Operational Route Accounting ERP Software: Benefits and Obstacles

Many companies want to consolidate their operational route accounting functions and activities into one seamless and efficient integrated software system, whether in route sales, pre-order, delivery, or equipment service. They want the data to be collected, shared, and accessed across departments. They dream of an operational route accounting ERP software solution that facilitates the streaming and distributing of company-wide information on every desktop and mobile device.

Food and beverage distribution and equipment service management companies benefit greatly from a well-designed operational route accounting ERP solution. ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. Food and Beverage companies (both in perishable and non-perishable food ) and equipment service companies require software for operation and accounting. The software organizes deliveries, manages direct store delivery (DSD), and equipment service and repair from beginning to end.

Yet often, a company’s wish for an ERP solution remains a dream. Although the operation may have outgrown the existing software, leadership is often uncertain about how to locate a trustworthy vendor, how to find the right software fit, how to budget for it, and ultimately how to successfully implement an ERP solution that integrates the company’s disparate software products into a unified whole.

A correctly chosen ERP solution solves the problems of disjointed and fragmented software processes by creating a coherent, efficient, and reliable software environment with enormous benefits. It runs the entire business operation from beginning to end: from the making of goods and products to customer orders, warehousing, truck loading, routing, servicing, delivering, invoicing, billing, and collecting, encompassing all operational and accounting functions into a coherent whole. Yet despite the numerous benefits, many companies do not overcome the initial challenges accompanying the search and implementation of new software.

The following discussion aims to help companies in the discernment process. It presents three major benefits of ERP software and elaborates on three frequently encountered challenges companies face when they search for and implement an ERP solution. We begin the discussion with three major benefits of ERP software: (1) it unifies a company’s disparate systems, (2) it automates the entire data flow, and (3) it constantly disseminates all data modifications and updates throughout a company’s operation.

Then the article considers three obstacles that often discourage companies from making their ERP dream a reality: (1) companies must find the right software partner, (2) they need to review their current business processes, and (3) they have to deal with with with the cost factor. But first, let us look into the considerable benefits of ERP software, ultimately trumping any challenges.


Benefit #1

One Unified Company-Wide Software System

A chief benefit of an ERP solution is the software’s power to integrate every task systematically and comprehensively into one company-wide system. This happens because every daily, weekly, or monthly function is programmed within the software, enabling every job to become part of the unified system.

As an end-to-end solution, ERP software eliminates any patchwork software and data imports or exports outside the unifying ERP solution. ERP software brings together all functions and activities into one single system. Every data entry point flows into a unified chain of events communicated across all departments.

The integrated data flow makes it possible for constantly changing data information to be accessible wherever needed. Once all data is unified, any previously disparate systems become superfluous. Spreadsheets and piles of papers become a distant memory. The ERP solution makes double entries obsolete because the entire data flow becomes part of one integrated software solution.

In other words, ERP software makes the entire operation streamlined, efficient, and error-free. It reduces staff time and provides superior organization, timeliness, performance, and productivity at all department levels. As one unified solution, ERP software establishes professionalized business routines and accountability and accessibility throughout the company.

Benefit #2

Automated Data Flow Company-Wide

Another benefit of ERP software is the automated data flow that ERP software manages throughout the entire operation. As a result of the automated data flow, a company using ERP software professionalizes its business routines because data across departments are fully reliable and accessible at all times and from all places. This constantly updated information flow is hard to maintain without ERP software, which handles the numerous and constant data updates, modifications, and additions occurring daily in food and beverage distribution and equipment service management companies. Entry mistakes disappear, as do imports and exports or spreadsheets. Lag time vanishes, and data updates are automatically distributed throughout the system. The automated process guarantees the absolute correctness of the data.

The automated data flow assures that all delivery and service processes occur company-wide. They transpire “behind the scenes” of the ERP software designed to manage complex and varied transactions without interrupting the operational flow. As such, ERP software secures the latest detailed and constant information on goods delivered, services rendered, trucks loaded, and warehouses replenished. ERP software automates complex operational and accounting processes and brings efficiency and monetary savings on all levels.

Benefit #3

Constant Dissemination of All Data Modifications and Updates

Operational route accounting ERP software offers yet another benefit. It ensures the constant dissemination of all data modifications and updates throughout the system so that the data on any aspect of the business operation is always current. Regular dissemination of all data modifications and updates eliminates manual and physical inquiries. It improves organization, timeliness, performance, and productivity on all department levels. The updated data flow enhances tracking and forecasting the ordering, truck loading, warehousing, and money-collecting tasks. The continuous dissemination of data flow permits professionalized work routines and internal accountability and accessibility at all times.

For instance, the constant dissemination of data flow ensures that the warehouse staff gets accurate predictions about expected demands. The team can plan accordingly even when last-minute changes occur and do not need to improvise for last-minute orders. Similarly, customer service improves because services and products can always be tracked correctly everywhere, even when eleventh-hour changes occur in the order or delivery and service process. Customers no longer get the run-around from one department to another, as before the ERP software implementation. Constant access to the most recent data makes providing smooth, competent, and knowledgeable customer service easy.

In short, ERP’s unified software design, the automatized data flow, and the constant data dissemination flow ensure seamless organization, wide-ranging efficiency, and dependable interconnectivity. Why do companies hesitate to get operational route accounting ERP software? Often three basic challenges deter them from reaping the benefits of an implemented ERP solution.

Challenge #1

Finding the Right Software Partner

Nothing can be as frustrating as finding the right software partner who needs to offer the best software and has to know the particularities of the industry, have outstanding competence in software implementation, and provide a comprehensive support infrastructure. After all, operational accounting ERP software runs the whole business and takes on the company’s financial and operational responsibilities. Only the right software partner can be entrusted with this enormous task. By necessity and by design, this will be a long-term relationship.

Hence, finding the right software partner is not the moment for a quick move. References must be checked carefully, and much time is needed to review the various software offers. The discernment process demands a thorough understanding of the solution. Good rapport with the provider is necessary to ensure the relationship will not sour after installing the solution.

In other words, the comprehensive capabilities of ERP software make the implementation appear risky and put substantial pressure on a company’s leadership to find a trustworthy software provider. In other words, searching for ERP software requires a serious commitment of time, effort, and resources, which makes operational route accounting ERP software a considerable challenge.

Challenge #2

Reviewing and Assessing Present Business Processes

Another challenge is a deterrent to an ERP software installation because it, too, requires lots of time and effort. ERP software should not be selected without a comprehensive review and assessment of a company’s business processes. There is no way to avoid this time-consuming and daunting task. If a company is unclear on its current business processes’ many interrelated tasks and requirements, it will be almost impossible to identify the appropriate ERP solution. It is thus mandatory to review and assess how work patterns are synchronized. Understanding these patterns guarantees that the right ERP solution accommodates the established work patterns. A review and assessment process also provides the necessary information for the software to be modified and adapted to existing work patterns.