ERP Software System Integration for Fast and Quick Decision

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software system is mainly implemented to integrate the major functional units of an enterprise with the latest advancements of information technology. Integration of business units helps in better flow of information and collaboration within and outside the organization, irrespective of its geographical location. ERP mainly targets in integrating three important components of a business procedure like Practices in Business Management, Information Technology and the business targets. This integration has helped the big and medium organizations to streamline their business processes, through the optimized use of assets, ultimately producing multi benefits. The beneficial features of ERP coupled with its successful implementation, have encouraged small and medium sized enterprises to switch over to this software system, to face new challenges in this competitive market. As a result, there has been marked improvement in productivity and profit margins.

ERP software system involves huge software architecture to streamline the distribution of data and information throughout the enterprise scattered in different geographical locations. This streamlined flow of information and communication is managed through the well developed central repository, which forms the core of the ERP software system. The central repository gathers all the important information from the organization and supplies the same to the different units as per requirement, which enhances the speed, performance and the competence of the organization.

Integration is the main aspect of ERP software system. Present day’s ERP architecture supports the various major functions like customer relationship management, human resource management, asset management, Finance, Supply chain management including the logistics and manufacturing warehouse management. ERP system has enabled the integration of the operations of the standalone units in a single platform in a coordinated and unified manner. This integration has enabled fast decision making irrespective of the geographical location and synchronizes the workflow that contributed a lot in the business growth. ERP architecture also provides the flexibility to accommodate customized software modules according to the organizational requirement, which can be updated regularly.

ERP implementation is a daunting task that requires very careful planning by a team of experts. This implementation involves huge expenses and is time consuming. So it is necessary to judge the requirements of the organizations first, and then plan for the ERP implementation accordingly. This planning involves five crucial stages like Structured Planning, assessment of the business process, compilation of data, educating the staff and testing and finally the usage of ERP and its evaluation. Any flaw in one of the stages can cause a failure in ERP implementation resulting in heavy financial loss for the organization.

Warehouse Management Software Vs Inventory Management Software

But do what does your company really need? A fully-fledged custom warehouse management system can track everything from stock location, warehouse activity monitoring and user activity tracking, whereas asset management software is more focused on managing assets and/or inventory through a barcoding system. Warehouse management software and asset management software can be a great way to keep track of your assets and inventory, but it all begins with assessing your needs and requirements.

Warehouse Management Software

As the name suggests, warehouse management software encompasses a large part of your logistics operation, from tracking products from your suppliers, its storage and user interaction to its final destination. This process is accurately and closely monitored by a bar code scanning system that can identify products and receipts that need to be logged and eventually tracked from the warehouse management system itself.

If your business is involved with the delivery stage of the product, consider an automated service where the delivery route is planned according to multiple delivery points in any given delivery service. This will typically be implemented when goods are picked for delivery, a real time saver since loading personnel will first of all be able to choose the correct stock that will be selected on a certain day and then locate the stock according to its inventoried state.

As you can see, it’s a highly integrated approach that relies on correct user input and reliable software that will bridge each stage of development. Of course, this centrally managed warehouse system is even more valuable when you have multiple warehouses. As a result, web-based warehouse software is a much more attractive option in that different warehouses can store and retrieve information based on real-time inventory information – especially effective when you can synchronize data with existing products, such as Sage or QuickBooks.

Inventory Management Software

Where warehouse management is (usually) a seamless mesh of integration, an asset management system controls just one aspect of logistics – the assets (and inventory) of your business. A bar code scanner will usually be the interface of choice for most companies, although this is set to change with the advent of RFID tagging. Either way, stock or assets are managed through a central system much like warehouse management software and can be tracked at their different stages in the supply chain.

Wasp Barcode, the bar code scanning company, distinguishes assets as products which are used by the company and may need to track their assets based on who has them etc. Inventory management, on the other hand, is much more fluid in its operation since this is incoming (from suppliers) and outgoing (to customers) stock. In their line of products, then, asset tracking software is all about locating assets whereas inventory management software is basically tracking the input and output of stock in a business.

Despite this distinction in product type, if you need to track stock accurately (probably a requirement of most successful businesses!) and even want to update your customers with current stock levels (common in the case of e-commerce), then inventory management software is really the only way to go to ensure quality and efficient stock taking.

Which One?

When it comes to choosing, the most obvious difference in the two types of stock management is scalability. If your company is involved with picking stock from a supplier, storing in a large facility, selling to customers and delivering the goods, then warehouse management software is certainly a wise choice. On the other hand, small businesses might choose asset management software in conjunction with barcode scanners to maximize their stock management accuracy, ultimately reducing the time and cost for unnecessary deliveries and customer dissatisfaction.

Shipping Logistics Software: Frequently Asked Questions

In lieu of staffing a logistics department, many shippers turn to Third Party Logistics (3PL) providers to secure the best carrier arrangements. However, depending on the type of shipping management you need, 3PL can be as costly as staffing in-house experts. It can also make you feel distanced from the distribution process.

Instead of using 3PL, many businesses now use shipping logistics software – a class of applications that perform the logistical analysis traditionally performed by experts. If you are considering the software as an alternative to 3PL, but you have questions about its benefits and applications, the answers below can be helpful:

How much knowledge is required to operate the applications?

Ideally, the user should have a proficient understanding of transportation logistics, but a consummate understanding of logistical analysis is unnecessary. After performing logistical analysis based on the data you supply, the applications provide you with a list of recommended options via a user-friendly interface.

How much can the applications reduce the cost of freight transportation?

Research shows that top-notch shipping logistics software can reduce the cost of freight transportation by ten percent in the first year. Depending on your transportation process, the percentage could be even higher.

Can the applications support a transportation management system?

TMS software can support a Transportation Management System (TMS) by helping shippers perform the crucial processes of freight transportation management: planning and deciding on transportation arrangements, monitoring the transportation process, and measuring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Are applications available that support LTL transportation?

Yes. The applications can be designed to support any freight transportation need, including LTL transportation. If you routinely ship partial loads, LTL software can help you identify more affordable transportation arrangements than Truck Load (TL) or parcel shipping.

Are the applications available on a web-based model?

Yes, the applications are available on a web-based model. They are also available on an in-house model. Most shippers choose the latter due to its cost effectiveness and the ability to access the application remotely.

How much do the applications cost?

The cost of the applications depends on several factors, particularly whether it is implemented on an in-house, or a SaaS (Software as a Service) model, along with the logistical options you need. The best way to receive an accurate cost assessment is to have a provider of logistics software review your freight transportation process and administrative needs.

What if the transportation process changes after implementing an application?

The application you implement is not set in stone. If you experience new shipping needs, you can add new logistical options to the existing system. In terms of adding new options, implementing a web-based application typically offers the most flexibility.

Conclusion

Shipping logistics software is a cost effective alternative to staffing experts or contracting with a 3PL provider. Unlike 3PL, it puts you in direct control of freight transportation, helping you identify the best transportation arrangements in terms of freight safety, delivery time, and transportation cost. To learn more about the benefits of TMS software and other types of logistics software, contact a provider of web-based logistical solutions today.