5 Ways NetSuite is Transforming the Wholesale and Distribution Industry

An image of a container shipment yard illustrating how NetSuite benefits the distribution industry.

If your business is like many others dealing primarily in wholesale and distribution, you’re probably looking for fresh approaches to improve your margins, increase the accuracy of your reporting, and reduce your costs. There are multiple avenues you can take to achieve these ends and make your business better—but finding a single vendor with one elegant solution for them all can be a challenge.

NetSuite is one of the most innovative applications on the market for managing inventory, accounting and financials, e-commerce, customer relations, and even enterprise planning.

This is the primary reason that NetSuite’s unique approach to cloud-based business management is still growing exponentially in popularity since its inception. As one of the most innovative applications on the market for managing inventory, accounting and financials, e-commerce, customer relations, and even enterprise planning, NetSuite is gleaning stellar reviews from notable independent analysts, in relation to the recently released wholesale and distribution edition of the software.

NetSuite has taken a holistic approach to business management, where sales, support, billing, accounting, shipping, reports, and business planning data are all integrated and accessed from a single customer record. This has obvious benefits in regard to the convenience for business owners and staff. But recent third-party studies have revealed a number of other benefits particular to businesses in wholesale and distribution—and they’re worth writing home about.

Download the White Paper on NetSuite for Wholesalers and Distributors from Nucleus Research here.

1. Better integration

Like NetSuite’s other cloud-based software editions, the wholesale and distribution edition has a slew of features that are a rarely found in a single management tool. It boasts omnichannel engagement that brings together all your customers and business activities and according to recent investigations, it doesn’t disappoint. With built-in workflows specially designed for the critical functions of distribution businesses, including commerce, financials, and marketing, it seems its capabilities are as remarkable as they sound.

NetSuite also features fully customisable, role-based, self-service dashboards that can be accessed by multiple parties and used to automate and streamline the business’s operations with real-time metrics, all the way from engineering and manufacturing to distribution.

NetSuite features all the financial management applications that you’d expect from an accounting system. But it also features fully customisable, role-based, self-service dashboards that can be accessed by multiple parties and used to automate and streamline the business’s operations with real-time metrics, all the way from engineering and manufacturing to distribution. For wholesalers and distributors, this could be the tool you’re missing if you’re looking to overhaul your business management from every angle, getting rid of the factions in your operations to create a truly unified enterprise.

2. Lower running costs

For some time now, one of NetSuite’s most attractive features has been its affordability. Recent research supports what customers have been saying in the last few years since NetSuite was released: if you’ve been using a combination of programs to manage your accounting and financials, you could literally save thousands of dollars a year by switching.

Customers reported immediate cost savings after replacing multiple programs with NetSuite…being relieved of the manual labour of maintaining their management systems.

The ongoing costs of programs like Quickbooks or Xero quickly add up—especially when they’re only one component of a multi-program system—so by rolling all your business management tools into one, you can significantly reduce your running costs. In recent third-party investigations, NetSuite customers reported immediate cost savings after replacing multiple programs with NetSuite, in addition to improved productivity overall. They also reported that NetSuite is more affordable than many parallel programs, including SAP.

Wholesalers and distributors are also seeing immediate financial benefits in NetSuite’s stability and automated upgrading. Backups, upgrades and security are essential services with other business management software, and combined with unforeseen issues like system crashes, the cost compounds. With NetSuite’s hosted functionality, all upgrades and backups are automated, distributors and wholesalers are being relieved of the manual labour of maintaining their management systems, and doing away with the extra expense of internal or third-party IT resources.

logistics

 

3. Improved sales processes

In recent third party studies, NetSuite’s wholesale and distribution customers reported substantial increases in sales without additional outlay or resources. They attributed this to spending less time on the manual tasks involved in their sales processes, thanks to NetSuite’s real-time inventory visibility.

