Distribution Software

Get the best distribution software for your business. Compare product reviews, pricing below. Read our buyer’s guide for more help.

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Infor CloudSuite Distribution Screenshot
Infor CloudSuite Distribution, formerly known as Infor Distribution SX.e, is a robust distribution management solution specifically designed to help distributors of all types run an efficient, end-to-end operation. Advanced…
Price Range
$ $ $ $ $
Client OS
Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
xTuple Screenshot
xTuple is Inventory Management Solutions for Manufacturers who want to GROW their Manufacturing Business. xTuple is helping manufacturing and inventory-centric companies use management software and best practices to grow…
Price Range
$ $ $ $ ·
Starting Price
$175/month/user
Client OS
Mac, Windows, Linux
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
NetSuite ERP Screenshot
NetSuite ERP is a cloud-based, developer-hosted, cloud ERP software platform offered on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) basis. NetSuite advertises its ERP solution as “the world’s most deployed cloud ERP” solution. NetSuite…
Price Range
$ $ $ $ ·
Starting Price
$99/month/user
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Skulocity Screenshot
Skulocity is a fully integrated application suite that brings together top-tier enterpise modules to help you manage your business more effectively. Today, Skulocity supports ecommerce, Customer Relationship Management…
Price Range
$ $ $ $ ·
Starting Price
$495/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Acumatica ERP Screenshot
Acumatica is a cloud ERP system designed for the SMB market. Acumatica includes functionality for financial management, customer management, project accounting, distribution management, manufacturing management, field service…
Price Range
$ $ $ $ ·
Starting Price
$12,800/year
Client OS
Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
Acctivate Screenshot
Acctivate is a powerful, easy-to-use, and affordable inventory and business management software designed for growing small to mid-sized distributors, wholesalers, and online retailers using QuickBooks. Acctivate offers a…
Price Range
$ $ · · ·
Starting Price
$4,995 (perpetual license)
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
On-Premises
Inform ERP Screenshot
Inform ERP by DDI System is a highly configurable distribution management solution, distinctively combining daily operations, CRM, eCommerce, mobility, and advanced reporting in one system. Build stronger relationships with…
Price Range
$ $ $ $ ·
Client OS
Windows, Web
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
Bizowie Cloud ERP Screenshot
Bizowie Cloud ERP is a fully integrated, cloud-based business suite for innovative mid-market manufacturers and distributors. Built on a strong, GAAP-compliant financial accounting base, Bizowie offers uncompromising modules…
Price Range
$ $ $ $ ·
Starting Price
$850/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Fishbowl Inventory Screenshot
As companies grow they find that the QuickBooks Inventory control capabilities are no longer sufficient for their inventory control needs. They expand beyond multiple locations, the number of products they stock increases…
Price Range
$ $ $ · ·
Starting Price
$4,395 (perpetual license)
Client OS
Windows, Mac
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
Epicor Prophet 21 Screenshot
Epicor Prophet 21 business software has been developed to fit distribution businesses and is continually improved with a focus on making it easier for distributors to grow their businesses. Prophet 21 combines proven…
Price Range
$ $ $ $ ·
Client OS
Mac, Windows
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
OSAS Screenshot
OSAS is a powerful, award-winning accounting and business management system for Windows, Linux, UNIX and Mac users. OSAS is flexible and easy to customize to your requirements. Built on a long track record of successful…
Price Range
$ $ $ $ ·
Client OS
Windows, Mac, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Blue Link ERP Screenshot
Blue Link ERP is Blue Link’s flagship product an integrated inventory and accounting ERP software package built primarily for small and medium distributors and wholesalers. Blue Link ERP software is available as a cloud-based…
Price Range
$ $ $ $ ·
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
ERP-ONE+ Screenshot
ERP-ONE+ from Distribution One is a comprehensive ERP software for distributors and wholesalers. The solution handles everything from order entry and inventory management to accounts payable and reporting. ERP-ONE+ has been…
Client OS
Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
DS90 iSeries Screenshot
The DS90 iSeries distribution and accounting software suite is an ERP application built for small to mid-sized businesses. It offers the functionality of high end ERP applications but without their complexity or high price…
Price Range
$ $ · · ·
Starting Price
$2,100 (perpetual license)
Client OS
Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
S2K Enterprise Software Screenshot
VAI’s technology roadmap, [VAI’s] shared vision with IBM, provides companies with a business model based on best industry processes that leverages technology to create value and improve performance. The S2K family of products…
Price Range
$ $ $ $ $
Client OS
Web, Windows, Linux
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Latitude ERP Screenshot
Apero is the developer, implementor and support provider for our Distribution ERP solution, focused on the Distribution/Wholesaler marketplace and it’s specific needs for the future and today. Latitude is a retail and…
Price Range
$ $ $ · ·
Starting Price
$30,000 (perpetual license)
Client OS
Mac, Windows, Linux
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
Aptean Ross ERP Screenshot
Aptean Ross ERP is designed to support manufacturers that work with recipes and formulas in order to help them successfully manage the variability and complexities of their products and processes, as well as accurately…
Price Range
$ $ $ $ $
Client OS
Mac, Windows, iOS, Android
Deployment
On-Premises
Epicor Eclipse Screenshot
Epicor Eclipse has been developed to fit electric, plumbing/PVF, and HVAC businesses and is continually improved with a focus on making it easier for customers to grow their distributorships. Epicor enterprise resource…
Enterprise 21 Screenshot
Enterprise 21 ERP software is a fully-integrated ERP system for small and mid-market manufacturing and distribution organizations. Designed to facilitate industry best practices, Enterprise 21 includes comprehensive software…
Client OS
Windows, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Accolent ERP Screenshot
Accolent ERP is web-architected software for wholesale distributors written using the latest Microsoft and web technologies. It can either be hosted in the Cloud and delivered as a SaaS (software as a service) solution, or…
Price Range
$ $ $ $ ·
Starting Price
$2,500/user (perpetual license)
Client OS
Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises

