Three Improvements in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 That Help SME Wholesale Distributors
The traditional model of wholesale distribution has changed dramatically in recent years. Companies now seek to hold far less stock and more often sell in advance of sourcing goods and shipping to the customer. The Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) sector has even more specialized needs, as companies strive for growth while remaining careful around spending on enterprise software solutions.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has, until recent years, been the province of manufacturing companies as SME distribution and supply chain firms resisted investing in IT solutions. Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 now offers a range of new and improved capabilities to help grow wholesale distribution businesses. Let's look at specific features in the areas of receivables, warehouse management, and inventory management that can benefit wholesale distributors
Sales & Receivables
Sales Order Management: Manage sales quotes, blanket sales orders, EDI orders and sales order processes in NAV. Realise shipping and invoicing independently of each other, control partial shipments, manage prepayment invoices, etc.
Sales Invoice Discounting: Set up flexible discount terms (percentage, minimum levels, etc) at line or total order value in multiple currencies. Once set up, discount calculations are carried out automatically.
Campaign Pricing: After setting up a price/discount campaign, customers or contacts associated with the campaign will automatically receive the campaign level prices and discounts.
Alternative Shipping Addresses: Multiple ship-to addresses accommodate and manage customers that have more than one site to which orders can be shipped. The delivery location can be selected when generating a sales order or invoice.
Automated Data Capture; Hand held bar code devices can assist in streamlining the receipt and put away of items and subsequent picking for dispatch.
Set Up Bins: Creation of a warehouse layout within NAV enables optimisation of put away and picking processes, allows restrictions for size, weight, volume, etc to be assigned to specific bins and certain areas of the warehouse to be utilised for quality control procedures and marshalling of picked orders.
Returns Management; ensure any returned items are quarantined and assessed for eventual resale.
Location Transfers; ensure stock is tracked from one location to another, for example from stock to distribution centres, retail outlets, etc.
Stock Analysis: NAV provides rich analysis functionality to enable analysis of customers' purchase patterns by item, spot trends, assess item pricing, etc.
Alternative Suppliers: It also allows the management of purchasing the same item from different suppliers (with different price points, lead times) therefore providing the best customer service and availability of items.
Item Ledger Integration: NAV's item management enables the setup of core item information (costing methods, unit cost and price, margin, lead time, etc, etc) and integrates fully with the General, Sales & Purchase ledgers.
Substitutions and Cross References: NAV manages item alternatives/substitutions together with the ability to cross reference supplier or customer item codes with those held internally.
Traceability: You can batch or serialise track items enabling full traceability from supplier to end customer of any item.
Time Line Visualisation: NAV provides a fully integrated tool, providing the user with a visual projection of future supply and demand and enables the user to make dynamic modifications on the fly.
In order for SME wholesale distribution companies to run as efficiently and cost effectively as possible, a systems upgrade or even an entire systems overhaul may be essential . Microsoft Dynamics NAV has always been a prominent option when considering the required functionality, but following this release of new features, it is even more so becoming the go-to option for SMEs. On top of the distribution functionality, there is also great opportunity to fully integrate into the Dynamics CRM system, providing a full 360 view of your business activities.