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Why ERP and WMS Integration is Key for Warehouse Automation

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If your wholesale or distribution business is using an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, you know how vital it is to your day-to-day operations. ERP has automated your business processes, given you visibility into real-time information, and allowed you to share that information across various departments. Your ERP system, however, may be a bit limited when it comes to managing inventory. In fact, most ERP systems only track products as they’re selected, packaged and shipped to the customer. If you have high-volume and highly-automated distribution facilities, you should consider investing in a dedicated warehouse management system (WMS) to digitize and automate all facets of inventory control.

A WMS allows you to continuously track your inventory’s movement into, throughout and out of your warehouse. Additionally, real-time intelligence enables you to optimize inventory location and shelf life.

Because your manufacturing, purchasing and customer service departments need access to your warehouse information, it’s important to have seamless integration between your WMS and your ERP system. The only issue is, most third-party WMS applications merely interface – rather than integrate – with ERP systems.

What’s the Difference Between Interfacing and Integrating?

WMS and ERP run on separate databases and sometimes even separate servers and manually move data between the two systems. The result is unneeded difficulty and data duplication, and custom interface development can be pricey. Furthermore, your business departments can’t see a single version of the truth when working with two disconnected sets of inventory information.

In order to keep your customers happy, you need to know your orders are being fulfilled and shipped on time. That’s why it’s critical to have your WMS and ERP be able to talk to each other across a single platform.

Benefits of Full Integration

With your WMS and ERP fully integrated, you can:

  • Run faster and smarter while maintaining a competitive edge in your market
  • Give management accurate information to make sound business decisions
  • Empower your sales team to make commitments your business can meet
  • Allow your customer service team to provide superior service
  • Update purchasing based on what has or hasn’t been delivered
  • Apply customer-focused selection approaches such as customer-driven shelf life combined with first expired, first out (FEFO) inventory rotation
  • Eliminate manual business tasks and the mistakes that come with them
  • Improve billing speed and accuracy

Full integration of your WMS and ERP systems ensures complete control of a business that runs like a well-oiled machine. With a clear picture of your inventory and how well it’s organized, you’ll be able to make the most ideal use of your warehouse space and your staff’s time. The accurate, real-time information you’ll have at your fingertips will enable you and your management team to make solid decisions and watch your business thrive.

Atlantic Data Systems (ADS) can help you transform the way you do business by integrating your WMS and ERP solutions. We offer an approach that is cost-effective, quick to implement, and simple and use.

To learn more, contact us here.

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