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Distribution Software Buyer’s Guide

With increasing competition often dictating smaller profit margins on a per-sale basis, wholesale distributors are facing rising pressure. Savvy wholesalers are asking themselves the same question: How can technology be leveraged to lower operational costs, establish new competitive advantages, and better meet customer demands? This article is designed to quickly acquaint you with the variety of distribution software options on the market being used to meet these challenges.

What Is Distribution Software?

Distribution software provides the needed functionalities to manage the day-to-day operations of a distribution company. This includes order management, inventory control, purchasing, accounting, and overall supply chain management. Many distribution ERP solutions provide an industry-specific way for companies to receive all of these pieces in one fully-integrated option.

Larger distributors may need a software capable of advanced features such as electronic data interchange (EDI) and warehouse management.

Distribution software lets your company perform these needed activities to connect manufacturers and retailers who sell the products to consumers, or even sell products directly to them.

Infor CloudSuite Distribution Software Order Entry
The order entry screen in Infor CloudSuite Distribution.

Features of Distribution Software

  • Order Management: Capture, track, and fulfill orders across your sales channels. Improve sales visibility and increase the efficiency in your order processing. Includes order entry and order fulfillment of sales orders.
  • Purchasing and Procurement: Create financial documents issued to vendors when buying suppliers. Manage purchase requisitions and approvals to improve cost control.
  • Inventory Management: Store information on the items your company builds, buys, stores, or sells. Includes inventory control costing, stock count tracking, location tracking, traceability via barcoding, kitting, bill of materials, audit management, and more.
  • Warehouse Management: Manage actions throughout a warehouse or distribution center. Design an inventory picking and packing workflow, control stock, generate bills and reports, manage yards and docks, and more.
  • Supply Chain Management: Includes vendor/supplier management, demand planning, and sales forecasting. Heps manage the flow of goods between locations by planning, controlling, and executing the supply chain processes. Maximizes cost reduction opportunities to get products provisions from the vendor to the customer.
  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI): Facilitates the exchange of business documents from one computer to another in a standard electronic format between trading partners. Includes data such as shipping statuses, invoices, purchase orders, inventory documents, and customs information
  • Accounting: Manage the financials of your distribution and wholesale business via accounts payable, accounts receivable, and general ledger modules.
NetSuite ERP Sales Orders Distribution Software
Monitor sales orders in NetSuite ERP.

