A Warehouse Management Solution (WMS) is required when the current ERP (Accounting System) cannot adequately manage inventory, operations and process. Warehouses can benefit from a WMS system especially if there has been an increase in labour costs. With the current environment many distribution businesses are growing dramatically. With this there is a key need for operational accuracies, as picking accuracy can be fairly significant issues not only for customer satisfaction but also regard to carrying costs and overall labour needs.
ERP Systems often struggle with warehouse management. Even with the latest releases today of some ERP's such as Netsuite, MYOB Advanced they typically do not have the capabilities to manage the complexities of modern warehouses. For example, many ERP's and ERP WMS modules struggle with managing all the tracking of inventory movements. You may need to run replenishment with FIFO rules and track pallets by bin location. With the current environment there is a complete need for pallet management in the warehouse and manage slotting.
We also see ERP WMS modules have trouble handling catch weight. The inability to manage multiple units of measure properly, such as product is ordered in units and invoiced in weight. From here the ERP WMS modules struggle to scan and capture the number of cartons and capturing the weight for each carton and parsing this information back to the ERP. Typically we see the need to manage GS-1 128, 2D and HIBC barcodes in the food and medical industry as well.
From experience the ERP WMS modules seem to typically rely on manual data entry and redundant steps. Best of Breed WMS will allow for scanning at all operations including command barcodes. There will also be an audit on all scans to capture information for KPI's and dashboards.
With Labour Costs growing disproportionately with revenue and volume growth, only the right WMS system can level the playing field. Our WMS from The RIC Group can help improve operational accuracies, order fill rate and lower labour costs.
The other point that is really important is to choose a WMS that can meet your needs today and scale over time.