Like it or not, Los Angeles distributors need technology. Manual and paper-based methods don’t cut it anymore.
Your resellers expect a professional website and online ordering, not to mention smart logistics that automatically save costs.
The faster your products move and the more SKUs you handle, the more likely you are to need sophisticated technology internally to handle warehousing, delivery, and accounting.
Where are the Technology Pain Points for Distributors?
The real headaches aren’t a matter of the slow processor speed of your systems. You can get upgrades. They aren’t about data storage capacity either. You can go to the cloud.
They aren’t even caused by whether your users are connecting via Android or iOS mobile devices. Many software application vendors now bend over backwards to ensure compatibility of new releases with both.
No, the real pain comes from items like the following:
- IT security holes that crop up right after you plugged the last one. What should you do – try to plug them all, just plug the critical ones, or cross your fingers and hope hackers will ignore you?
- Legacy applications that are stuck in a time warp. Somebody built the software that runs your enterprise with your business logic embedded deep inside, everybody in your company uses it, but nobody actually knows how it works.
- Access to skilled IT staff. Technologies change and expand rapidly. Skilled IT staff has become expensive to retain and maintain, with training required for each new IT offering to be used.
- Dealing with social networks and other “big data”. More and more business decisions are being made before resellers ever get to your website. They’re looking at what others say about you on Facebook and Twitter. You can turn this phenomenon to your advantage, if you know how.
What’s Really Important?
For those Los Angeles distributors with the means and the inclination, you might choose to fight your own technology battles. However, bear in mind that resellers and end-customers are looking for business solutions and results.
They don’t care about your enterprise resource planning application or your firewall – that is, not until an IT problem stops you from shipping the products they need. This begs the question: how much should technology be your headache anyway?
Reducing Technology Headaches
Whether you opt for in-house or outsourced solutions, the starting point for Los Angeles distributors is to properly identify your business requirements and goals. Then work with your IT department or a suitable service provider (or both) to identify technology solutions suitable for today and for tomorrow.
Make sure internal and external partners understand your business. Encourage them to take an enterprise-wide view to leverage smart IT solutions across your company wherever possible. A smart start like this will already help you to dramatically decrease technology problems.
Which specific technology headaches do you currently face? Tell us about them in the space below for comments.
And to follow through on the tips in this article, download your free guide, How COOs at Los Angeles Distributors and Manufacturers Get More Done: A Guide to Productivity, Data, Staffing, Delegation, and Making It Home for Dinner Most Nights.