Benefits of Distribution Software

Distribution ERP systems have been designed to address the unique challenges of wholesale distributors. As the profit margin on individual sales can be narrow, distributors rely on a high volume of overall transactions to generate revenues.

Distribution software for wholesalers needs to have the capability to handle a large number of database records. The average distributor needs to maintain inventory records for each of the many products offered.

As wholesalers process numerous, repetitive transactions, it is imperative that the processing of orders is as efficient as possible, with a minimum of duplication of data entry. Accurately forecasting purchasing needs is important for wholesalers as well–both to meet shifting customer demands and to make sure that valuable capital isn’t tied up in inventory overstocks. Distributors also require integrated tools to optimally manage shipping and logistics.

Manage Financials With Distribution Software

Aside from industry specific functionality that manages the distribution and wholesale of goods and services, distribution software can contain all the normal modules you might expect in a standard back-office accounting package. Accounting features in distribution software include the ability to print checks, pay bills, track expenses, manage payroll, create orders and invoices, manage receivables, establish budgets, perform bank reconciliations, and create top level financial reports.

A business can also keep their current accounting software and add on a distribution software that fulfills additional needs. For example, a business that wants to keep QuickBooks for accounting can implement a distribution software that provides inventory control, sales order entry, and purchase orders. This program will work as an extension of QuickBooks, as it provides the missing pieces the business wants out of it’s software processes.

Skulocity Receivables Distribution Software
Manages your receivables in Skulocity.

Optimize Inventory Control and Purchasing With Distribution Software

Distribution software provides predictive metrics to help optimize inventory. Maintaining excess inventory will eat away at profits by incurring additional storage expenses. Items that don’t move often need to be liquidated at below ideal prices and sometimes even at a loss.

Keeping a large amount of inventory also means decreased agility and ability to meet changing customer needs. When a customer places an order, they expect to receive their order in a reasonable amount of time. When an order is sent back to a warehouse that is overstocked, workers may have difficulty sifting through the large quantities of items to find what the customer is looking for.

When inventory is stocked too low, you may discover that the product is out of stock after accepting the customer’s order. This can lead to long wait times and a decrease in customer satisfaction.

Distribution software with inventory management will be the cornerstone of processing and overseeing real-time data into your inventory conditions, levels, sales orders, and more.

Fishbowl Inventory Purchase Orders Distribution Software
Manage purchasing and sales orders within Fishbowl Inventory.

Meet Customer Demands With Distribution Software

Successful wholesalers are looking more and more to try to keep the minimum amount of inventory to meet customer demands. In order to employ this strategy and reap the cost saving benefits associated with it, it is critical to have visibility into upcoming purchasing requirements.

Advanced software tools for distributors are providing wholesalers with this capability. When inventory control, order entry, and purchasing are integrated, distributors gain the ability to assess historical data, upcoming orders and forecasts, and predictable trends such as seasonal demand changes in order to plan their purchasing.

Intelligent purchase order systems also provide the ability to perform complex calculations. These calculations provide insight into how to reduce costs by taking advantage of volume buying discounts and how to select the right supplier to both meet customer delivery dates and minimize expenses.

Inform ERP Distribution Software Projected PO
Predict demand with the project purchase order feature in Inform ERP.

Promote a Customer-Centric Approach With Distribution Software

Another key driver for increasing customer satisfaction is improving turnaround time and shortening order cycles. This can help distributors create a competitive advantage.

