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The Perfect Trilogy of Apps for Wholesalers, Distributors & Manufacturers

By Jessica Heald on Mon 03 June 2019 in Wholesale & Distribution


Trying to use a ‘one size fits all’ solution for all aspects of your business? Stop! Let us introduce you to the perfect trilogy of cloud apps for your B2B stock business…

If you’re a Wholesaler, Distributor or Manufacturer, then you’ll know that there are many unique operational challenges when it comes to selling products from stock B2B. In order to overcome these challenges, the various departments in your business require different tools to enable them to do their job well. But many businesses will try to implement a ‘one size fits all’ solution and make it ‘work for everyone’. Truth is, one system simply cannot do everything for everyone. 

Think of it like this – imagine going into a clothes shop you like the look of, but everything only comes in one size. Reluctantly, you buy something in the hope that you’ll get some wear out of it (we’ve all done it!). But the reality is, you know it looks far too big, doesn’t suit you and you’ll probably shove it to the back of your wardrobe once you get home and never wear it again. 

Your staff will have a similar feeling when it comes to the software you make them use for their job. If they’re given a ‘one size fits all system’ to work with, they too will realise it’s not fit for purpose, lose interest, and probably never use it either. And too right! Making someone use a piece of software that is just not designed for them and actually hinders them in their job role is a really bad idea.

To give you a more practical example – your Sales teams shouldn’t be wasting time rummaging around in the accounting system to get access to critical information about the customer that they should just have at their fingertips in the sales process – like any special pricing/discounts the customer normally gets, information about what they bought previously, their credit limits etc. Equally, they shouldn’t need to be badgering the Accounts team for them to print out spreadsheets of information (which will pretty much immediately become out of date). This not only reduces the productivity of your staff (both those spending time trying to find the information they need, as well as those who are being distracted finding the information out!) but it increases the likelihood of the information they’re using being inaccurate. 


So, what is the right balance? Who needs what and why do they need it? What’s the perfect ecosystem of solutions for your business?

And no – this doesn’t mean you need a whole list of solutions just to keep everyone happy. As the blog title suggests…3 is the magic number! 

1. Accounting/ERP system
  • What: To manage and keep track of payments/financial transactions e.g. invoicing, purchase orders etc.
  • Who: For your Accounts/Finance teams.
  • Aim: Business finance management and reporting.

2. Inventory Management system

  • What: To manage your stock control and inventory items.
  • Who: For your Operations team.
  • Aim: Efficiently keep track of stock count, movement and fulfil orders.

3. A Stock-Aware CRM system

  • What: To manage your Marketing & Sales activities (Leads/Opportunities, Quotes, Orders etc.).
  • Who: For your Sales & Marketing teams (sometimes Customer Services/Support teams too).
  • Aim: Integrate product, inventory and customer data to bring all key information together to streamline processes, increase sales and improve customer experiences.
But it’s not as simple as getting 3 systems in place and hoping everything will be better. Three standalone systems won’t do it. They need to talk to each other and, through integration, should intelligently combine data, so all your users get the full picture. 

With a Stock-Aware CRM (like Prospect) that has unparalleled integration to your accounting system (like Xero) and inventory platform (like Unleashed), your Sales teams should be able to access all this valuable info and data – without leaving the CRM interface. Gone are the days of flipping between CRM and ERP systems and juggling copious spreadsheets or PDF reports to fill in the gaps. Instead, they can pull together all customer information in a single, consolidated CRM view and have the control and insights that let them make better business decisions.

Get back control of your business operations and productivity with the ultimate trilogy of solutions for your B2B wholesaler, distribution or manufacturing business!