Security is Top Priority for Distribution Software

Security is top priority for distribution software

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Distribution Software

The retail business is one of the fastest evolving sectors in this economy. Retailers from mom-and-pop to mega-chains are leveraging the power of distribution software to streamline everything from sales order entry, to inventory planning and forecasting and warehouse management.

But with the rapid evolution of distribution software and the mobility that it facilitates comes with a price. At the latest National Retail Federation’s 10th Annual Conference and Expo in New York City, security was on the top of everyone’s lists.

According to Tech Page One, reporting on the NRF Expo that ended January 14th, “one retailer…uses MDM (mobile device management) applications to let workers locate inventory and ship it to customers.” Some warehouses have a BYOD policy in place with firewalls to protect company data, but that solution still leaves companies vulnerable.

While employee devices can be programmed to locate and track inventory and the status of a shipment, their capabilities are still limited. What about inventory planning and forecasting? How can you manage warehouse operations from a remote location, and simultaneously track sales orders and shipments from multiple remote locations?

While the obvious solution involves unique devices used only for warehouse operations, what software will be running on those devices? The most secure solution for the distribution industry is a robust, scalable software that works on the management level as well as the level of daily operations. When you invest in distribution software, you are investing in the most secure strategy on the market.

  • Sensitive company data stays “in-house”
  • Software allows only registered devices and users access to information
  • Warehouse managers have at-a-glance capabilities for inventory planning, forecasting and tracking
  • Automatic Data Collection integrates with your ERP for company-wide accountability

Our industry solutions for distribution software are loaded with functionality and flexibility so you can run your business and safeguard your investment. Contact us to get started today!


Perpetual Licenses vs. SAAS

Perpetual Licenses vs. SAAS

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SaaS (Software as a Service) is relatively new software product made possible by the cloud. In the past, the vast majority of software products were made available via one-time installs and used “perpetual licenses.” A perpetual license gave a business the exclusive, perpetual use of the software that they bought. Businesses were legally limited in the amount of times they could install each program, but up until the last 15-20 years, software companies had no practical way to prevent multiple copies.

Today, with Microsoft and Adobe both offering their business software suites on a monthly subscription platform, the industry is changing. For businesses, the difference between the former perpetual licenses and SaaS is significant.

Perpetual Licenses

Perpetual licenses cost more up-front, but a business could use one indefinitely if it was not a core part of your operations. Licenses can allow for selling your software once your company decides to stop using it. The disadvantages for perpetual licenses were substantial, though. The up-front cost of the software and the need to update any core components to your business created logistics and budget strains.

Many companies would have to update on a periodic basis. These updates required software engineers to install the new software, update old files, and upgrade out-of-date hardware. The install time created down times for each business. Individual employee’s computers all needed to be updated also. Installs could sometimes take weeks or months of planning.

SAAS

SaaS attempts to offer a solution to business’s many problems with perpetual licenses. The idea of software as a service is as old as “You’ve Got Mail”, where AOL offered dial-up software suites on a monthly subscription service. SaaS has only recently grown in popularity and usability as advances in networked computing (the Cloud) has enabled companies in some cases to offer cheap and free data to software users.

SaaS solves the problem of expensive installs because, once installed, the software is typically updated automatically for the life of the subscription. Also, the integrated nature of subscriptions gives support feedback immediately. This feedback gives information to the software company, enabling patches and customer support to be more efficient.

SaaS also creates interesting resources businesses never had with Perpetual Licensing. Cloud based control panels give companies the ability to control their business remotely, set up multiple offices without expending capital (employees work from home), and offer customer service 24/7. The cheaper installs (no one-time software fees) also give companies access to larger software suites. This allows for greater customization and integration of multiple business systems (Customer Service, HR, time management, accounting). Companies can order SaaS plans that are customized and implemented by a 3rd Party, reducing the costs of initial installs, and preventing the need for hiring software engineers, programmers and designers if software is not your business.

While there are some disadvantages to SaaS, for a business whose main thing is not software (manufacturing, service, retail, etc), SaaS can revolutionize the way you do business.

To find out how SaaS programs can benefit your business, please contact us.


About Distribution Software

About Distribution Software

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Distribution Software is a software solution that aids an organization in their supply chain process. Most companies have more than one department that directly affect inventory. Using distribution software can greatly help with inventory management.

In general terms, inventory management refers to the method a business uses to handle its tangible resources and material to make sure that it is readily available. Inventory management allows a company to use their inventory assets more efficiently to maximize its revenue.

A company’s distribution pipeline generally requires that products are stocked in a warehouse and then transferred from one location to another in the distribution chain. Distribution software automates managing inventory levels by using SKU or UPC at their warehouse locations.

To keep large warehouses organized, the software package helps identify bin locations for individual products by the UPC/SKU number. Employees can be directed to those locations for shipments, pull products when needed, and make room for new products. Employees can also be directed while putting product away as well as being notified to replenish picking stock from bulk storage areas.

Real time inventory monitoring of each product stored in a warehouse is an important function of distribution software. Products that are running low can be identified.  Re-orders can take place, insuring that the demand for the product can always be met. The software can also forecast product demand based on previous customer ordering history.

A Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) program. VMI means that it is up to the vendor to replenish inventory for a customer based on some predefined parameters. The customer does not send the vendor purchase orders but instead supplies the vendor with usage or Point of Sales data. It is up to the vendor to decide when and how much inventory to ship to the customer. This gives the vendor a tremendous opportunity to maximize its sales and get closer to the end user of its products.

MaxQ Technologies offers distribution software. For more information contact us here.


IDC Forecasts SAAS Will Be The Fastest Growing Area of Enterprise IT Through 2018

IDC Forecasts SAAS Will Be The Fastest Growing Area of Enterprise IT Through 2018

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International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that by 2018, 27.8% of the worldwide enterprise software market will be SAAS applications. According to IDC, just 16.6% of enterprise applications were SaaS-based in 2013.

These and other findings are from the recent IDC report, Worldwide SAAS Enterprise Applications 2014–2018 Forecast and 2013 Vendor Shares.  The recent Forbes article IDC Predicts SaaS Enterprise Applications Will Be A $50.8B Market By 2018 summarizes the results.

Why SAAS Is Accelerating In The Enterprise 

  • Product life cycles are continually under pressure to deliver greater sales in less time, leaving little time to launch products successfully. Companies are relying on SAAS-based analytics, CRM and marketing automation applications to address their time-to-market requirements, as on-premise systems are often much slower and expensive to install and use.
  • Greater availability of analytics to measure and improve decisions. Analytics and business intelligence (BI) SAAS applications are often deployed within days or weeks instead of months it often takes to implement on-premise systems. Enterprises are using the advanced analytics and BI functions of SAAS applications to create their own unique measures of performance and quickly create dashboards to manage with greater accuracy.
  •  SAAS-based ERP systems are one of the fastest growing of enterprise applications as manufacturers look to unify geographically diverse locations within a single system.  Legacy ERP systems that are on-premise lack this agility, and to replicate it, companies running on-premise systems alone need to buy multiple licenses. This gets very expensive and takes time to implement, while SAAS-based systems are often up and running within weeks.
  • The economics of cloud computing and SAAS applications put enterprise customers back in control of their IT spending and budgets.

 

SAAS-based systems can give your company a time-to-market advantage against competitors and drastically reduce your IT costs.

Contact us and let’s discuss how MaxQ Technologies, Inc. can help you get to your goals.