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How to Tell if You're Missing Consumer Goods Functionality

You run a consumer goods manufacturing, importing and distribution business. You have supply chain requirements that are unique from every other type of business. If you are using general, or horizontally focused ERP software rather than consumer goods specific ERP software, you might be missing out on key functionality that could streamline and automate processes across your operation. So, how do you know if you are missing out on key consumer goods functionality in your ERP software?

The best thing to do is conduct an internal software audit to see if your ERP system includes the critical tools your business needs to drive optimal efficiency and increased profits. Below are a couple of key points to look for in your software audit.

The first step is determining if your ERP system can manage your entire supply chain from point of origin to final destination. Your software should be one integrated system that comes out-of-the-box with the functionality you need to run your operations from manufacturing through retail delivery. There are many advantages of using an integrated system over a best-of-breed strategy, including lower maintenance costs, as well as improved reporting, security, usability and data integrity.

After determining if your system is truly integrated, the next thing to look for is specific consumer goods functionality. Five key areas to focus on are:

  • EDI – your ERP software should include integrated EDI with mapping capabilities, transaction archives, retrieval and inquiry functionality, industry compliant technology and retailer compliant transactions.
  • Supplier Monitoring – look for tools to help you monitor and track status on testing, QA, packaging, production dates, compliance mandates and more. Rule-based alerts that enable you to more quickly respond to supply-side disruptions should also be included.
  • Chargeback Management – one of the unique aspects of consumer goods companies is managing retailer chargebacks. Your ERP should include integrated functionality to track, manage, dispute and reduce chargebacks.
  • Profitability Accuracy – you need detailed profitability analysis at the product, customer and supplier level that automatically takes into account cost items such as royalties, commissions, chargebacks and other below-the-line costs. And business intelligence tools to compare and associate data to figure out business trends.
  • Distribution Resource Planning (DRP) – accounting for long lead times can be frustrating. Find an ERP system with built in DRP that integrates point-of-sale data, customer forecasts, sales trends, seasonality, inventory status and more to improve forecasting.

To learn more about the consumer goods specific functionality in Apprise®, click here.