BEST OF BREED
Many IT professionals assume that integrating a best of breed WMS (Warehouse Management Solution) with their ERP system will be a significant expense and result in one-off code that is difficult to maintain. In most cases this assumption is not valid. Many WMS providers such as The RIC Group have focused on medium sized business and have removed the complexity of WMS to ERP integration by delivering standard, out-of-the-box ERP integrations to SAP B1 and MYOB EXO. These integrations are proven at multiple customer sites across different industries.
Undoubtedly, implementing any new technology is always a risk. There are always steps to be taken to reduce the risk that will impact end user confidence in the system. Best of breed providers have the experience and domain expertise to build a thorough implementation plan with risk mitigation strategies based on years of experience of implementing warehouse management solutions. Importantly they have the experience of supporting the technology that goes with warehouse management solutions such as mobile PDA technology, or WIFI infrastructure, because this is where their experience has been over the years. ERP providers’ domain expertise lies with their core ERP system. Not paperless warehousing, or mobile picking strategies with multiple pickers in a warehouse, or capturing data with a mobile device.
For a warehouse management solution to deliver value and foster confidence with the operations team of the business, it must function without failure and have near 100 per cent up time. This is where best of breed WMS simply has one of the most important advantages. The best of breed WMS is built to help operations and send all vital information back to the ERP such as SAP B1 or MYOB EXO. An ERP partner simply does not have the experience of developing products to support these principles.
When implementing WMS software customers want flexibility and functionality. An ERP provider who is supplying a solution developed by themselves will be in the early phases of creating warehouse management functionality. Naturally, any software company that is building a new product is going to start with the foundation elements. Just like constructing a building, if there isn't a sound foundation, then anything else built on will be of no value. This is an important point. While it is clearly necessary to have a solid foundation and is the correct place to start, it is not where the core value will be delivered from the system.
As an example, take picking rules. A best of breed system will have dozens of different rules that can be applied in each operation. These rules have been built up over time from implementations of the system across many industries and customers. This functionality not only provides a much higher level of flexibility, but it always provides the assurance that the functionality has been exercised and proven in the field many times over. Contrarily, the ERP partner has far fewer options in this area and with the lack of experience in operational efficiency they may not understand what to deliver if a customisation is required.
Bottom line, companies invest in these warehouse management solutions to reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and to improve customer service. With today’s environment changing with technology, customers wanting to change ERP’s, and operations becoming more complex then a best of breed WMS is the only approach.