How Distribution Software Solves These 4 Common Fulfillment Problems

How Distribution Software Solves These 4 Common Fulfillment Problems

common fulfillment problemsFrom sales and invoicing to warehouse management and inventory tracking, distribution is a very complicated endeavor. As a wholesale distribution company, you’re well aware of the challenges associated with fulfillment – you encounter them on a daily basis. Find out how distribution software solves these common problems and helps your business run smoothly.

1. Your customer places an order, but you can’t fulfill it.

When your customer places an order – no matter the channel – you’re tentatively promising that you’re able to fill it. But your inventory is inaccurate or your warehouse is mismanaged, so you’re unable to process and fulfill orders as they come in. Your customers, who assume that your product availability is accurate when they place the order, are upset. You’ve lost their trust and all but eliminated the possibility that they’ll return in the future.

How does distribution software help?

Distribution software utilizes data-capture technology to accurately track every item in your inventory. This warehouse management system is linked to barcode scanners, laptops, smartphones and mobile devices, so every item that comes in and out of your warehouse is tracked. Your overall business management system is integrated, so all the tracking data that’s captured is immediately synced to the ERP software. This grants you real-time inventory control and visibility into your omnichannel transactions.

2. Your pick-and-pack process is taking too long.

Your inventory tracking tool accurately reflects your available products, so when a customer places an order, you’re capable of fulfilling it. But your warehouse isn’t organized properly, so your pickers have a difficult time locating or accessing the inventory you have. You waste valuable time and effort just to find the items you need to fulfill your customers’ orders.

How does distribution software help?

Inventory control is about more than just knowing how many items you have available for purchase. Knowing you have products available doesn’t help if nobody’s able to get to them! 

Distribution software streamlines fulfillment by using sequenced order picking: Your employees receive a picking list that guides them to each location in the warehouse, cutting down on back-and-forth travel time. 

Smarter planning reduces wear and tear on your equipment and helps you reduce labor time and cost. Bar code technology eliminates superfluous processes and minimizes human handling. Accurate inventory tracking reduces stock discrepancies and increases the efficiency of your pick-and-pack processes. Distribution software is also equipped with mobile functionality, allowing your employees to use handheld devices (barcode scanners) to correctly identify inventory and eliminate data entry errors.

3. Your orders are incorrectly filled.

You have plenty of products to fulfill orders as they come in, but your inventory is mislabeled. Your pickers find the items they think they’re looking for, but the product labels are incorrect. Your orders are filled swiftly … with the wrong items. Now, your customers are aggravated and you lose time and money by rectifying the situation.

How does distribution software help?

A proper warehouse management system helps you organize your inventory and optimize your warehouse layout. Inventory tracking uses product and lot bar codes to confirm that the labels match the products inside your packages. With multiple touch points, you have real-time inventory control, enabling you to check and double-check that your products are labeled correctly. Distribution software also makes it easy to organize your warehouse locations – with similar products or commonly bundled items close together – to make picking easier. Your customers’ orders are filled more quickly and with no errors, so your profitability gets a boost.

4. Your inventory tracking process requires the temporary shutdown of your operations.

You have a warehouse management system that gives you inventory control, but physical stock-taking requires that you shut down your facility. You sacrifice productivity and profitability, and your customers are inconvenienced by slow (or halted) fulfillment of their orders.

How does distribution software help?

Distribution software utilizes cycle counting, an inventory tracking process that breaks your inventory down into small, manageable subsets (individual items or bins) to be counted on a regular basis. Each cycle is scheduled for an employee, who is guided by the warehouse management system to the assigned bin. The handler either uses bar code scanning or manual entry to input the quantity of items counted. This data is checked against other inventory tracking records and instantly uploaded to the system for management review. You never waste time or money taking physical inventory, and you eliminate the errors associated with human handling. 

Wholesale distribution businesses have the unique challenges of operating over large geographical distances. Headquarters, warehouses, stores and satellite offices are located in different states or even countries, so connecting everyone is difficult. If you operate in multiple channels (mobile, ecommerce, brick and mortar), you have the added challenge of integrating all of your presences into a single cohesive system. 

Distribution software vaults you over almost every obstacle you encounter in your operations, allowing you to streamline your processes, improve your productivity and reap benefits on your bottom line.

Want to learn more about SMB Suite’s distribution software? Click the link below to sign up for a trial run of our comprehensive cloud ERP solution.


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Steve’s been with SMB Suite since 1998 and has been involved with nearly every aspects of the Company’s business as a strategist, professional services executive, cloud solutions architect, and senior consultant. In his current role, Steve is responsible for SMB Suite’s revenue and oversees the execution of ERP, CRM and BI projects for customers across a broad range of industries. Steve combines his expertise in MS Dynamics GP, CRM and other Microsoft products with a strong foundation in accounting and business to identify gaps and streamline customers’ processes. Prior to co-founding SMB Suite, Steve was previously Corporate Controller for MEHLE Behr and, prior to that, Audit Senior for Ernst & Young. Steve holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Jeremy is responsible for SMB Suite’s technology vision, strategy and implementation and is the architect of the Company’s Dynamics Cloud Platform. Highly adept in every facet of managed services, ERP systems and e-commerce platforms, Jeremy’s expertise spans the implementation and support of business and financial software solutions, as well as the customization and integration of SMB Suite’s cloud ERP technology stack. He holds numerous Microsoft and industry-related certifications, and was primarily responsible for designing the Company’s progressive business services platform in the early days of the Cloud. Prior to SMB Suite, Jeremy served as the financial analyst, systems administrator, and information systems liaison for a $2 billion financial services corporation.

Monty is responsible for SMB Suite’s day-to-day operation and, most importantly, its customers. As a leader, motivator and mentor, Monty creates loyal high performance teams willing to “walk through walls” to accomplish their goals. Prior to SMB Suite, Monty served as President of The Bradshaw Group (TBG), a global distributor, manufacturer, and repair facility for digital printers. In this role, he was the Company’s ambassador to its most important domestic, European and Latin American customers and TBG achieved a best-in-class Net Promoter Score of 74 for its superb customer satisfaction. Prior to TBG, Monty served as the General Manager of Sam’s Clubs three highest grossing U.S. stores and was named Regional Operator of the Year in 1999. Monty holds a BBA in Marketing from Texas Tech University and is an active member of Business Navigators. He has been active in Vistage International, Executives in Action, the Dallas/Fort Worth Retail Executives Association, as well as, A.P.I.C.S., the leading professional association for supply chain and operations management. Monty also volunteers with Hunger Busters and ManeGait, a therapeutic horsemanship organization.

David is a proven financial and information technology professional with expertise in providing business accounting software and computing solutions. He began his career by starting and managing a successful independent consulting practice for several years. He then launched the local systems consulting unit of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurial Services Group, leading the office into the hi-tech consulting arena. After successfully developing the unit for Ernst & Young, David founded NextCorp (which became SMB Suite in 2013) to serve the business software needs of clients throughout the US. David has made SMB Suite one of the best cloud ERP providers in the industry. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur and leader, he is a software and technology specialist, holding certifications in various Microsoft and other technologies.