The crucial role of ERP systems in wholesale digital transformation

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For many wholesale and retail businesses, having an effective Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is crucial to managing the entire lifecycle of their products, from procurement to distribution. 

ERP systems help to efficiently control core business processes such as finance, HR, manufacturing, supply chain and procurement. 

Just like other IT solutions, ERP systems are rapidly evolving and are now being delivered via the cloud, using the latest technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. 

These advancements are particularly beneficial for wholesale or retail businesses with better integration with other systems in addition to enhanced visibility across the entire supply chain.

However, those businesses need to do more to ensure they are keeping up with evolving digital technology, with many still relying on legacy ERP systems. These older systems can hinder the ability to keep up with the ever-changing demands of the industry and the evolving needs of customers and suppliers. 

By moving to more advanced solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP as part of digital transformation projects, wholesalers can stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in the industry. 

The process of implementing a new ERP system is a complex task. It requires careful planning, execution and testing to ensure a successful transition. 

This is where the role of independent testing consultancies like nFocus Testing becomes crucial. 

Ryan James, Managing Director at nFocus Testing, said: “Having an independent testing team could be vital to ensuring the right outcome. We’ve seen cases where wholesalers and retailers were close to going live with a new ERP system being rolled out for a third-party organisation, but once User Acceptance Testing was undertaken, problems started to arise. 

“On multiple occasions, we’ve needed to re-do earlier rounds of much more thorough testing than normally associated with UAT to find those issues and get them fixed and re-tested prior to going live. 

“As we all know, finding issues so late in the lifecycle is expensive, and so by integrating third-party testing earlier, wholesalers can save huge amounts of money.”

Testing is an important stage in the implementation of any new IT software as it identifies any issues, misinterpreted requirements and defects in the solution before the product is delivered. By working with a third-party testing specialist, or supercharging the in-house team in this space, wholesalers can minimise risk in the digital transformation and save money along the way. 

“Teams are moving away from legacy systems and trialling new technologies while also nursing old systems during the transition. How you test during this phase can make or break the success of the digital transformation,” Ryan added. 

“Far too often, we find organisations realising that the quality was below their expected levels too late in the project. By having your own dedicated testing function or third party testing company involved sooner can make such a difference.”

Independent test service providers can also provide valuable guidance and support throughout the entire ERP implementation process, from requirements gathering and system configuration, to user training and post go-live support. 

As retail businesses continue to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the industry, embracing digital transformation and implementing modern ERP systems will be crucial to remain competitive and meet the evolving demands of their customers and suppliers. 

By partnering with independent testing consultancies like nFocus testing, wholesalers can ensure a smooth and successful transition, minimising the risks and maximising the benefits of their new ERP system.

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