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DDI System Provides the Tools for Success for the GDS Community!

General Data Systems and DDI System are now partners for your success, bringing together our mutual history of exceptional customer service and technology solutions. We are excited to bring our companies together with you, and help you prosper!

We invite you to learn more about Inform ERP for GDS users. Contact us to get an
in-depth view of Inform's robust capabilities and sales driving tools.

Get the answers to the FAQs from GDS users from our latest webinar »

Who's Taken the Next Step

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Get a Personalized Consultation

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Today's Technology

Take your business operations to the next level with Inform eCommerce & Inform Mobility. See the latest tools designed to exceed customer expectations and align daily tasks with new, opportunistic revenue sources. Amplify the customer experience, 24/7 with real-time pricing, order
status and ordering capabilities.

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Superior Operations

Go beyond lean inventories, intuitive financials and performance analytics. Uncover inefficiencies and lower operational costs with an extraordinary sales order system, advanced demand management, and in-depth reporting. Unite your team with unparalleled CRM and insights that exceed customer expectations.

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Transition Expertise

Rely on DDI's trusted team of data migration & training experts. Leverage data conversion experts experienced in unique workflows and industry best practices. Tap into unparalleled knowledge to ensure a timely, successful transition complete with step-by-step progress reviews so your company can go-live with confidence.

The Cost of Doing Nothing

What's the risk in not upgrading your ERP Software? While investing in technology isn’t always the best part of managing operations, it’s critical to combat disruptive forces and compete in today’s digitally thriving world.

Understand the challenges distributor's are facing and the importance of a stronger solution. »

Running your businesses is no longer simply about managing inventory. You are continually seeking ways to ensure your investments accelerate ROI, empower your teams and grow sales. Inform harmonizes distribution operations using powerful tools designed to align daily tasks with new, opportunistic revenue sources with a focus on the customer first.  Inform puts detailed contact information at the forefront, enabling teams to easily act on sales opportunities and incite customer loyalty with powerful CRM tools embedded within your everyday business management system.

Digitization is giving more power to suppliers who are choosing their distributors based on exposure. The reality for most distributors is that they no longer have the luxury of being able to just buy and sell products if they want to maintain relationships with suppliers who offer the best pricing models. Inform eCommerce unifies Inform ERP software and your web store using the data within your Inform database so you remain a distributor of choice.

The real risk you’re running here is losing a customer in the moment. Delivering an exceptional client experience means being able to provide customers the information they want, when they want it, creating a seamless buying experience. Inform's mobile solutions help teams gain the advantage by delivering the information needed to service customers anytime, anywhere.
The pace of change is staggering. In fact, researchers have predicted that in the next 10 years, 40% of the S&P 500 will no longer exist if they do not keep up with technology trends. Distributors who do not update systems, run the risk of losing product line support at any time, without warning, thereby disrupting daily operations and business. Outdated systems, lack of wireless or mobile technology and disconnected information prevent distributors from truly understanding business challenges and the ability to strategize pro-actively. DDI's Inform ERP optimizes wholesale operations with next-generation business tools in one real-time, unified platform.
Whether your business has made security a top-priority or not, it will need to.  Your customers are constantly being notified of information breaches and cyber-hackers that are creating uncertainty and raising their level of concern for personal information.  Delivering fast, secure Point-of-Sale transactions that are EMV ready provides distributors, and their clients, hacker fighting technology to dispel security concerns. Cayan's Genius technology integrates with Inform ERP to process and accept payment while delivering a seamless customer experience with lightning-fast chip card transactions, debit cards with PINs or swipes.

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About DDI System

DDI System was founded in 1995 and today drives success at over 1000 distributors throughout North America. DDI's mission is to deliver innovative, high-performing technology to inspire business growth.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Frequently asked questions and answers from GDS audiences.

How much history will you be able to convert over?

Typically, we bring over at least 4 years of sales history and critical “who bought what when” data. At go-live you will have access to important historical product sales information to determine year over year performance and all necessary information for inventory demand forecasting. Our collection and conversion experts move all the relevant data that you need to succeed quickly within Inform ERP. It’s probably easier to say what don’t we bring over – and that is cash receipts history. Although this is important data, after 6 months the cash receipts history loses significance. And the old system is not gone, it’s still there, you can go back and look at it anytime.

Will you demonstrate a fabrication order or how to build a Kit/BOM [bill of materials] please?

Yes, we can even give you a quick overview of fabrication. You can do an on the fly fabrication order, sometimes called MTO made to order, doing it on the fly in the sales order. And you can do more elaborate fabrication by creating a work order. You can add and delete components on the fly. And you can get the cost of the fabrication and from the sell price of the components or you could do the sell price manually.

That nested kit produces its own separate work order. Kit work orders can be nested inside other kits – it builds nested work orders for you as well, and committed components. And you can do an order shop location. You can tell the system this is at pick up counter. And in the sales order you can look and see that it moves from the production area into pickup area. As far as the components go, start off with 0 committed – no commitments, just stock. Then we put components on a sales order. If we need components for components, such as batteries per components, the system nests them so the system knows there’s now batteries committed to this. We even have hover help that displays info about commitments. To see it in action, request a one on one demonstration and we can go over the details.

Can you customize month end reports?

You will likely not need to do this, but yes, you can build customized reports through our advanced report writer. ‘Advanced’ does not mean you have to pay more, advanced just means it is a more advanced utility. Inform ERP also has a pre-built report writer that doesn’t have a lot of features but it’s easy to get started with. Our advanced report writer comes with the core product but has deep functionality such as scheduling. So for example, you can build a report to be produced and delivered monthly. When you close the month, this report will be produced and sent by pdf, spreadsheet, or as a web page or as a flat file. With the advanced report writer, you can have user defined fields, you can join multiple files together, you can have calculated fields, you can have colors, you can schedule the delivery, you can email it to someone else, etc.

