Though the economy has thrown us a curve ball over the last couple of years, there are indications that the economy might be in the process of turning around. In fact, wholesale distributors have recently reported six quarters of consecutive growth, plus the need to start growing their inventories and people resources, i.e. the need to hire more people. Recent surveys from Modern Distribution Management (MDM) and Bloomberg support this positive economic trend, which is something that we have not seen in years. But there is also another survey by MDM that offers insight to concerns that distributors have due to the new growth scenario and the strategies they would like to put in place. This survey indicates that distributors are concerned about how to plan for a turned-around economy when the data they have to use is from the last couple of years. In other words, using the recent past to forecast the future is a bit tougher since the last couple of years have been, well, let’s saying challenging.

But, what data do I use?     

Many people believe you plan today by using improved, current up-to-the minute information, by having better control of your operation and by better leveraging your current assets and resources. With complete real-time information at your fingertips, you have the power to better control operations and plan for new growing revenues.

Cloud computing is a great choice!

This brings me to Cloud computing and SaaS. Until recently, small-to-mid-sized companies had very few options available to them that would provide the information and controls needed to run their businesses, without the high costs and complexities associated with comprehensive enterprise-wide business software. Today however, companies have choices that include SaaS as well as traditional software deployed on a Cloud computing service.

Having this choice, means that even the smaller companies can take advantage of big ERP capabilities without the initial costs associated with the pricier on-premise systems. With it comes better control and real-time information that is sorely needed to successfully plan for and take advantage of a growing marketplace.

Conclusion

Today, applications can use the power of the Cloud to deliver role-specific dashboards and customizable reports in real-time. And because they can be access from anywhere, by more people, they are providing the up-to-the-minute information needed for better control of operations, and for leveraging current assets and resources, all requirements for today’s planning. The bottom line is Cloud computing and SaaS can help companies plan for the turned-around economy.