A warehouse management system helps you optimize and manage your warehouse operations and make better picking, packing, storing, and shipping decisions. It enables you to move stored goods around the warehouse quickly and without hazards and ensures you can access real-time information about your inventory levels and storage locations.
Modern WMS systems provide various valuable capabilities, such as barcode scanning, shipping management, inventory and order tracking, and other processes necessary to maintain the smooth functioning of your warehouse.
You can easily integrate a WMS with other software programs, such as enterprise resource planning software, supply chain management, and marketing. WMS helps you increase efficiency, productivity, and safety at all your warehouse locations. Most importantly, your customer satisfaction metrics improve thanks to timely order fulfillment.
Let’s examine the different WMS types and why an ERP-integrated WMS is superior to standalone tools.
Why a Warehouse Management System is essential to any business
You probably have a warehouse to manage whether you are a retailer, manufacturer, or supplier. Many of you may even have multiple warehouses in different locations. Manually tracking and tracing goods stored at these locations can be very complicated. Most importantly, it prolongs order processing, leading to a loss of revenue. Using a WMS provides various benefits:
- Manage your inventory efficiently: Warehouses are incredibly complex facilities where goods are often stored temporarily before being dispatched to their destination. No matter your business, a WMS provides real-time inventory data to avoid overstocking and understocking, helping you save on resources and costs, improve brand image, and eliminate wastage.
- Fulfill orders accurately: online and offline Orders placement renders a multichannel order fulfillment process. This means you will need accurate data on product availability, shipping information, and inventory levels.
- Streamline your warehouse processes: A WMS automates receiving, shipping, packing, and picking processes, saving valuable time and minimizing human errors, freeing your staff to focus on more critical tasks.
- Enhanced control and visibility: A WMS lets you track and trace the goods’ entire lifecycle, from the time of purchase from suppliers to their dispatch to their final destination, either to end-users or towards the manufacturing conveyor belt. You gain access to real-time data regarding inventory levels and order status, allowing you to implement an omnichannel shopping experience.
Types of Warehouse Management Systems
Like other enterprise software programs, there are different types of WMS. Broadly, we can classify them under five groups:
- Standalone WMS: Standalone WMS programs are dedicated to automating your warehouse processes. They can be deployed on-premise or used as a SaaS-delivered cloud-based application. A standalone WMS manages every aspect of your warehouse management, but you may need to integrate it with your ERP, HRMS, and other business software programs for added functionalities.
- ERP-based WMS: Some ERP solutions have a built-in WMS module. For example, Priority offers a fully integrated WMS module that interacts with other modules such as Human Resource management, inventory management, shipping, and even sales and marketing. This reduces your need to implement expensive integrations with third-party applications.
- Cloud-based WMS: Cloud-based WMS solutions are delivered online and may be less expensive. However, you may need to integrate it with other business software programs to add functionalities and features. In addition, some cloud-based WMS programs may not support all necessary integrations.
- Tiered WMS: A tiered WMS offers different levels of complexity and functionality. You can add features as your business expands or scales. A tiered approach may be suitable if you have a small warehouse and require limited features.
- Industry-specific WMS: Some vendors offer industry-specific WMS solutions that can be deployed on-premise or as SaaS. However, integration with your other business automation programs may be required.
5 Reasons why a Warehouse Management Module integrated into an ERP is superior
Regardless of the kind of business you run, a WMS will rarely be the only software you will ever use. Moreover, WMS data must be integrated with other software, such as ERP, CRM, and HRMS, to gain valuable insights and streamline all your business processes. The perfect solution is to choose an ERP with a built-in WMS module.
Here are the main reasons why you need an ERP with built-in WMS:
- Streamlined Operations
In addition to standard ERP features, an ERP with a built-in, fully featured WMS module streamlines all your business operations by managing es data in a central repository and automating daily processes, such as receiving and put-away and picking and packing in real-time correlation with placed orders and delivery.
You can quickly generate advanced reports and analytics, track and monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) such as order fulfillment rates and inventory levels, manage your staff, and even attend to customer queries. Most importantly, streamlining your business operations and gaining access to business insight help you make accurate decisions.
- Improved Data Accuracy
Manual data entry allows for fraud, human errors, and data duplication. An ERP with a built-in WMS keeps a central repository of data that eliminates duplicate entries and maintains an updated copy of data.
Integrated Barcode and RFID scanners help you track your inventory anywhere, anytime, so you can track and trace all your procurement processes, finished products, and even sold goods. This helps ensure the accuracy of historical data and resolve disputes that may arise.
- Enhanced Visibility
One of the benefits of using an integrated ERP is that it gives you access to real-time inventory tracking. You will always know where your items are stored and how much is required to optimize order fulfillment.
This helps improve customer satisfaction metrics and enhances your brand image in the long term. Moreover, you can identify critical locations in your warehouse to optimize storage placement for quicker and easier shipping.
- Increased Productivity
- Faster Inventory Turnover
An AWS helps reduce lead times, lessening the need for safety stock. An efficient WMS can help create a faster inventory turnover by limiting inventory movement and improving record accuracy.
- Cost Savings
Although ERP with a built-in WMS module has an upfront or recurring cost depending on the type of license you purchase, the long-term ROI is undeniable. Standardizing inventory movements, picking methods and locations, lowering error rates, and reducing training costs leads to increased efficiency within the warehouse.
With increased productivity and access to accurate insights, you can purchase just the right amount of raw materials.
Additionally, process automation reduces error rates while lessening dependency on an extensive workforce. This reduction in human error and administration time allows a faster, more appropriate response to sudden changes, errors, or upheavals that may occur.
ERP with built-in WMS trounces all the other options
No matter what kind of business you have, a WMS integrated with ERP is always a superior choice. It eliminates duplicate data entries, gives you access to rich insights, and ensures you are on top of your game regarding multichannel order fulfillment.
Priority’s WMS fully integrates with our ERP system and offers features that help you scale up and grow. You can choose the modules you need and add others as and when the necessity arises. You can make on-the-spot adjustments to work orders, accurately allocate your inventory, and ensure your staff is well-rested and more productive.