What is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), embodies how businesses manage resources - including capital, human, equipment, and more. ERP software is a comprehensive software system that helps businesses manage and integrate core processes to efficiently utilize their various resources. The ERP system acts as a central hub that connects all your essential departments, from accounting and sales to inventory and customer service.

At VAI, we understand the unique challenges faced by both wholesale distributors and manufacturers. We offer specialized ERP solutions tailored to your specific industry, helping you streamline operations, improve efficiency, and gain a competitive edge.

Who is ERP software for?

ERP software can benefit a wide range of companies in many industries. VAI specializes in ERP for wholesale distributors and manufacturers in a wide array of industries and verticals. VAI’s industry specific ERP systems include functionality for any distributor or manufacturer in durable goods, food, and pharmaceutical industries.

What Modules or Applications are Included in ERP systems?

The modules and applications that come with modern ERP systems will vary by industry and by system. The goal of ERP software for organizations is to have a single system that connects all departments together, from finance and accounting, inventory, warehouse, sales, customer service, and more.

Here are some of the applications that are offered with VAI’s ERP systems:

  • Financial Management
  • Distribution Management
  • Manufacturing Management
  • Warehouse Management (WMS)
  • Business Intelligence/Analytics
  • E-Business/E-Commerce
  • Supply and Demand Planning
  • Suite of mobile applications
  • Retail POS (Point- of- Sale) Management
  • Rental Management
  • Service and Repair Management

What are the different types of ERP systems?

  • ERP for Wholesale Distributors
  • ERP for Manufacturers

What is Wholesale Distribution ERP?

Wholesale distribution ERP is a comprehensive ERP system designed specifically to address the unique needs of wholesale distributors. It integrates and automates core business processes across various departments, including:

  • Inventory Management: Track stock levels across multiple warehouses, manage multi-location inventory, and optimize picking and packing processes.
  • Sales Order Processing: Automate order fulfillment, streamline workflows, and ensure accurate and timely deliveries.
  • Purchasing and Procurement: Manage supplier relationships, optimize purchase orders, and track receiving processes.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Manage customer interactions effectively, track order history and communication, and personalize customer service.
  • Financial Management: Integrate accounting functions like accounts payable, receivable, and general ledger for consolidated financial reporting.
Advantages of a Wholesale Distribution ERP system:
  • Increased Efficiency: Eliminate manual processes, automate tasks, and free up valuable resources for strategic planning and growth initiatives.
  • Improved Visibility: Gain real-time insights into critical data across your entire operation, including inventory levels, sales performance, and customer trends. This data-driven approach allows for better decision-making and improved control over your business.
  • Enhanced Accuracy: Reduce errors associated with manual data entry and streamline operations across departments to ensure accurate inventory levels, order fulfillment, and financial reporting.
  • Optimized Inventory Management: Gain complete visibility into your inventory levels across multiple locations, allowing for optimized purchasing decisions, reduced stockouts, and minimized storage costs.
  • A Competitive Edge: Streamlined operations, improved efficiency, and data-driven insights empower your business to make faster and more informed decisions, giving you a competitive edge in the market.

What is Manufacturing ERP?

Manufacturing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a software system designed to manage and integrate all core processes within a manufacturing organization. It goes beyond traditional ERP by incorporating functionalities specifically tailored to the complex needs of manufacturers.

These functionalities include:

  • Material Requirements Planning (MRP): Optimizes purchasing and inventory management by automatically calculating material needs based on production schedules and bills of materials (BOMs).
  • Capacity Requirements Planning (CRP): Analyzes production capacity and resource availability to ensure efficient scheduling and on-time delivery.
  • Shop Floor Control: Provides real-time visibility into production processes, tracks work orders, and monitors resource utilization to optimize shop floor activities.
Advantages of a Manufacturing ERP System:
  • Enhanced Production Planning and Scheduling: Streamline production processes, optimize resource allocation, and ensure on-time delivery with improved planning and scheduling capabilities.
  • Improved Quality Control: Track materials, components, and finished products throughout your production cycle, ensuring product quality and regulatory compliance.
  • Reduced Production Costs: Optimize material usage, minimize waste, and streamline production processes to achieve significant cost savings.
  • Real-time Data Visibility: Gain instant access to production data, including machine performance, inventory levels, and production bottlenecks, enabling data-driven decision-making for continuous improvement.
  • Improved Supply Chain Management: Enhance collaboration with suppliers, manage inventory levels effectively, and optimize purchasing decisions to ensure smooth production flow.
  • Increased Collaboration: Break down departmental silos and foster better communication and collaboration between departments.

Types of ERP deployments

When it comes to deploying your ERP system, there are three main options:

  • On-Premises: The traditional way of hosting your ERP system, where the server(s) are managed and stored at the location of the business.
  • In the Cloud: The most popular deployment option for most companies today, where a third party hosts the ERP system, and the company accesses the servers via a browser.
  • Hybrid Cloud/On-Premises: A combination of on-premise and cloud hosting, where the company has on-premise servers, but backs up their data to a cloud server.

VAI offers our ERP systems for on-premise and cloud deployments. The software is exactly the same regardless of deployment method to meet your business needs.

Things to Consider When Selecting a New ERP System

An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is a major decision for companies like wholesale distributors and manufacturers. It streamlines operations, boosts efficiency, and provides valuable data insights. With so many options available, selecting the right ERP system requires careful consideration. Here are some key reasons to weigh when making your decision:

  • Features Tailored to Your Industry: Every industry has their unique challenges; your ERP system should include functionality designed to help you overcome the barriers in your industry.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: ERP software should accommodate company growth - not prevent it. Finding an ERP system that can scale with your company as you grow is imperative.
  • Deployment Options: While cloud hosting is the most popular hosting option for ERP systems today, it may not make sense for all companies. Understanding your company’s infrastructure and resources should determine the right hosting option for your business.
  • Real-time and Single Source Information: The system you choose should cover as many functions of the business as possible, to ensure your team has the most accurate and up to date information to them at all times.
  • Automation: ERP software should reduce manual and repetitive tasks, allowing for greater company efficiency.
  • Mobile Capabilities: In today’s rapidly changing environments, your ERP system should allow your team to operate from anywhere and on any device.
  • Security and Data Protection: With cyber attacks on the rise, businesses must ensure that any sensitive information contained in their ERP is safe and shielded from any threats.
  • Implementation and Support: While system functionality is important, choosing the right partner for implementation and support is just as important when selecting an ERP system. The partner should have a deep understanding of your business and your industry, and be able to support your business whenever and wherever you may need.

By carefully considering these factors, you can select an ERP system that optimizes your wholesale distribution or manufacturing operations, propelling your business to new heights.