There are many ways to gain control of your warehouse processes through various technologies. The use of barcodes, scanning and wireless RF to track inventory and complete the myriad of processes within the warehouse is growing albeit slowly in the mid and small business markets. The big boys like Costco, Auto Zone, Grainger and Amazon have been utilizing warehouse management systems for many years and the gains they have made in their businesses have been staggering.
For many companies considering the purchase and implementation of a warehouse management system the options are numerous and sometimes confusing. Many ERP software companies now provide add-ons or modules that can reach into the warehouse and provide some additional functionality. Microsoft, Sage, Infor and SAP to name a few of the larger software companies that are providing additional levels of capability for warehouse operations. Some companies will find these add-ons useful to them and may be all that is needed to improve their operations.
In many cases though companies engaged in wholesale distribution require a solution that can provide a higher level of functionality than most ERP systems can provide. Managing the supply chain for most distributors has become complex and requires the ability to make changes to the way they do business almost instantly. Customers are demanding additional services and support from their suppliers. In order to meet these expanding and diverse needs companies need a way to react quickly and must have the ability to be as agile as possible. This is where “Best of Breed” warehouse management solutions like Accellos’ suite of supply chain solutions fit in.
Companies engaged in the distribution of products and considering a WMS solution owe it to themselves to take a hard look at the differences between the ERP warehouse systems and a “Best of Breed” system. Two of the biggest reasons companies are drawn to the ERP solutions are the ideas that it is better to work with one company than two and the ERP solution is tightly interfaced with the core software. Although these seem like good reasons it is much more important to get the tools needed to run the operation efficiently and profitably. Today warehouse management solutions like Accellos One Warehouse have interfaces already written, tested and installed for most all of today’s most popular ERP systems. The “one throat to choke” mentality is also flawed. There is a huge difference between understanding accounting and implementing it versus understanding the operational requirements of an ever changing supply chain and implementing a solution and meets those needs now and into the future.