High-level advisor to multiple SME's and Fortune 500 companies. Delivering growth and sustainable improvement across multiple areas. Operational excellence and financial health focus.
The question of a "good software" package really does require a bit more of a review to ascertain what is suitable to your needs, and I say this after reviewing multiple software packages and business requirement cases in many different verticals and industries.
Some of the things you will need to consider are:
1) What your entire business process is? From start to finish, not only could the new tool be incompatible with the rest of your business, but it could present new opportunities that you haven't had before.
2) What are some of the features that are more/less important to you? You say to help with the import/distribution management but that could need a higher focus on integration with providers and shipping, or it could be more data focus for manifests, ease of use, mobile accessibility, maybe you want a less SAP/complex approach. Which brings me to my next point.
3) What is your price point? Now is often viewed a little too strongly in my opinion, as the cheapest product might make for a more expensive process. Something to consider in the market is subscription parameters (user/product licenses, enterprise vs. basic, scalability etc). It is true that sometimes the absolute best software will be far too expensive when it's all said and done, by the same token the cheapest product might require so much more additional work and steps to make the overall product viable that it will cost more anyway. So it's important to get a very comprehensive understanding to see what would work best.
If you wish, more than happy to go over this with you in a call should you require. If nothing else, i hope that this gives you a good platform to get started with.
Businesses operating in an SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) often have an intense juggling act to play in relation to stock supply and where they choose to spend their money.
In the case of one particular client, who operated in the mining and Oil/Gas space; the challenge for them was actually determined by their customers engineering departments as introducing new products was not only risky, but also had the added risk of trying to ascertain just how much to stock relative to lead time and the overall service life. Some of those risks I addressed by supply contracts and agreements, consignment stock etc. which provide a level of security to take on said risk.
Another client had extremely volatile sales as it related to the construction industry, and as such were affected by things such as weather and construction deadlines which could see sales go from all to nothing literally overnight. What was worse was at the time, supply was sought from overseas which meant that stock levels (and working capital) was enormous to account for potential (no forecasting provided) sales and the lead time which exceeded three months. To solve that, I adjusted the lead time and supply which allowed for much faster turnaround (3 days as opposed to 3 months) and supplier negotiation which got the hard cost actually lower than the imported product - which at the time was (and still is) a very rare thing to be able to do.
Ultimately; purchasing needs to have quality in three major areas:
Quality of Price
Quality of Supply
Quality of Service
If you still have questions would be more than happy to have a chat over the phone especially if you have more follow-up questions or need some more specific advice.
First of all, this will come down to branding and how you wish to position yourself relative to the vertical (niche) you wish to operate in. Things such as market research do help to a certain extent but it will also come down to what that luxury item is.
For instance; in the sense of luxury watches or jewellery, the brand will play a greater role owing to the provenance, and the target market who wish to pay/acquire those particular items will put more weight into the brands carried as a way to validate the brand of the place that stocks those particular items.
This leads to the secondary consideration is the particular clientele you wish to approach. You'll notice that in the areas regarding luxury you might find two major categories; sellers who wish to offer the absolute lowest price for luxury items thereby making them more accessible, or those that offer more of the concierge service and charge accordingly. In both cases, you will be able to tailor your approach from your presentation, stock levels/selection, pricing, features (things that you want to stand out on against your competitors), and overall service delivery which makes your marketing and sales channels much easier to select and focus on.
Once you have a clear idea of those basic questions, the next stages become much simpler as you aren't trying to answer HOW to make money, you're answering the question of WHO are you going to make money off.
Ultimately; your clientele and business model can be profitable if managed properly and if you keep that in mind; a marketing strategy can be made that is actionable and sustainable.
If you wish, happy to talk more and provide more detail should you have more follow-up questions.