Showing 1-20 of 121 products
NetSuite is a provider of SaaS-based business solutions. NetSuite offers a web-based application for midsize wholesalers and distributors, offering a complete suite with features like ERP, inventory, e-commerce, accounting, fulfillment,... Read more
Recent recommendations: 76 recommendations
Fishbowl is a hybrid manufacturing and warehouse management solution designed for small and midsize companies. Key features include inventory control, material requirements planning (MRP), job shop floor control, work order management,... Read more
Recent recommendations: 59 recommendations
Agiliron cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) solution is designed to serve both in-store and mobile businesses as well as online sales channels. The system offers a host of features that work in tandem with the point-of-sale solution,... Read more
Recent recommendations: 30 recommendations
Acumatica provides best-in-class business and industry functionality for small and mid-market growth businesses to run their entire business under a single pane of glass. Technology Leadership built on an adaptable, future-proof,... Read more
Recent recommendations: 21 recommendations
Zangerine is a cloud-based distribution management solution for small to midsize e-commerce businesses. Key features include inventory management, order management, quotes, purchasing, customer relationship management (CRM), point... Read more
Recent recommendations: 19 recommendations
WinWeb is a Cloud based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) suite for small and midsize businesses in multiple industries including wholesale, retail, and health care. WinWeb’s ERP Suite can be accessed through any web browser and... Read more
Recent recommendations: 18 recommendations
Lead Commerce is an integrated order management suite that offers applications like inventory management, merchandise planning, and customer relationship management. The solution helps small and midsize businesses streamline and automate... Read more
Recent recommendations: 17 recommendations
Epicor Prophet 21 is a cloud-based business management solution for distributors powered by Microsoft Azure designed to streamline the various distribution processes in today’s dynamic supply chain. Key capabilities include: inventory,... Read more
Recent recommendations: 14 recommendations
K9ERP is a cloud-based business management system that offers financials, inventory, distribution, accounting, document management, service contracts, CRM, POS and more. K9ERP provides businesses with a complete suite of financial... Read more
Recent recommendations: 11 recommendations
Skulocity is a cloud-based ERP system for manufacturing and distribution businesses. It offers functionality for warehouse management, inventory planning, manufacturing management, payroll, shipping management, and financial analytics. Skulocity’s... Read more
Recent recommendations: 9 recommendations
Priority is an on-premise and cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution suitable for midsize to large businesses in many industry segments including manufacturing, apparel, electronics, food and beverage, industrial machinery... Read more
Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations
S2K Enterprise Management solution by VAI is a cloud-based, integrated ERP system designed to manage midsize and enterprise businesses in the wholesale distribution, manufacturing and speciality retail industries, across many vertical... Read more
Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations
Acctivate is an enterprise resource planning and inventory management system created for small to midsize organizations. Key feature include purchasing, warehousing, sales, marketing, shipping and customer service. The solution provides... Read more
Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations
ERP-ONE+ is Distribution One’s ERP solution for wholesalers and distributors. Featuring Cloud or On-Premise deployments, this 64-bit turnkey system supplies all the functionality required to automate distribution processes including... Read more
Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations
Infoplus WMS is a web-based warehouse management software solution for small to midsize 3PLs, eCommerce Retailers, and Wholesalers focused on taking control of overall inventory, warehouse operations and shipping. Key features include... Read more
Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations
Sage X3 is a powerful ERP software solution designed for medium-to-large national and global manufacturers, distributors, and after-sales providers and can establish a foundation for your digital transformation. Sage X3 comes with... Read more
Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations
AdvancePro offers a cloud-based inventory management solution for a variety of industry verticals to help them manage buying, warehousing, selling and shipping processes. The solution closely visualizes the stock levels at all time... Read more
Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations
Sage Intacct is a provider of cloud-based accounting software. Sage Intacct’s applications are suitable for small and midsize companies and can provide real-time financial and operational insights as well as the ability to automate... Read more
Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations
Royal 4 Enterprise is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution with built-in modules for distribution, manufacturing, planning, inventory management, reporting and company financials. It serves midsize to large enterprises... Read more
Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations
Deskera is a full-featured business solution that manages accounting, invoicing, inventory, payroll, CRM, and more. The dashboard provides users with a real-time snapshot of their business. Books module makes it easy to manage businesses... Read more
Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations
The consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry is one where small businesses and startups are doing better than big brands. Small players have benefited from the e-commerce boom and new marketing channels, such as Amazon Go Store, that have disrupted the CPG market. This has lead to a shift in customer demand from traditional packaged products to local and healthier alternatives.
While the market trends are favorable, small CPG companies still face the challenges of keeping logistics costs low, ensuring on-time delivery to retailers, improving product marketing, managing product recalls, tracking inventory and more.
This is where consumer packaged goods software comes in. If you're not leveraging CPG software, your operations will suffer and you'll have a hard time seeing your business grow. In this Buyer's Guide, we will look at how CPG solutions benefit SMBs and the key considerations for first-time buyers of the software.
Here's what we'll cover:
What Is Consumer Packaged Goods Software?
