When NetSuite is the right call

What is NetSuite and how can it help Wholesale Distributors?

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Wholesale distribution plays a crucial role in modern supply chains. We’ll explore how enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, including popular options like NetSuite, can serve as important central components of these high-functioning systems. 

The ABCs of ERP for wholesale distribution companies 

First off, let’s review what ERP software is. Then, we’ll touch on some of the key features for wholesale distributors. 

Broadly speaking, enterprise resource planning refers to systems that help businesses manage key operational functions in a unified, streamlined way.  

Specifically, these programs help organisations by: 

  • Connecting business functions. 
  • Automating business processes. 
  • Tracking data workflows. 
  • Improving reporting accuracy. 

It’s important to keep in mind that ERP implementations are often part of a larger transformation process at a company. Usually, the company is looking for integrated data flows that will help them drive innovation, maximise efficiency and lower costs by utilising the latest technology. 

A 2011 report from Aberdeen Group found that 83% of survey respondents in wholesale distribution were already using an ERP system.1 They found that these companies used the system to: 

  • Gain visibility into logistics. 
  • Make data-driven decisions. 
  • Use actionable data to trim overheads. 

If you’re not using an ERP system to run your business you could be missing a core enabler for your growth strategy. And if you are already using an ERP system, but you aren’t seeing the benefits described here, it’s possible that you’ve outgrown your legacy product. 

NetSuite ERP software is popular, especially among wholesale distributors, so let’s explore this system in greater depth. 

A closer look at NetSuite 

Starting in 1998, NetSuite acted as a trailblazer in the development of cloud computing for business solutions. NetSuite is a cloud-native system – not one that’s been adapted to suit the cloud. Acquired by Oracle in 2016, NetSuite boast more than 20,000 customers around the world. 

NetSuite offers a comprehensive solution for business management, including enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management (CRM) as standard, and modules for HR, sales, and service.  

Currently, other ERP systems in the market are focussed on core business functions like finance and order management, with other considerations being an add-on or a separate product altogether. NetSuite is built for all aspects of business from day one, even in the most simple of implementations. They call it SuiteSuccess, and it’s comprised of tailored industry solutions so you use what you pay for,  

NetSuite ERP software is also cloud-native, which allows for seamless real-time visibility from any device, 24/7, and eliminates on-premise costs and the risks associated with maintaining on-premise solutions. 

The industries supported by NetSuite range from advertising to education, manufacturing and wholesale distribution and pre-built editions are offered for any size from startups to established global enterprises. Businesses of all kinds rely on NetSuite to help them keep up with the trends that are unique to their industries. 

What makes NetSuite stand out 

By providing fully integrated CRM and ERP, NetSuite enables companies to better connect their supply chains with front-line sales processes and vice versa. This enables automation that improves ordering speed and provides enhanced transparency, which leads to a better overall experience for the customer. 

In addition to the benefits achieved by integrating teams and their processes through NetSuite, NetSuite's enterprise resource planning capabilities are worth examining on their own. 

NetSuite offers flexible solutions that prioritise scalability. Because it’s hosted on the cloud, updates and upgrades are seamless, and users can access the interface remotely. High-level decision-makers gain instantaneous insight into what’s happening on the ground. 

The wholesale distribution case for NetSuite 

NetSuite is a popular choice for business management software, but is it the best choice for wholesale distribution?  

A 2019 report from NetSuite and Modern Distribution Management (MDM) included survey results from wholesale distribution companies.2 They found that the top four business priorities for survey respondents, in order, were: 

  1. Revenue growth. 
  1. Increasing profitability. 
  1. Customer retention. 
  1. Better inventory management. 

It’s easy to see how these concerns go hand in hand. Profitability often requires growing revenue. It’s hard to grow your revenue without retaining customers. For their part, your customers are likely to take their business elsewhere if you’re having trouble with inventory management. 

NetSuite’s ERP functionality is well equipped to help wholesale distributors overcome these challenges. Companies can leverage features like: 

  • Warehouse and inventory management: This software provides granular tracking capabilities, aggregated data to inform decision-making and data accessibility to aid with material handling. Successful implementation could help you reduce operating overhead. 
  • Fulfilment support: With assistance for improving picking and packing, you could shorten order fulfilment times while saving money on shipping. 
  • Sourcing visibility: With better forecasting at your fingertips, you’ll be in a strong position to improve efficiency by buying only what you need. Centralised sourcing also makes payment processing smoother. 

With specialised support for your core business functions, as well as your administrative duties, NetSuite can help your wholesale distribution business thrive. Perhaps most importantly, as we’ve mentioned, this is an industry-customised, scalable solution. It’s not a one-time investment, but an ongoing growth opportunity for your company. 

What does this mean for your wholesale distribution business? 

We’ve found that few small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Australia and New Zealand use cloud-based applications like NetSuite for crucial business functions. 

Often, this is a missed opportunity, with many businesses simply extending their accounting solutions, like MYOB, to the breaking point or struggling through using a new legacy system like Sage. Cloud-based solutions are perfect for SMBs that want to make their businesses more efficient, automate mundane administrative tasks and seamlessly access software updates and upgrades. 

As SMBs in the wholesale distribution industry grow, they can leverage fully integrated solutions like NetSuite’s CRM, which improves collaboration and transparency between supply chain management and the sales department.

Is NetSuite the right solution for your business? We’re ready to help you assess your current pain points to identify opportunities for growth and find the right ERP system for your needs now – and in the future. We think NetSuite is a great product, but what’s most important to us is that we find it both meets you where you are at now, and makes it easy to plan and implement growth. 

Learn about NetSuite and our track record of success 

We’ve assisted customers from a wide variety of industries with their ERP implementations. We have special expertise working with wholesale distribution companies, and our relationship with clients starts solution agnostic. We begin by learning more about what makes your business unique, discovering opportunities for improvement and identifying the system that can help your business succeed.  

Find out if NetSuite might be the best option for your company. And if you need to work through how an ERP could help your business, download the Navigating Change Worksheet today.