ERP for Equipment Distributors: Key Functionality
When it comes to ERP for equipment distributors, the basic functionality needs to be there, of course, to optimize and automate the business processes critical to today’s dealership model: Rentals, Service, Parts, Sales, and Equipment Management, Finance & Reporting functionality specifically.
However, there is a whole other level of functionality that today’s dealers need to maximize their profitability in the face of a tough economy and growing competition in the equipment distribution landscape. In order to acquire this crucial functionality, it is important to assess ERP vendors thoroughly. ERP for equipment distributors, should be able to streamline any and all processes at your operations – whether at your dealer locations, on the road or your customers’ sites, with software functionality such as:
Manufacturer Communications: Price tapes; subcontractor claims; P.O. submissions; inventory returns; warranty/fleet claims; managed dealer inventory.
Engineered Systems/Allied Systems: In some equipment distributor sectors, such as material handling, these unique systems require specific functionality within the ERP system.
EDI: Orders, ASN (advance ship notices), invoicing, e-ship (UPS, FedEx, etc.)
Product Configurators: ERP system integration with configuration apps that include price and quote configuration.
Business Intelligence: Advanced reporting with KPIs and dashboards; metrics that any business user in your organization can easily access.
Logistics/Warehousing: Users can concentrate equipment receipts, shipments, and transfers under a single Logistics/Warehousing function.
Purchasing functionality: Is cross-departmental access to this functionality avaiable?
Field Service Automation: ERP system integration with a mobility platform.
Fleet Management: Ability to manage youu fleets, whatever their size may be.
CRM Portal: Salesforce management and automation; marketing; integration with ERP; customer service.
Document Management: Electronic capture of emails, faxes, scanned documents from customers and suppliers that integrates with ERP system.
Equipment Telemetry: ERP system integration with a telemetric app for remote diagnostics, geo-fencing and more.
Credit Card Processing: Credit card transactions via electronic devices with applications such as Charge Logic that integrate with the ERP system.
E-Commerce functionality: online purchase of parts, etc. by your customers.
Automated Shipping: Integration with UPS, FedEx, common carriers.
Be sure to check under the hood of any equipment distribution ERP software you are considering to purchase for your dealership.
Not every ERP system for equipment distributors will have all of these features; but whether your dealership needs them now or not, you can be sure that the near future will bring real-world challenges that make this functionality vital to your long-term profitability.
Heather Angus-Lee is a writer with Equip-Soft, an IndustryBuilt Software company, which provides ERP software and services to equipment distributors across North America.
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