The Food & Beverage (F&B) distributor community is under increasing pressure as customers (especially large ones) seek economic benefits associated with streamlined, efficient, one-touch distribution networks. Many large distributors have responded by delivering better cost efficiencies and more reliable and responsive supply chain characteristics. This trend has served to inflate customer expectations for both large and small F&B distributors alike.
A major part of the distributor effort to pass on efficiencies to customers has focused on IT system modernization, particularly around ERP. The order management capabilities within modern ERP systems like SAP Business One have made much of the difference in F&B distributors being able to serve their customer better while delivering improved customer service and cost efficiencies. In fact, in a recent annual report by Sysco, a top strategic priority was stated as “transforming business systems”.
According to Ray Wang of Constellation Research, "Order management is a key transaction to any business operation," he said. "You can relate that back to ERP, supply chain and everything else -- everything that an organization does is going to be driven off that order. It feeds your revenue and your accounts receivable stream, which will feed the rest of the downstream processes and eventually convert it into cash. It's also going to be part of your forecasting."
Given that ordering management provides order guides (automatically generated lists of items that customers have ordered over specified time periods), it yields valuable data for moving beyond order taking and fulfillment to other areas of the business, such as advanced cross-selling and up-selling. The best insight into a business comes from what its customers are doing, and the key to capturing this valuable information lies in order management technology. By capturing both trend data and a wide range of information at the time of order, ordering management gives you better insights into customers' anticipated behaviors based on their buying habits. Thus, you can target the right marketing offers to the right customers…at exactly the right time.