Optimizing Warehouse Management: The Vital Roles of ERP and WMS in Streamlining Your Supply Chain Operations

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Optimizing Warehouse Management: The Vital Roles of ERP and WMS in Streamlining Your Supply Chain Operations

Customers are only one click away from ordering an infinite number of products while customer delivery expectations are steadily increasing, which has led to a surge in parcel volume on a global scale. This increase has led to added complexities for warehouses. Poor warehouse management causes debilitating problems such as inaccurate inventory tracking and poor-quality control. When not addressed quickly, these problems have serious business ramifications on the warehouse’s productivity and reputation.

How are companies avoiding these problems?

More and more companies worldwide are implementing Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) as part of their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to help simplify their supply chain complexities and keep up with B2C demand.

While most warehouse operations are invisible to customers, the world of warehouse optimization should be a top business priority. Proper warehouse management ensures that all processes are running efficiently, including the fulfillment of orders, and coordinating communication between suppliers and carriers. This ensures that shipments arrive on time and orders are tracked accurately. Integrating a WMS within an ERP provides real-time insights and grants warehouse workers greater visibility over their entire operation, including how and when inventory is shipped and received.

Investing in a robust ERP system with WMS functionality is vital to business success.

Warehouse management software functionalities can differ depending on an organization’s workflows, but six core processes remain the same.

  1. Receiving: the items arrived, and each is logged in the system. It is needed to verify the quantity, condition, and time it arrived.
  2. Put-away: in this step, the received and registered items go to storage.
  3. Storage: this is the step of deciding the best location to put the product (based on the conditions of the item and strategically).
  4. Picking: the items are collected to fulfill orders.
  5. Packing: preparation for shipment (choice of packaging, size, and package slip printing)
  6. Shipping: the last step toward the fulfillment of the order (coordination of carrier pickup, correct documentation, and shipping within the expected timeframe).

Each of these six basic steps often cascade into multiple sub-tasks. These tasks become even more challenging when shipping large quantities to international destinations. Customers expect the shipping process to run smoothly, and warehouse management mistakes or miscalculations can cause serious business implications when not dealt with promptly. An ERP system with enhanced WMS functionality can mitigate risks and difficulties associated with warehouse management operations by automating and optimizing procedures, ensuring that customers receive their orders on time.

ERP systems store key supply chain data within a single database, giving companies a unified view of their supply chain operations and comprehensive insight into their KPIs. Integrating with standard ERP modules help companies with business planning, reducing any challenges associated with integrating multiple applications to handle different supply chain functions. For example, NMB Gateway for Parcel includes the Packing Workbench (PWB), which facilitates the entire shipping process by automating pick and pack workflows. It eases warehouse management complexities by extending standard ERP systems, providing warehouses greater visibility and automation throughout the picking, packing, and shipping process.

If your company does not use an ERP system that manages supply chain processes, it’s time to invest in one.

Automated systems can boost efficiency, increase customer satisfaction, reduce overhead and operational costs, and are less susceptible to IT issues. When choosing an ERP software, ensure it enhances and eases your business’ functionality, scalability, implementation, and training. Besides looking for immediate needs, think about future business growth. Suppose your company needs to buy or sell internationally, or at least intends to. In that case, the recommendation is to choose a solution that supports multiple languages and currencies while generating compliance documentation.

After implementing the ERP software, your company can look for solutions to expand it’s capabilities. If your business needs to manage orders and analyze the best carrier prices, the odds of making a mistake or wasting time while doing it manually are high. Aim for a solution that seamlessly integrates with multi-carrier and service models, granting you complete control and visibility over where and how your packages are sent worldwide.

At NMB Solutions, among our products, we carry NMB Gateway for Parcel: a software solution that integrates with Microsoft’s ERP and WMS, expanding its native capabilities. Our solution includes the most advanced rate-shopping engine that can connect to your e-commerce operation. It ensures your customers get the best rate for every shipment and every delivery. For every shipment, the system selects the best service option that meets your customer’s timeframes at the lowest cost and provides flexibility to accommodate customer preferences. NMB Gateway for Parcel provides data insights - performance KPIs utilizing Power BI, and our Flexible International Rules Engine (FIRE) - FIRE automatically creates the proper documentation for export compliance.

If you’re considering implementing an ERP system for the first time, or migrating to another software, contact us through sales@nmbsolutions.ca to discuss further benefits of NMB Gateway for Parcel as an essential add-on to ERP and WMS.

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