Consumer packaged goods software helps businesses manage and monitor products as they move along the supply chain: from manufacturing to sales.
CPG solutions boost transparency and simplify the production, warehousing, distribution, marketing and sales of consumable goods.
Here's an example of how CPG software can give users added insights into their business processes:
Purchase order entry in Epicor
These tools are essential for small manufacturers and distributors of consumer packaged goods, who need to track and monitor their products for quality compliance. Besides that, these tools help in financial planning, product shipping, pricing management and much more.
Common Features of Consumer Packaged Goods Software
CPG solutions offer functionalities that help SMBs streamline production, optimize the distribution and manage sales of consumable goods via online or brick-and-mortar retail stores.
Here's a quick look at the common features of CPG tools:
|Lot tracking||Track products along the supply chain by lot numbers to manage quality control and compliance.|
|Inventory management||Access centralized, real-time records of customer orders, shipped products and warehouse stock.|
|Financial accounting||Manage the general ledger, accounts payable and accounts receivable to generate profit and loss statements.|
|Electronic Data Interchange||Transfer files such as bills of lading, payment documents and more securely via built-in EDI systems.|
|Pricing management||Create sales quotes and handle product discounts as well as rebates.|
|Customer management||Maintain a repository of customer profiles segmented by their preferences, purchase history, loyalty programs and other details.|
|Trade promotion||Plan, evaluate and track return-on-investment (ROI) of product marketing and promotion efforts.|
|Forecast and demand planning||Build product demand forecast reports by analyzing historical sales, pricing variations, customer demand and market share.|
What Type of Buyer Are You?
The ideal CPG software for you depends on the requirements and budget of your businesses.
Most CPG solutions are designed to help you manage the production and distribution of products. However, some tools also offer a full-suite of features that help in product marketing, sales management and customer management.
Here are two of the most common types of buyers and their concerns:
- Small business buyers: These buyers are looking for ease of use and affordable tools, instead of full-featured solutions. That makes cloud-based solutions ideal, as they come with a subscription based pricing model with small monthly payments. Since the pricing is tiered according to different plans, buyers can choose the one that fits their budget. Also, cloud-based software vendors typically offer support services for bug fixes, software updates and data-backup, which is ideal for small businesses who don't have a large IT team and dedicated data centers.
- Large enterprise buyers: These buyers are typically looking for full-suite software. The ideal solution should have product performance monitoring and data collection as well as built-in e-commerce and customer management tools. Also, integration with popular third-party accounting tools, customer relationship management (CRM) software and product life cycle management (PLM) solutions is necessary to ensure that data transfer is seamless across the different systems that an enterprise is using or intends to use.
Aside from the size and scale of your business, there are a couple of factors that should determine your software purchase decision. Let's have a quick look at what they are:
Manufacturer vs. distributor: Whether you're the distributor or the actual manufacturer makes a difference in the choice of software. For instance, small distributors of food products will find niche food distribution software more relevant and cost-effective than a full-fledged CPG solution. Likewise, those who are strictly manufacturers will benefit more by opting for food manufacturing software.
Retail management functionalities: Small CPG companies that handle retail by themselves need certain add-on functionalities. For instance, if you run a retail outlet, then you need a POS solution to transact and track in-store payments. Additionally, if you want to showcase and sell your products online, you should look for a built-in e-commerce platform.
Integration: While CPG tools offer many functionalities that help companies manage different business processes, these tools are part of a larger software ecosystem consisting of tools such as PLM, CRM and more. The CPG tool you buy must offer built-in integration with this closely-related family of third-party tools. A benefit of this, for example, would be the ability to extract business insights and pricing guidelines from tools such as a CRM.
The consumer packaged goods industry has a love/hate relationship with technology disruptions. On one hand, studies reveal a rise in logistic costs for CPG companies owing to the e-commerce boom. On the other hand, small CPG startups are holding their own in an industry dominated traditionally by large players.
Here's a quick look at a few tech trends and their benefits:
E-tail: According to studies, about 70% of US consumers will purchase groceries online by 2020. This means that the internet will be a bigger destination than brick and mortar retail stores for shoppers in the near future. Businesses selecting CPG tools must look for e-commerce capabilities that will help them market products online.
Robotic Automation: Robotic automation has hit the supply chain and retail industry hard and fast. With Amazon's trailblazing warehouse robots that the company claims cut its operating costs by 20%, more companies have followed suit—including FedEx, which introduced “tugger" robots that lug freight at its shipping hub. While the technology is not yet widespread enough for SMBs to start leveraging it, robotic automation is here: be it lugging freight in a warehouse or assisting shoppers in a retail store.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT): At Software Advice, we have published reports on how AI and IoT impacted supply chain management. These technologies primarily benefit CPG companies in compliance and delivery management. For instance, products can be constantly monitored in an IoT-enabled transportation environment consisting of “internet-connected" sensors, which improve product traceability and prevents loss of goods in transit. Similarly, AI, which is an amalgam of computer vision, natural-language processing and many other technologies, helps CPG companies automate different business processes, such as demand planning, forecasting and pricing optimization.