Warehouse management is becoming increasingly complex in the modern business world. In the age of the always-on customer and 24/7 service, an efficient and well-run warehouse can give you a significant competitive advantage.
Many businesses are therefore facing the challenge of figuring out what kind of systems they need to help them manage their warehouse processes.
When looking at warehouse management options, there are generally two main types of setups to choose from. The first is a stand alone Warehouse Management System (WMS), the other is a full Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system which contains a warehouse management module.
ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning
There are a number of ERP systems available that can handle a wide range of business functions, often including warehouse management. These systems offer highly advanced functionality, data and reporting on every aspect of a business.
They are also complex, making them difficult to install learn and use, requiring highly skilled staff and hours of training across the whole team. There must therefore be a very clear business case around how the company will make the most of the high level of functionality provided in order to ensure ROI.
When looking at warehouse management specifically, for many ERP systems warehouse management is not the central focus of the functionality, which can make the module clunky to use as it was not built with warehouse optimisation at its centre.
WMS – Warehouse Management System
A stand-alone WMS offers a simpler system that is easier to learn and use and quicker to integrate, so that you can be up and running quickly.
The advantage of working with a stand-alone WMS is that the simplicity of the system also gives you the opportunity to add more functionality with greater ease and less expense. Not all businesses need an enterprise level system, and a stand alone WMS can give you all the functionality you need without the added complexity.
The downside of a stand-alone system is that it will have more limited capabilities and may not integrate to other areas of the business. This will make it difficult to get an end-to-end view of the business which can affect key business decisions.
GraniteWMS – The Best of Both Worlds
GraniteWMS is a purpose built warehouse management system that is simple effective and easy to use. It is a stand alone system that can be up and running in your warehouse in a matter of weeks. It also integrates fully with leading mid-market ERP systems such as Sage300 and SAP Business One.
Some of our clients even operate GraniteWMS in place of the existing warehouse module provided by their ERP, as they prefer the simple functionality of the GraniteWMS system.
At the end of the day it is important to consider what kind of system and functionality is needed and wanted in the warehouse. Effective and efficient operations in the warehouse will affect every other part of the business so it is important to make an informed decision.