ERP Integration: WMS with Seamless Integration into Your ERP
In part 4 of our WMS for the SYSPRO series, we’ll explain why ERP integration is such an important criterion when it comes to selecting a WMS system. To learn more about the other selection criteria, check out our WMS Selection Handguide.
Experience has shown that this selection decision will either make or break your business. If an ERP system is down for an hour or so, the operations will probably continue normally making use of manual processes. If a real-time WMS is down for an hour, it will stop the operation totally. Take the picking of goods. If the picking transactional time takes too long, the WMS process will cripple the operation.
Seamless integration to your ERP is one of the most critical factors in any WMS selection process. Only consider buying a WMS which has already been integrated into your ERP system and investigate any sites at which the WMS Reseller claims that this has been achieved. From our experience, there are two classes of WMS:
- International WMS packages which are rich in functionality but have little experience in integrating their system into your ERP system; and
- Smaller WMS packages which have a certain level of integration with the core ERP system but are not rich in functionality.
Companies must select WMS products that are both rich in functionality (good business requirement fit) and are seamlessly integrated into the ERP system (built specifically for your ERP system). Wherever possible, data must be held in the core ERP product. Many WMS packages have failed due to the fact that their own separate databases are built which can be placed out of synchronization with the ERP system. Data integrity then becomes an issue and faith in the system is lost. Best of breed WMS packages have a balance report which shows any inventory variances between the ERP and the WMS.
Do not underestimate this vital requirement!