ID chats with DDI Systems’ Jennifer Luizzi about ongoing trends in ERP systems, and what’s to come.

ERP Future

ERP Future-Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is often the backbone of any wholesale business — with owners using it to monitor and forecast most of the key parts of their operation. Industrial Distribution’s 2019 Big 50 list submissions showed that the vast majority of large distributors ($100 million in annual sales) reevaluate their ERP system at least every two years.

In recent years, e-commerce and cloud migration have been two of the biggest areas of innovation for ERP providers, and many modern-looking industrial distributors are constantly working to maximize their ERP’s functionality in those areas.

As the decade comes to a close, we at ID spoke with Jennifer Luizzi, director of marketing at DDI System to get her thoughts on the biggest trends in ERP right now, and what’s on the horizon. See our conversation below.

Industrial Distribution (ID): ERP software technology is always evolving. Compared to 5-7 years ago, where have the biggest advancements/added features been across the ERP market?

Jennifer Luizzi (JL): We’ve seen such a change in the way warehouse management and e-commerce have optimized the customer journey. Being able to take orders from anywhere means distributors have had to shift their business style, often ensuring product fulfillment takes place 24/7. In addition, they are required to maintain exceptional warehouse management oversight to fulfill obligations and commitments to customers. Distributors seem to be turning to industry-specific ERP and warehouse technology that can maximize efficiency and improve inventory/order accuracy. With these systems, distributors capitalize on streamlined warehouse operations with features like wireless barcode scanning, customized pick paths and real-time order and inventory management.

ID: E-commerce is one of the biggest talking points among distributors, and more and more of them are implementing it every month. How have ERP providers adapted their offerings to appease distributors that have e-commerce?

JL: E-commerce has changed the game for distributors completely. As such, technology has had to keep by ensuring their offering is ahead of what distributors will need. No longer will simple providing a B2B customer portal be the only thing a distributor needs. A complete ecommerce solution must be robust and offer the flexibility of easy design, centralized product information management and dynamic content to showcase a distributors full product catalog.

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