Wholesale and distribution customers are claiming to have made new connections as a direct result of their improved efficiency, where they’ve become more competitive with real-time quote approvals and shorter sales lifecycles.

The evidence also supports NetSuite’s ability to open sales channels. Wholesale and distribution customers are claiming to have made new connections as a direct result of their improved efficiency, where they’ve become more competitive with real-time quote approvals and shorter sales lifecycles. What’s most impressive was that they achieved it without investing more in sales administration. Needless to say, these improvements have also helped to bridge gaps between businesses and their customer base, with many users reporting measurable and significant improvements in their customer relations.

These benefits are noteworthy—but they’re not all that NetSuite has to offer in terms of sales. In the reports, NetSuite’s wholesale distribution customers noted that the vendor’s integrated e-commerce features have also helped them to finally make their online debut, and to reach new channels on the internet that they hadn’t previously been able to access without sizeable financial investments or time commitments.

4. Better logistics

Besides its innovative solutions for inventory management, Netsuite’s automated order processing and integrated shipping and logistics functions are notable additions in the wholesale and distribution edition. Recent studies have not only shown NetSuite’s capacity to help wholesale distributors better manage multiple shipping channels and contain their costs, but to deliver faster, more accurate quotes on shipping, and to identify and cut methods that aren’t profitable.

running-costs

 

NetSuite customers reported that they were now able to see where they were undercharging their customers on shipping, and where it was eating into their bottom line.

For wholesale distributors, one of the biggest daily battles is in containing shipping costs. In recent studies, NetSuite customers reported that they were now able to see where they were undercharging their customers on shipping, and where it was eating into their bottom line. They also reported fewer mistakes, improved reporting, and more accurate quotes, which they attributed to the greater visibility they had through NetSuite’s shipping and inventory management. It’s just more evidence for NetSuite’s capacity to shine light in dark places within businesses, helping them to meet their daily challenges and stay afloat.

5. Better management

Keeping track of an ever-expanding inventory is one of the most time consuming and costly tasks for wholesale distributors. But according to recent analysis, it’s one of NetSuite’s greatest strengths and one of the ways it can completely transform the operations of these businesses.

NetSuite’s real-time visibility and tracking capabilities reportedly accounted for savings in the tens of thousands of dollars.

NetSuite’s capacity for demand-based inventory replenishment, serial and lot number tracking, and bin management (among others) is proving to deliver remarkable cost savings in reducing waste and write-offs with better solutions for inventory. In recent reports, NetSuite’s real-time visibility and tracking capabilities reportedly accounted for savings in the tens of thousands of dollars, because business owners were—for the first time—easily able to monitor product obsolescence and expiration.

These improvements are also benefiting financial management in measurable ways. NetSuite’s wholesale and distribution customers are reporting that with better information integration and rapid reporting, it’s up to 50% faster to close the books, and up to 35% faster to perform audits. Many are completely doing away with accounting contractors, saving thousands of dollars a year on top of the valuable time they’re already saving.

NetSuite: Constant Improvement for Wholesalers and Distribution Outlets

Since its release, there’s been no doubt about NetSuite’s potential to transform the operations of Australia’s businesses. And because it’s a scalable suite, its reach already extends to servicing everything from the smallest businesses to the largest enterprises, where businesses can pay only for basic functionality until their growth demands greater sophistication in their management tools. But with the latest evidence, it’s clear that the flexibility and automation that NetSuite offers has been masterfully tailored to suit the needs of wholesale distributors. These customers can now become key players in buying and selling, propelled ahead in the international game by levels of visibility and automation we’ve never seen before.

If you’re a wholesale distributor looking to improve your margins and streamline your operations, contact AppleJack. Whether you’re just starting out, or it’s time to adapt to a new world of change, we’ll be happy to show you how NetSuite can give your business a brighter outlook for the new year.

 

We'll be happy to give you a fresh perspective on streamlining your business operations, and move you into a bright future of automation.

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