Customers are increasingly looking at differentiators (such as delivery time) in order to make their buying decisions. By integrating information between the sales staff and the warehouse, distribution systems are providing better visibility into the order fulfillment process.

Aside from decreasing the time needed to process orders by making information available between departments in real-time, increased visibility allows for easier collaboration in resolving issues.

Epicor Prophet 21 Customer Buying Trend Analysis Distribution Software
The customer buying trend analysis in Epicor Prophet 21.

Cost of Distribution Software

The cost of distribution software starts at around $45/month/user for software on a subscription-based pricing model. For purchased solutions, the one-time costs start at $2,100 for purchase with implementation and training.

The biggest cost determinant of distribution software will be the:

  • Number of users
  • Number of functionality modules
  • Required integrations
  • Accounting features needed

Some companies charge a flat rate per month per user. These companies may or may not have a minimum amount of users required. For example, if a company advertises $50/month/user, but requires a 5-user minimum, the effective minimum price is $250/month.

Companies may charge a cost per needed application. These scalable solutions let you add on pieces of the software as you need them. You may only need an inventory control feature right now, but will look to add on purchasing, sales orders, and warehouse management as you grow.

A fully-integrated distribution software may also be known as a distribution ERP software. These solution are intended to be a one-stop-shop for your business software needs, and will include financial accounting features. If accounting is not included in the software, integrations can be provided by skilled vendors for an additional fee.

xTuple Item Workbench Distribution Software
The xTuple ERP solution starts as low as $45/month/user.

What Type of Distribution Software Do You Need?

Whether you are an intensive, selective, or exclusive distributor, or use a direct or indirect approach to getting your products from point A to point B, there is a software developed with your needs in mind. Most distribution software will be marketed towards businesses of specific sizes:

Small Business Distribution Software

Small businesses may have a distribution element to their business which requires managing suppliers and inventory. These small businesses will face the same challenges as larger enterprises, so it’s important to find a software that works for their needs but doesn’t overwhelm them with too many features or too high of a price tag.

The most cost-effective route for a small business is using a generic small business accounting software in conjunction with a distribution software. While these small business accounting solutions can provide some level of inventory and purchasing, a small business wholesale distribution software will provide additional capabilities such as:

  • Tiered pricing
  • Quantity break
  • Contract management
  • Upcharges
  • Discounts
  • Line level percentages
  • Cost-plus management
Acctivate Inventory Distribution Software
Inventory pricing, history, and transactions in Acctivate, a solution marketed as “wholesale distribution software for QuickBooks.”

Mid-Sized Distribution Software

A mid-sized wholesale distributor will prefer the ease of a fully-integrated distribution software. This software can provide a seamless integration from sales order, to purchase orders, to inventory control, to order fulfillment. Company financials will be recorded along the way via integrated accounting module.

A medium sized distribution software can help automate your processes, reduce manual work, and grow your business through the core functionalities. It can also provide additional functions depending on your industry, such as lot tracking, advanced reporting and analytics, landed cost tracking, barcode scanning, and more.

Blue Link ERP Purchase Order Distribution Software
A purchase order with advanced landed costs in Blue Link ERP, a software marketed towards mid-sized to larger distribution companies.

Distribution ERP Software

Enterprise level software will be required for large distributors. This usually includes any distributor or wholesale company with over 50+ employees or multiple warehouses. They may also require support for centralized purchasing or transfers between warehouses.

This level of software can provide an unlimited number of user roles when it comes to access rights. This means management can make sure users only see the data or reports relevant to them. These privileges can be adjusted depending on the department or organization complexity.

A distribution ERP software will be the sole software in use by the organization. This means that the enterprise solution will usual fill in the gaps with non-typical distribution features, such as CRM, payroll, and human resources. This helps make these solutions a complete business management tool.

Accolent ERP Customer Info Distribution Software
Store detailed information on your customers in Accolent ERP, distribution for enterprise-level distribution companies.