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9 Ways Moving to the Cloud Can Drive Productivity for Distributors

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This post was reprinted with permission by Enavate.  

Original article written by Sean Kracklauer, Enavate’s Chief Revenue Officer. Maximum productivity. It’s the holy grail of business, and with good reason. Because, as every distribution business leader knows, when you streamline processes, you increase margins and, if done well, improve the customer experience and grow sales.

And now is the time to do this, according to a recent post from Modern Distribution Management (MDM). John Gunderson writes that if a slowdown is on its way, a simple upgrade in technology can help both improve efficiencies and the customer experience through:

  • Increased purchasing speed
  • Increased ordering speed
  • Improved purchasing and order accuracy

He says that these and other benefits can keep distributors ahead of the competition, who in a slowdown might instead focus on cutting services, inventory and people, which would negatively affect the customer experience.

Moving to the cloud can be one of the most effective ways to boost productivity, in good economic times – and in not-so-good times.

Cloud-based solutions, like Microsoft Dynamics 365, deliver increased efficiency by harnessing the power of data to streamline processes, spot trends quickly – and beat your competitors. Moving from an existing system to the cloud can seem daunting. Many executives fear it could be a potentially costly investment, and one that will interrupt business for days, if not weeks. But the truth is, with today’s modern applications in the cloud, the switch can be smooth, and the rewards far outweigh the risks.

When you migrate to the cloud, you give your distribution business the opportunity to more efficiently:

  • Be free from weighty IT infrastructure, and the constant maintenance it requires.
  • Identify the most promising leads and discover new opportunities to grow sales among existing customers.
  • Drive more personalized customer service and more targeted interactions to drive sales.
  • Access and analyze customer data to spot patterns, learn which sales tactics are working best and which processes need tweaking.
  • Improve purchasing efficiency. The right software solution gives you the ability to track inventory and gain immediate insights about which items are moving and which are hanging around on shelves too long.
  • Increase inventory efficiencies. Dynamics 365 gives you the opportunity to create quotes and locate inventory more quickly.
  • Deliver better customer service. With data that provides deeper insights into your customers, you can anticipate their needs, recognize buying habits, and seize opportunities for upselling.
  • Better protect data with encryption, authentication and other physical and virtual security.
  • Access data any time, day or night. You may not work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but your data does – or at least it’s always available and updated.

Greater efficiency through the cloud not only enhances your bottom line. It also helps you provide an enhanced customer experience and build customer loyalty that will make profits soar in good economic times and protect you when business cycles slow.

And it gets you much closer to that goal of maximum productivity.

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