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Wholesale companies often tell me that they have a simple business model, buying from suppliers and selling to customers.  Obviously, this is an over-simplification but it is true that they must be the best in their markets to compete.   Buying involves sourcing, managing suppliers, negotiating contracts, and collaborating through business networks.  Selling involves quoting, order processing, delivery and billing.  Then managing logistics processes in a network of branches and warehouses with multiple transportation methods.  Having one ERP system to do all these processes has been an essential.

 In today’s competitive environment, these processes must be taken to the next level and digitized.  Digital processes have been described in various ways.  Some describe it as a chance to drive disruptive changes in their markets.  Other describe it as a broad business transformation that looks to change operating models, products and services.

 Perhaps one way to understand them is look at examples of sales and procurement processes at the next level, transformed processes.

 Frictionless Sales Orders Fulfillment

  • Up-to-date inventory information resulting in realistic fulfillment commitments.
  • Advanced Available to Promise with allocation and enforcement management.
  • Monitoring of fulfillment status of sales orders over the whole process.
  • Insights into contracts during order processing.
  • Collaboration features for internal sales people.

 Warehouse and Transportation Management on one platform

  • Single platform for warehouse and transportation management with real-time embedded analytics
  • Intuitive return process for refund order or replacement order
  • Insights into transportation execution and tracking of goods and assets in transit.
  • Availability of goods receipts including stock in transit and blocked stock.

 Strategic Procurement

  • Access to a global pool with ready and qualified sources of supply.
  • Simple and streamline policy-based approvals for any device.
  • Contract lifecycle management capabilities including authoring, negotiation, execution and digital signature.
  • Automated, faster and consistent supplier connections to improve accuracy and efficiency.

 Having all this in one digital platform operating at high speed transforms your business processes to smart business processes that focus your team’s work to achieve higher and higher levels of performance for your customers.  That core digital platform is S/4 HANA Enterprise Management.  That is how wholesale distributors can begin their journey to be at their best.

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