The Enterprise Resource Planning and Business Intelligence systems of today have transformed Wholesale Distribution. Business models, processes, and operations have all evolved to leverage digitalisation across the supply chain for integration, scalability, to cut costs, and maximise efficiency.
The disruption seen in 2020 only accelerated the digital trend, as wholesale organisations sought business continuity in a rapidly changing business environment. The world of Wholesale Finance has seen just as much change. Today, organisations continue to recognise the unsuitability of a multi-system environment in their business, and the need for process integration, accurate insights, to achieve scalable business growth.
Insight for Wholesale Distribution is a package curated by Clarivos, that combines the ERP capabilities of SAP Business ByDesign with the Business Intelligence functionality of SAP Analytics Cloud, and is configured to meet the needs of growing wholesalers specifically.
Here are 10 ways Insight for Wholesale Distribution takes Finance to the next level in the Wholesale industry.
One of the main priorities for distributors is to secure the procurement of goods and services required to sustain their door-to-door activities. Insight for Wholesale Distribution streamlines the end-to-end procurement process by automating essential procurement functions. This includes everything from contract management, to purchase requisitions, to order management to chargeback and rebate management, and more. These extend to the entire wholesale ecosystem to encompass partners, suppliers, and customers.
Insight’s Analytics functionality meanwhile empowers finance teams with real-time and accurate data. This allows organisations to take full advantage of special buying and loading opportunities, and costs of goods at their lowest. Buyer productivity is optimised, and all decisions made are fully informed by highly accurate and continuous data.
Wholesale distributors need a system that combines sales, account management, order fulfilment, billing and accounts receivables functions. Quotes-to-cash capabilities are a must in whatever digital solution they select, as they bring these processes together in a single process that collates customer data and updates it in real-time.
Without Quotes-to-cash, finance teams wait longer for account data before being able to generate invoices. Delays to the invoice and collection process can cause major problems with managing cash flow, which itself can lead to other complications. It also becomes more difficult to make accurate forecasts.
Insight for Wholesale Distribution integrates sales, fulfilment, and analytical tasks. Data becomes instantly available, and Accounts Receivables personnel get accurate invoices as soon orders are placed, minimising delays and improving predictions and analyses. Insight enables:
- Multi-channel sales management,
- Reduced administrative costs by automating sales order management processes,
- Increased responsiveness and resolution to customer issues,
- and more.
A single platform for essential finance
Wholesale organisations benefit from digital solutions that establish a single view of company financials by integrating core business processes with financial performance. With Insight for Wholesale Distribution, you can leverage:
- Financial planning,
- General Ledger,
- Accounts Payable
- Accounts Receivables,
- Asset Accounting
- Cash, Credit, Dispute, and Collections Management, and more.
Furthermore, Insight empowers finance with insight on data from anywhere within the business, whether it’s related to inventory, logistics, supply, human capital and more. It gives access to real time pricing management, available-to-promise, order updates, and easily generated operational reports, leading to data-driven insights and ultimately better business.
This centralisation of data completely enhances reconciliation capabilities and eliminates offline processes, improving accuracy, and subsequent decision-making.
Financial analytics and workflows for Accounts Receivable improve organisational insights and lead to less customer Days-Sales-Outstandings. Finance teams that optimise their transactional processes can expect to stay on time and minimise closing efforts and errors by completing tasks before the start of the next closing cycle - a major challenge for wholesale finance.
Insight for Wholesale Distribution empowers core finance functions, from Reporting to Accounts Receivables:
In distribution, Finance needs to be able to access accurate information and to make data-driven decisions in the upper echelons of the organisation.
Insight makes managing financial reporting significantly easier - especially where wholesalers work with multiple third parties or have subdivisions within the organisation. The package can account for multiple sub-organisations and companies without need for varying access and is equipped with the ability to run consolidated financial statements by company, on a consolidated basis.
The system also identifies intercompany training balances, and multiple financial reporting structures, where General Ledger hierarchies can be created and utilised in financial statement reports. Wholesale Finance teams with Insight experience accelerated period-end closing processes, with accurate and seamless data.
Insight combines consolidation with extensive analytics capabilities, arming wholesale organisations with the ability to slice and dice reporting as required including companies or profit centres across the organisation.
