I frequently hear from distributors in the Los Angeles area who are seeking ways to make their operations more agile, efficient and want to improve their quality. In today’s increasingly globally competitive environment, it’s more important than ever for distributors to be faster and provide better service to their clients without sacrificing quality in any areas.
At FPA, we provide comprehensive and cost-effective IT support to distributors and manufacturers in the Los Angeles area. Because we’re focused on your IT, that frees you up to focus on what really matters to your business. And, being able to track, predict and reorder products with the help of an efficient inventory management system can help you do those tasks better and more efficiently.
How can IT support from FPA help you to improve your inventory management systems? Allow me to take a few moments to explain.
IT Trends in Distribution
As with most businesses, the technologies and processes used by Los Angeles-based distributors change as technologies improve and industry needs change. In the more than 25 years we’ve been handling IT support in this industry, we’ve observed a number of technology trends, including:
- A shift toward using warehouse automation
- An increase in the use of e-commerce sales platforms
- An increase in the use of pricing analytics tools
- A move to cloud computing
- A rise in mobile technology
- An increase in the use of business intelligence tools
- A shift from extra in-house inventory to using speedy delivery from vendors
- An increase in the creation of efficient shipping strategies
Distributors are constantly trying to find ways to stay competitive. Having a strong IT support partner can help you accomplish that goal for your business.
How FPA Helps Distributors with IT Support
IT support for distributors is an important and often neglected area of service. However, there are many ways that FPA helps LA-based manufacturers with their technology needs and to improve their inventory management systems. Our team has implemented back-office accounting, inventory management systems, warehouse automation, and order processing for many of our distribution clients.
Some of these advanced tools we’ve implemented include:
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI);
- Material Requirement Planning (MRP);
- Bar Coding;
- Warehouse Automation;
- Remote Access;
- Reporting Tools;
- Inventory Alerts;
- Picking and Packing; and
Review Your Business’s Technology
One of our approaches to getting a better understanding of your business’s technology situation is to conduct a technology review. This involves installing a network monitoring probe that helps us to inventory, document and assess all onsite hardware and software. This process will enable us to provide you with a detailed report that includes our findings, the potential impact of any issues we discover, and our recommendations about the best way to proceed.
Shift Your Business Information to the Cloud
Thanks to the increasing use of cloud technology for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), today’s innovative technologies and business practices are no longer just a dream. Many successful distributors are adopting cloud services to improve their quality of service, reduce costs, increase profits, and increase the visibility of their inventory.
Some of the reasons for this shift to a cloud-based inventory management system include:
- Increasing the cost-effectiveness of your organization;
- Increasing your speed of service;
- Interconnecting systems to increase real-time inventory visibility and improve customer service;
- Incorporating new technologies;
- Improving access to business intelligence;
- Increasing business opportunities and collaboration with partners; and
- Increasing customer satisfaction.
Monitor Your Network Performance
If your network isn’t performing well, your business’s performance will suffer as well. IT support from FPA proactively monitors and manages your systems to keep them secure and to ensure that everything is operating as it should. Having a business IT infrastructure that enables us to actively identify and address problems quickly and efficiently can help to increase the reliability and security of your business for clients.
Since the early 90s, FPA has provided managed IT support for distributors and manufacturers in the Los Angeles area. If you’re interested in learning how FPA can help improve and optimize your distribution, be sure to check out our Distributor Resource Center by clicking on the banner below.
What kind of IT support resources do you use for your business? Do you have everything in-house or do you see the benefits of using a managed IT service provider? Share your thoughts in the comments section below or send me an email to discuss the topic more in-depth.