Wholesale Distribution- Benefits of a holistic approach to business

The economy is complex and volatile. Customers are demanding. How can wholesale distributors thrive? By getting closer to business partners, delivering exceptional service, and carving out a value-added and differentiated role in the supply chain. ERP for Wholesale Distribution helps deliver on all these. 

Wholesale distribution businesses have unique challenges including:

  • The need to reduce operational costs without negatively affecting customer service and satisfaction.
  • Balancing inventory on hand with variable costs and availability to impact profitability.
  • Managing a complex global network of suppliers, warehouses, and customer locations.
  • Developing an optimal product mix that leads to successful forecasting and planning, combined with excellent service
  • Managing a complex vendor cost recovery that can be expensive and slow resulting in money left on the table.

Yet, where there are challenges, there are also opportunities by taking a holistic approach to your business to:

  • Streamline, automate and integrate the Opportunity-to-Cash process to drive revenue growth
  • Collaborate with your supply network not only operationally, but also strategically to drive competitive differentiation and reduce operating costs.
  • Establish flexible capacities in fulfilment to optimise inventory
  • Gaining full visibility into cost recovery, procurement spending, supplier performance and cost-to-serve to increase cash flow.

Save time and money by incurring fewer expenses and running things quicker. By managing everything through one system, there’s only one system to implement, pay for, and maintain. And with all data managed on one integrated platform, you can see how all areas of the business are running, and react faster.

Let Signum and SAP help you to gain a competitive edge. Our solutions address the key priorities that wholesale distributors face: from demanding customers to carving out a value-added and differentiated role in the supply chain. These solutions help your organisation optimise business processes and efficiency at the lowest possible cost.

SAP has working with Wholesale Distributors for over 40 years. The world‘s leading wholesale distribution companies, across every major segment of the industry throughout the world, continue to rely on SAP to enable every aspect of the business.

Want to find out more? Visit our case studies and understand the benefits of ERP to your wholesale Distribution business 

Call us on 01244 676900 or email enquiries@signum-solutions.co.uk

ERPs: Grow Your Business Faster by Running on a Single System

Think enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are just for big companies? Think again.

According to Aberdeen, 96% of best-in-class growing businesses – the top 20% of performers – have implemented ERP solution. That’s a huge percentage – enough to consider ERP systems mission critical to the success of high-growth small and midsize companies.

And when you think about it, ERPs geared for SMEs make perfect sense. You have the same kinds of processes to support as large firms: procurement and logistics, manufacturing, customer-facing processes like sales and support, finance, HR, and more. You can either manage all of this with systems that can’t interact with one another, can’t track business processes, that can’t generate the accurate data you need to understand business performance – or you can simplify with an ERP.

Simplify Work – and Scale Easier – with a Single Business System

ERPs act as single business systems that centralise core business data and support core operations, processes, reporting, and more. They help organisations of all sizes to face their challenges and as a single business system, they support visibility, efficiency, and decision-making. At the same time, they make work faster and easier with automation, seamlessly integrated processes, and easy access to accurate, trusted data.

Take the Business One solution from SAP, for example. The software application integrates all core business functions across your entire company, including financials, sales, customer relationship management, operations, and inventory.

And the benefits, based on surveys of executives at growing businesses with ERPs, are significant and directly related to business growth. For example, they’re seeing:

  • 11% reductions in operational costs
  • 10% increases in profitability in just two years
  • A 48% likelihood that they have real-time visibility into the status of all processes (compared to 6% without an ERP)
  • A four-fold increase in their ability to forecast and plan for demand
  • 633% greater likelihood that they can share data with suppliers, customers, resellers, and regulatory bodies
  • 77% likelihood that they can standardize back-office processes (compared to 22% without an ERP)

In addition, best-in-class growing businesses reportedly can easily find and use the data they need, no matter where they are, to make fast, agile decisions; Aberdeen research shows that ERPs reduce the time it takes to make decisions by 36%! Why? Because the processes ERPs support work from and contribute to a single source of truth to support visibility, efficiency, and decision-making.

Have you thought about running your business on an ERP? Or are you still using point or stand-alone solutions for finance, customer management, HR, and other core operational areas?

I guess the real question is, given the competitive edge that ERPs provide – and their ability to make work and life easier in a small or mid-size business – can you afford not to move to an ERP?

Want to find out more? 

Call us on 01244 676900 or email enquiries@signum-solutions.co.uk

[gravityform id=”1″ title=”true” description=”true”]




Apico International: Racing ahead through speed of processing

Since its inception in 1984, Apico has gone from strength to strength, earning a loyal customer base of UK and European business partners, who come to Apico first because of its excellent customer service, reliability and flexibility.  Moreover, despite the recent recession, Apico has managed to continue its impressive growth throughout both tough economic times and most recently, months where flooding and bad weather has periodically prevented motor racing in parts of the UK altogether.

Founded 30 years ago by three times world trials champion Yrjo Vesterinen, Apico is a family run business that has a reputation for quality of product and service, aligned with a strong dedication to motor racing.

Five years ago, Apico was using a different business system, which albeit well known in the motor racing industry, was bespoke and difficult to develop, as Apico’s Purchasing Manager Anna Lena Eriksson explains: “We always felt like the guinea pigs with the old system.  We were at a point where we had all had enough of not being able to link different processes together and decided to look for something that was Windows-based, more globally accessible and most importantly, something that was already tried and tested by other wholesale and distribution businesses.”

Why SAP Business One?

Anna’s initial thoughts on SAP Business One were that it looked smart and easy to use.  Adamant to have a Windows-based system that integrated with Microsoft applications such as Excel, the team at Apico were really impressed with the functionality SAP Business One offered as standard: “The first meeting with Signum blew us away,” says Anna, “We were amazed by what was possible – from statistics to reports; being able to drill down into orders, invoicing and business partner information was pretty amazing for us.”


Speaking about the difference in the level of customer service that Apico is now able to offer, Anna says: “The old system couldn’t keep track of stock or process orders at any speed, so we could become cornered and wouldn’t be able to answer questions about specific part numbers or if something had been back ordered.  Now, we can confidently rely on the new system for this information and use it to assist our customers with running their businesses.”  Elaborating on how the ordering process works to Apico customers’ benefit, Anna expands: “Since the recession, our customers can’t afford to hold as much stock in their shops.  To make things easier for them, if a customer calls us at 5pm to make an order for delivery the next morning, we can do this ready for our pick-up at 5.30pm, because the system is able to process orders quickly enough for us to make it happen.  Before, we had a cut-off of 3pm for next day delivery, but since implementing SAP Business One we’ve become a well-oiled machine and can be far more flexible.”

Previously, everything was manually input and nothing was integrated, so stock figures were never reliable.  The difference with having business processes  integrated in one system means that Apico is now able to run sales and purchasing reports and easily compare figures from previous periods.  “It’s a huge benefit,” Anna describes, “From a seasonality perspective we can now plan and see what’s in stock.  We are always easily able to see where we are, where we should be and plan where we want to go.

“Using a reliable system makes our customers see us as more reliable too.  Being able to plan and keep things in stock means that we can offer a better service.  This, alongside being able to take orders up until 5pm has certainly helped with our profitability.  After all, if we couldn’t do it, our customers would go to our competition.

Why Signum Solutions?

“Choosing SAP Business One from Signum Solutions is a decision that Apico has never regretted: “I would definitely recommend SAP and Signum to other wholesale businesses,” says Anna, “Our partnership with Signum is great and the system works extremely well for wholesale, in particular the stock holding   functionality is brilliant.”


Read the full case study.