No WMS Integration to Your ERP Costs You Money and Jeopardize Your Brand

May 12, 2022

WMS Integration is a must-have to compete it today’s world. As customers goes online, you need to act fast pick a WMS integration vs interface.

If you are lacking a WMS integration to your ERP, or if you have a WMS interface vs integration then this post is for you.

ERP systems really are the backbone of any wholesale, distribution and manufacturing companies.

They are automating the business processes of a company and enabling the flow of information between functional areas and departments.

On the other hand, warehouses have gone through tremendous changes in recent years.

Take for example, the cloud and mobile technologies which tremendously impacted the way companies manage their warehouse and distribution centers.

Today, more than ever, there is a need for warehouses to go through drastic digital transformation. This shift is aimed to improve productivity and increase the warehouse efficiency.

It can happen that a highly specialized ERP systems may also include robust warehouse management functionality.

But in most cases, an ERP system offers capabilities for managing inventory. That includes tracking the process of items as they’re picked, packed and shipped and that’s about it.

Businesses with high-volume and automated distribution facilities see the need to invest in a dedicated warehouse management system to digitize and automate all aspects of their inventory control.

What is a Warehouse Management System (WMS)?

A WMS provides more sophisticated warehouse functionality that comes as standard with an ERP system.

It enables organizations to continuously monitor products’ progress as they move in, through and out of the warehouse.

That including keeping the receipt, storage and movement of goods under control. Using real-time intelligence to optimize product location and shelf duration And ultimately help companies make smarter use of space.

Why A Full WMS Integration With Your ERP System is a Must-Have These Days?

Having no WMS integration with your company’s ERP system can create a bottleneck and limited efficiency. This is affecting your business in many ways.

The warehouse isn’t an island.

Other departments, such as manufacturing, purchasing and customer service, need to access warehouse data for better decision-making.

That means if you have a WMS, it needs to be able to talk to your ERP system. WMS integration with your ERP is crucial if you want to achieve the agility and flexibility you need to survive in today’s world.

A complete and seamless integration between your WMS system and your ERP system can provide valuable information. Your leadership team have the information they need to make effective decisions, as well as ease the data processing task.

WMS Interface vs integration

The trouble is, most third-party WMS applications are only interfaced, rather than seamlessly integrated, with their ERP cousin.

What is a software interface?

A software interface vs integration is a connection that allows two programs to share information with each other. However, the programs themselves are effectively unaffected.

An interface will often use a standard file format such as XML to move information from one system to another.

The two applications are therefore run on separate databases, or even separate servers, and use middle ware or batch export/import processes to physically shift data between systems.

This leads to unnecessary complexity and data duplication, and the need for custom interface development inevitably incurs yet more expense.

With two discrete sets of inventory information, it’s impossible for departments to obtain a single version of the truth.

What is a software integration?

On the other hand, if you integrate vs interface, you have solutions that are connected on a fundamental level.

Instead of having different systems talk back and forth with each other, as with a software interface, integration allows for a seamless transfer of information.

All data is stored in a single location and the various programs are unified.

Is the distinction between a WMS software interface vs integration really so critical?

Well, that depends on how important it is to your business to ensure that orders are manufactured and shipped on time.

If no WMS integration exists, you will not be able to:

  • Achieve the speed and agility your business needs to be competitive in today’s market.
  • Provide management with real-time information they need to make confident decisions.
  • Equip your sales team to only make promises that our business can deliver.
  • Enable your customer service team to keep customers in the loop.
  • Update purchasing based on what has or hasn’t been delivered.
  • Truly implement customer centric picking strategies such as customer driven shelf life combined with FEFO stock rotation.
  • Eliminate human intervention (and the errors associated with data re-entry) with a straight-through transactional flow.
  • Improve billing speed and accuracy.

5 Top Reasons to choose a WMS with Integration to your ERP

With full warehouse software integration, you effectively have a unified system that covers all your bases, cross-linked for visibility and control, giving you the benefit of streamlined, transparent, end-to-end business processes.

You can optimally organize goods and make the best use of your physical warehouse space and employees’ time.

And you’re able to feed the rest of the business with the single source of truth they need to make it reliable, fact-based decisions and create value.

1. Using a single database – single source of truth

An integrated warehouse management system will use the same database tables you already have in your ERP database.

Only a few new tables will be required and added. That means all your customer reports and queries will still work.

It also means, you can find the new tables and fields added to the database using the integration.

By integrating a stand-alone WMS, you will need to manage each system separately as well as managing the integration.

When having parallel tables containing similar data, how will you choose which one is the primary table so your reports tell the same story?

2. Time saved on software integration efforts

Integrating any two systems is a difficult and complicated task. Imagine you must map and link fields between two databases.

Moreover, you need to set up rules to determine which field contains the “true” data for your needs and create additional transaction rules to keep data consistent and reliable.

So, any small revision to one of the systems can force updates to some mapping and rules, often unexpectedly which considerable amount of time and resources

3. Finally, you have data that you can rely on

When you integrate your ERP and warehouse management system, you no longer have to worry about data accuracy as the minute you enter information to one system, it automatically updated the other one.

You can almost eliminate data entry errors.

You can stay on top of put away, good receipts, picking, replenishment, local management, ordering, vendor returns, and reporting on physical and cycle counts.

Having real-time information will boost your company’s efficiency and provide you with the answers you need, when you need them.

4. Track Employee Progress

Many companies have stated that stand alone WMS lacks the tools they need to track employee productivity levels.

By integrating a Warehouse Management System with an ERP, warehouse managers have the option to daily track employee productivity.

They can get real tie alerts once an employee has completed a task, so they can set up the next step in the supply chain.

This instant communication helps businesses stay productive and complete projects on-time.

5. Improving better Decision-Making Process 

The warehouse is not a stand-alone business, and it should not be treated as such.

For example, if your sales department can’t access information in your WMS system, they can’t effectively update customers on their order status.

Therefore, an integrated warehouse management system is so critical. It creates a seamless connection between the two systems so no one in your company is out of the loop.

This sharing of information ensures that your sales team does not make promises you cannot deliver upon. It also means your executives always have a clear picture of your supply chain.

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