight that the right system can derive from this data. With more in-depth business insight than ever before, putting information in context, C-Level staff can explore more ways to grow the business and diversify their existing revenue streams.

The inevitable decrease in manual processes that occurs when business-wide systems are implemented of course leads to a reduction in operational costs. Additional cost-savings can also be readily identified due to the business-wide visibility that the right solution provides.

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The ability to totally integrate financial data with all key business functions means the end of inefficient, error-prone accounting processes, without the need to manually rekey data or amalgamate multiple spreadsheets. What results is an efficient, streamlined finance capability.

Month-end becomes less of a challenge too, with automated processes and the ability to access comprehensive, timely and accurate information providing the data needed to complete month-end quickly and efficiently.

Reporting is improved massively, with the option to run a wide range of reports, tailored to suit the specific needs of the business in question, all based on accurate, real-time information.

Better and faster decision-making is a key benefit of implementing a business-wide management system, with a unified financial view of all areas of the business, amalgamating sales, purchasing, inventory and operational information to underpin robust, effective financial decision-making.


Comprehensive sales and opportunity management functionality enables the tracking and monitoring of all activity from first contact to final sale, for faster, improved sales conversions.

Improved data management means that all customer, vendor and supplier data is stored in one place, facilitating a 360° view of all such data in easy to access dashboards.

Joined-up working between departments who are all working from and with the same system leads to increased customer satisfaction via faster responses to calls and enquiries and better problem-solving capabilities.

Reporting abilities are increased greatly, with easy access to real-time sales reports and relevant data as and when needed.


Through the real-time synchronisation of goods receipts and inventory levels, it’s possible to better manage the entire procurement process, from PO creation through to vendor invoice payment, automating all processes along the way.

Real-time integration between warehousing operations and finance data results in improved business insight underpinning all purchasing decisions and activities.

Again, advanced reporting capabilities with real-time data presented in comprehensive reports and dashboards make for smarter, more cost-effective and more strategic purchasing decisions.

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Access to all item and vendor master data is easy, with all information held in one central, user-friendly repository for not only ease of access but a reduction in errors as there’s no need to copy information across from disparate systems and in different formats.


The ability to manage inventory across multiple warehouses and locations leads to major cost and efficiency savings, alongside the flexibility to use various costing models as well as multiple units of measure and pricing.

Advanced production and material requirements planning means you can avoid shortages and ensure timely delivery and order fulfilment without the cost and inconvenience of surplus inventory, saving money and space.

Previously uncovered in-depth business insight is available to all, with dashboards of up-to-date reports and businesses information bringing new reporting capabilities to the warehousing team.

The combination of integrated production functionality and the ability to automate processes and procedures throughout the warehouse environment makes for significant cost and efficiency savings, which of course has a positive effect on the bottom line.


The increased collaboration between departments that’s the result of a single business-wide system makes it easier for IT to gain full visibility over the entire organisation, making it easier to manage systems and solution, and much more straightforward to maintain and control.

Similarly, deployment options such as cloud or hybrid solutions mean that vendors can manage the actual systems, with in-house IT teams freed-up to focus on adding real strategic value to the business, pursuing much more proactive IT activities rather than fire-fighting day-to-day issues.

With a single system in place, IT teams have much more control over authorisations, controlling what each department or user can do and see within the system, shoring-up business compliance and helping to overcome any data security concerns.

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