How do you bring in or maneuver serial numbers?

There’s a whole serial number system, serial number inquiry. Type in a serial number to look up any serial number at any time and you’ll see when you purchased it, if you are recording serial numbers at the time of receiving. If not, you’ll see when you sold it, or if you transferred to another branch, or if you used it to build something else on the fabrication. Or if you have it in stock. To put them in, you can type them in, you can scan them in, or you can get them through an advanced ship notice or imported from the vendor.

When doing invoicing do you have the capability to attach items in the system?

Yes, we can send customers invoices with attachments via email. You can also add attachments in ‘edocs’ tab in sales order, and if there is a scanner attached it’ll activate the scanner and scan in the document as a pdf and automatically attach it.

Can item numbers be changed as vendor numbers change or upgrade?

Yes. In some cases there is an item and it’s got a number and it’s also got vendor part number. We don’t always need to change this if the vendor changes it. Vendors can have different part numbers. If it’s a new item entirely and it supersedes this one, this is the old model and we want a distinction between the old one and the new one, we build a new product with a new number with slightly newer description and we link it – this is a superseded link, purchase history link. This item gets its sales history from this other item. So when I’m doing inventory forecasting I’ll take the new sales, new item, and last year’s sales of the superseded item and I’ll build my demand for purchasing that way. But if all else fails and you really do need to change this part number, click the edit button, change product number from the old number to the new number and it's done. If you need to do many items at once just set it to batch overnight.

What are the procedures for price increases?

One of the procedures is doing something called product import where you do your edits in a spreadsheet and then import the entire group at once. Another approach is to go to mass change, and change all the products that come from this primary vendor and change the standard cost. You can also set it for the future and have it go into effect at a future date.

Can we update existing pricing records or create new ones on the fly in sales order entry?

Yes, you can modify the customer’s pricing in sales order entry.

Will invoice number always match the sales order number? Even on backorders?

Yes, we use a number extensions for backorders. An example is an order #1234, then 1234-01, -02, -03, -04, and the invoice becomes the same thing. In fact, we produce those backorders immediately. If you put a sales order in and you are in a live inventory, but don’t have to be, we will produce the back orders immediately so that you could conceivably ship an order multiple times in one day. Some of our customers are able to replenish their inventory the same day. So by producing those back orders as soon as the orders are entered it gives you the ability to ship that multiple times in a day. You don’t have to do it that way but it’s a handy feature.

Can you link DDI to any website template?

The answer is, probably. When you’re integrating to any kind of 3rd party system that we haven’t done before, there’s always things to figure out.

Does Inform work with 3rd party shipping manifest systems for UPS and Fed EX Ground small packages?

Yes, we directly connect with UPS worldship and FedEx ship manager. Simply put your sales order number in and it feeds back the UPS tracking number. That tracking number ends up on the invoices and it ends up on the ecommerce or customer portal as well.

Will the system produce LTL bill of lading too?

We don’t produce an LTL bill of lading, but we do have a couple customers who print on a preprinted multi part form for a bill of lading.

What is the typical time it takes to move over from ProfitTools into DDI’s Inform ERP software?

The most typical project is about 3-4 months start to finish – but that doesn’t mean it's done.  We have a well defined Seven Phase project plan. We begin with a conference discovery call, and move through the phases with on-site training and go-live and dozens of follow-up touch points. The GDS data conversion is very thorough including sales orders, purchase orders and complete history.

How do you do end of the month reporting? We have over a million items in our SKUs.

We have no problem handling millions of items. With Inform ERP you don’t have to print reports at the end of the month. Meaning they’re always there. When you close the month, you’re just moving a pointer in the software that’s now pointing to position, for example month 1 , then we move the pointer to position 2, month 2, and all the data that was there before is still there. So, our reports, like a sales journal, a tax journal, a cash receipts journal, and many standard end of month reports, are there for you when you need them.

When you click the ‘close end of month’ button it kicks off the job stream, which runs service charges or finance charges. If you do that, then it runs customer statements. You can fax, email, print, balance forward statement or create an open items statement. You can also save a copy of the statements and attach to the customer file. It produces and saves the reports for reference anytime. I think you will find this process saves you dozens of hours in end of month processing time.

We have built our own website using shopify, can Inform ERP connect to this?

Yes. We’ve got a utility called Sellercloud. Sellercloud connects to our data and connects to Shopify. There is an example at our Shopify demo site at ddi-system.myshopify.com. It exchanges data with a direct connection periodically throughout the day.

Can we renumber items?

If it’s important for you to deploy new numbers and cross reference with old numbers we can help you do that. Also, you can use 10 different categories of keywords to find without changing the numbers. So the numbers for us are not as pivotal as they once were.

How easy is it to access the pertinent customer information when they call?

Here’s a basic approach. The customer calls up. So I go to the top of the screen and type in their name to get the contact screen up. I take a quick look to see any recent activity, such as a recent birthday. Then I go to ‘new order’. I put in the product number. If I hover over the item, that’s all the times that this customer has purchased this before. And if you need more detail beyond that, you right click and you can go to customer sales history. So that shows each invoice number, each order number.  So it’s pretty quick.

We can also copy a sales order from the pdf/document they sent over and paste it right in, simple as that. And you can do that in sales, purchase order and journal entry. For repetitive orders use the order pad, a quick and easy way to take repeat orders.

When you create a sales order does that automatically go into a purchase order, such as if you’re drop shipping?

It can, if that is your procedure.