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Top ten ERP trends for building material suppliers in 2023
The fast rate of digitization within the building materials industry shows why businesses must get current and stay current to take advantage of the latest developments in software. The market has changed over recent years, so tighter production timelines, increasing customer demands and limited resources are just some of the challenges the building materials industry must overcome.Back to the news
But when you know where building supply industry trends are heading, you can more accurately plan your business strategy, so you're in a better place to overcome these challenges. Recognizing that knowledge is power, Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) has identified the most significant trends they anticipate for the building supply industry in 2023.
1. More ERP systems in the cloud
From a fixed monthly cost to a dedicated security team working 24/7, or constant back-ups, and hardware and software that automatically update, the benefits of cloud-based computing are becoming undeniable for building materials suppliers.
The ongoing costs of the cloud are fixed to a certain degree. You know exactly what you're going to pay. We don't have to worry about our local server suddenly going down or suddenly having to stick more hard drives and RAM in it to cope with increased demand.
Darren House - MD of Electrical at Grant & Stone
2. Increased focus on deploying the IoT
Customers increasingly expect businesses to cater to their needs with more personalized experiences. Investing in ERP systems capable of conversing with the IoT will help businesses manage their business intelligence more effectively and tailor custom customer experiences to increase retention.
3. A greater need for industry-specific solutions
The building supply industry is unique, and the increasing demand for ERP software means a 'one-size-fits-all' solution no longer applies. Instead, leading ERP providers offer more industry-specific functionalities and features, which means fewer costs are associated with customization. Naturally, businesses can then implement and deploy these industry-specific ERP systems quicker, which helps them achieve a better ROI.
4. More focus on IT security
The shift to remote working has increased cyber-attacks, data breaches, and challenges in data security. Therefore, systems that process lots of data and link to CRM systems face growing threats. This circumstance then leads to many businesses intensifying their efforts to secure their ERP systems, especially with new GDPR laws concerning recent high-profile data breach incidents.
5. Two-tier ERP systems
The rise of IoT, cloud infrastructure and big data are some of the integral parts of ERP technology that are developing at breakneck speed. So how can building suppliers keep up? Many larger businesses have found that their existing ERP solution can only effectively deliver on some of their business requirements. For example, different ERP usage requirements at headquarters might be split between regional and subsidiary levels. In such a scenario, a two-tier ERP system can run an ERP solution at a corporate level (tier one) but operate its units and subsidiaries on a separate ERP solution (tier two).
6. More businesses will go mobile
A recent study found that 78% of businesses surveyed had employees accessing company data through mobile devices. As a result, several ERP solutions are adapting to offer modules that integrate. Enabling work on the move, these applications support powerful functionalities beyond the yard or warehouse. Additionally, key stakeholders can see up-to-date analytics and forecasting, while employees can access real-time updates on the movement of stock.
K8 ePOD has streamlined our processes significantly. We no longer need to produce paper documents for our drivers or sort and file delivery notes on their return. All delivery information is on one screen. It’s a real time-saver.
Paul Cornford - IT Services Manager at Howarth Timber & Building Supplies
7. Streamlined processes through digitization
As businesses continue to evolve, integration between the main ERP system and various processes will naturally occur. At the center of this integration are ERP systems that allow businesses to manage the various areas of their business from one application. So, from inventory levels through to accounting records and CRM, businesses can instantly share data across their operation and make more data-driven decisions.
8. Plug-'n-play ERP integration
KCS predicts that better integration using standard APIs will be a new trend for building suppliers. Users could use a core ERP solution for their primary business processes with a third-party solution for more specific requirements. An example would be a wholesaler using K8 for their distribution process with a third-party CRM and an independent sourcing solution. Customers will increasingly expect ERP service providers to allow seamless integration between these different solutions and their system.
9. ERP systems will continue to evolve
As the global market evolves, ERP solutions are increasingly being relied upon by the building supply industry to reduce the costs involved in supply chains. The economic turbulence affecting all industries throughout the world means ERP solutions will become more integrated with new technologies and increasingly tailored to the needs of the building supply industry.