If your business includes a warehousing operation, you want to be sure that your IT systems are up to the job. And that includes your ERP.
Most ERP systems include some basic functionality that works for wholesale distribution operations. And with most of them, you can also add a specialised warehouse module. For a small operation with basic warehousing processes and needs, this may well be sufficient. But when your entire business relies on the right customers receiving the right orders, then you want to be sure you have a best-of-breed warehouse management system (WMS) too.
The functionality of a WMS meets precise and often quite complex stock and warehousing needs that help operations and warehousing to achieve their efficiency targets.
Here’s a look at some of the advantages of implementing a best-of-breed WMS.
Stock levels are always up to date and RF technology can be used, which ensures a high degree of stock accuracy and also eliminates the need for manual tracking and data entry.
One of our customers, Camlab, uses Accellos One WMS alongside their ERP system. Rowan Maulder, Marketing Director, praises the accuracy that the WMS brings, “The system quickly provided 95 per cent accuracy, which was a big leap forward for us and now we consistently achieve over 99 per cent accuracy. The annual stock take is a thing of the past.”
Multi-level container management
Multi-level container management allows a number of warehouse movements to be created and carried out. It also means you can deliver to customers in multiple units of measure. Item-level container details are available and advanced shipping notification information can be provided to your customer. With an ERP warehouse module, this sort of level of detail is not possible. Only single-level container management – often only at pallet level – is supported.
Advanced picking rules
A best-of-breed WMS system can apply a range of picking rules, giving you a great deal of flexibility. Advanced picking rules bring greater efficiency and stock accuracy through options that can batch orders, optimise pick paths, and can properly execute inventory strategies such as FIFO.
You can use existing picking rules or create your own. In contrast, ERP systems generally define a pick path using a single sortable location code.
Integration of advanced tools
Best-of-breed WMS platforms include advanced functionality that delivers increased efficiency through lower costs and a reduction in the kinds of errors that come with manual processing. The tools that deliver these benefits include dock/berth scheduling, transportation optimisation, and less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping.
Food manufacturers and wholesalers rely on batch traceability in the event of issues with their produce. Batch and product traceability exists in best-of-breed WMS and allows food and drink businesses to very quickly trace back through the supply chain to find the origin of a problem, and to inform each element of the supply chain.
Specialist WMS enhances your warehouse processes
As you’ve seen, best-of-breed WMS really can enhance your warehouse processes. Picking, packing and delivery times can all be speeded up, and picking accuracy can be enhanced. A specialist WMS can save time, as well as staff and stock costs. It can bring much greater stock accuracy and can work to inventory strategies that have been proven to reduce stock holding or to optimise stock use.
Are your ERP’s warehouse processes up to the job? We’d be pleased to evaluate them for you or to scope out how a specialist WMS can improve your business. Please call us on 020 8819 9071 or contact us using the website form.
Can’t decide between NetSuite and SAP?
As Balloon One is the only UK partner of both these leading systems, we are able to offer unbiased advice on which solution is best for your specific business needs. Download the comprehensive ‘SAP Business One vs NetSuite’ comparison to explore the capabilities of both ERP systems.