Increasingly, wholesale distributors are using digital solutions to be able to pivot into advanced forecasting and use rich data to understand customer behavior. Organisations achieve more accurate forecasting of cash flow by incorporating data from customer and supplier-facing business processes - which Insight brings them a step closer towards.
General Ledger Accounting
General Ledger accounting is essential for wholesale organisations, as it provides a record of each financial transaction taking place. In distribution, however, it’s easy to lose track of transactions and more, because of the pressures of what is a traditionally high volume and thin margin sector. But, with the right technical solution, the pain of general ledger accounting is largely eliminated.
Insight allows Finance to manage multiple sets of books, holding a complete chart of accounts and fiscal year variants. It automates the General Ledger process, such that when a transaction takes place, all companies within the organisation are assigned a set of books at the same time, highlighting the single-view philosophy. To make life even more simpler, the system already runs group IFRS and IAS financial statements to apply consistency across all business entities, allowing for compliance with local regulations - wherever business takes place.
Keeping records of essential accounts within the general ledger such as Accounts Payable is fundamental to staying on top of the company’s obligations to pay off its creditors and suppliers.
Armed with Insight for Wholesale Distribution, wholesalers manage:
- Self-service procurement,
- Sourcing requests and RFQs,
- Purchasing contracts,
- Purchasing requisitions,
- Purchasing orders,
- Goods receipts, and more.
The package’s functionality completely simplifies common challenges with Accounts Payable, such as assignment of responsibility, and approvals within the workflows of the procure-to-pay process. This can be easily achieved within the system or through a manager approval application.
Capital Expenditures and Asset Tracking
For wholesalers, having a platform that keeps track of assets and capital expenditures is especially vital. Effective asset tracking uses RFID, barcodes, or QR codes to help get a complete picture of an organisation’s fixed assets. Those funds can then be used to acquire, upgrade, and maintain new equipment, warehouses, and technologies that optimise the supply chain.
Without an appropriate technical solution, it can be very challenging to stay on top of assets and capital expenditures - and the questions of factors such as depreciation of assets remain unanswered or managed too late. Insight avoids such problems:
- Depreciation is completely automated and seamlessly factored into the month-end close process,
- Depreciation complies with local GAAP requirements,
- Asset classes are assigned to product categories,
- The functionality is capable of writing up, writing down, transfering, disposing of, and selling an asset along with post special depreciation.
Effective Capital Expenditure and Asset Tracking also allows wholesalers to create purchase orders and to assign a product category that holds asset class details. Insight automates the process by creating an asset from supplier, in advance, and assigning the invoice to the asset
Insight into Wholesale Distribution
Wholesale Distributors will be facing numerous challenges to contend with, and opportunities to take advantage of in 2021, and Finance requires a digital solution that is seamless, insightful, and easy-to-use. Clarivos’s Insight Package for Wholesale Distribution answers the aforementioned priorities of wholesale organisations and delivers a slew of other benefits:
Organisations with Insight benefit from best practices with a pre-configured consolidation model fully compliant with IFRS and GAAP, and expect a faster and more accurate financial close, reducing the month-end process by more than a third.
Insight takes the seamless reporting capabilities of SAP Analytics Cloud, and allows finance to report with confidence for all levels of distribution. Publishing print-ready financial statements and analyses is a cinch, and data is available on real-time on any device. Finance cuts the number crunching, and spends up to 50% more time driving change and improving the business.
Organisations armed with business intelligence gain real-time insights with self-service, dashboards, reports, and smart analytics. These give teams across the business the ability to make the most of new opportunities, to react faster to challenges, while engaging closely with customers, partners, and employees.
Wholesalers with Insight integrate actual data, forecasting, and scenario modelling into a single platform. By leveraging machine learning with Predictive Planning and Scenarios, distributors can simulate impact of changes and validate financial predictions.
Insight improves connectivity across the organisation, with report publishing and commentary, the ability to share stories and data internally, with suppliers, customers, and allowing for integration with third party applications.
Streamline financial planning with ready built budgeting templates, calculations, ratios and dashboards.
Clarivos Insight Package/ Final Thoughts
With the many challenges facing Wholesale Distribution in 2021, from Brexit to COVID-19, organisations need a digital solution that is cost effective, seamless, and that ultimately brings value.
Insight for Wholesale Distribution is ready for wholesalers, no matter the sector, to get value from and to navigate the complex and competitive road ahead in 2021. To learn more about how Insight can help your organisation, visit Insight now or drop us a line and get in touch.