Custom Information Services (CIS)

Distribution Trends in Information Technology

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I recently reviewed the McGladrey Distribution Monitor Report for 2013 and I was not surprised to see that 50% of the 379 participants in this study use some type of cloud computing for systems or applications.   The most common use of the cloud was for storage, infrastructure or backup.  This is not surprising because off site backup is now considered a best practice for most CIO / CTOs (chief information or technology officer).  Having an on-site backup with a redundant off site solution ensures your business can get up and running faster when you have a hardware failure.

As you can also see in the chart below, CRM applications and Office productivity tools are also a key element to the distributors cloud environment.  Not a lot of movement in the ERP arena yet…  The other 50% of respondents do not use any cloud applications.   That is rather scary.  I would hope that we would have 100% at least using off site back-up.

Cloud Trends for Distributors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was encouraging to see that most respondents see IT investments are good for business.  Unfortunately most of these investments for 2013 are related to upgrading Internet and web applications (30%); mobility applications, including tablets (27%), CRM (24%); social media applications (19%) and business analytics (18%).   ERP came in at around 13% which is disappointing to see as a Dynamics GP Partner.    However, when I look at the chart of Effectiveness of IT, I do see that ERP would play a huge part in ensuring distributors can accomplish the areas surveyed.   Also, business analytics have to be driven by data from ERP.  Mobility applications are also typically driven by an ERP order entry system like SalesPad for Mobile Devices.

IT Trends in Distribution

 

I like reading about real companies in studies like this one from a reputable firm like McGladrey and the NAW Institute.  Not only am I able to get a good idea of where to focus our marketing activities, this type of information can be shared with our distribution and manufacturing customers.   This document also contains the following:

  • Outlook for Growth
  • Cost Expectations and Maintaining Margins
  • Workforce and Business Proximity
  • Best Practices of Thriving Companies

Nancy Phillippi is the distribution and manufacturing sales and marketing manager at Custom Information Services (CIS).  CIS is a Silver Dynamics GP ERP Partner located in North Texas.  Nancy can be reached at 817-640-0016 x 109 or via email at [email protected]

Article resources:

http://resources.mcgladrey.com/2013-Distribution-Monitor

http://www.mdm.com/blogs/4-economy/post/30666-the-differences-between-thriving-and-declining-distributors

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