With the acceleration of multi-channel and phygital strategies, the development of blockchain and smart objects, and the growth in online sales, to name just a few aspects, logistical challenges have never been so important for value creation in distribution, to say the least. To this end, the warehouse management system (WMS) and ERP absolutely have to operate in flawless synch while each maintaining their specific role. Stock management will not be improved by moving stock management functions from WMS into ERP, or vice versa. Quite the opposite in fact. They are two separate systems, with different features and meeting different objectives, but how much they are integrated will influence the overall performance of the value chain. While they can be fully integrated, it is preferable not to choose the WMS module available in ERP packages over a dedicated solution. Why is this? If WMS and ERP can work together perfectly well, why should they be kept separate?
WMS: New features and trends to follow in 2019
When the main logistics trends expected for 2019 are examined, technological innovations and the importance of increasing quality of service to end customers both stand out. The “Amazon Prime” effect on customers’ expectations and thus on logistics performance is undeniable. Some usages and processes have a direct impact on integration between WMS and ERP, such as decentralized storage (or stock holders) which are increasingly used, where logistics platforms now manage stocks belonging to other entities. It also has impacts on both movements of goods (WMS) and financial transactions (ERP). In response to these challenges and new trends, the WMS solution used within a logistics platform has to include three basics: – Maximum performance and speed of execution of logistics orders: every second counts for quality of service; – Total traceability, perfectly aligned with ERP: whatever the industry, all transactions must be tracked and recorded all along the chain. – Sufficient agility to continuously adapt to technological innovation and consequently meet the growing complexity of processes and customer requirements.
Developments in ERP are not necessarily in step with WMS challenges
ERP remains the top strategic solution for businesses because it can take charge of all data flows and ensure the integrity of master data repositories and management processes. The temptation to use the WMS module built into an ERP system certainly exists, but while this option might seem rational in terms of information system architecture, it is much less so from a business management perspective. In addition, the priorities in ERP solutions’ development do not necessarily chime with those for the WMS. The inexorable shift towards the cloud for greater interoperability, as in the roadmap for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations, is out of step with the top priority for WMS which is real-time performance, where queries need to be run and responses returned in less than 1 second. Processes in ERP must not interfere with distribution processes and WMS performances must not suffer from any problems that might arise in the ERP system. Customer shipments and deliveries must continue. This being so, an independent WMS installed on-premises will be preferable to a WMS module built into a cloud-based ERP application. However, WMS can’t do everything, and neither can ERP. If the pallet has been shipped, invoicing can be triggered in ERP. If there is a delay, a penalty should be applied, etc. Interchange between WMS and ERP is vital, but logistics managers will always prefer a separate system if they don’t want their work to be affected by financial or other calculations that can be run slightly later.
ADAX Supply Chain: the first standalone Microsoft Dynamics 365 WMS solution
To meet the challenges posed by technological innovation and the need for maximum WMS performance, TVH Consulting’s R&D team has developed the first WMS solution on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform. Our WMS solution integrates fully with the Dynamics 365 ERP system, but it can also be interfaced with other ERP software such as SAP S/4HANA, for example. The ADAX Supply Chain WMS solution is groundbreaking and the first standalone version on Microsoft Dynamics 365. Thanks to our experience with ERP implementations in complex environments, we are fully up-to-speed with the demands of WMS and underlying developments in businesses’ requirements. ADAX Supply Chain accordingly provides more functionalities than the standard ERP module, with more extensive customization capabilities. This concerns, for example, mobile handsets in warehouses that can be given simple and efficient interfaces, because we have prioritized operators being able to work quickly over a particularly feature-rich design. The other key point in our ADAX Supply Chain WMS solution is that it dispenses with the standard Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP stock management engine, which means performance very close to real-time can be achieved. The fact that a multi-criteria query system quickly causes deterioration in performance is a given. Our R&D team therefore created algorithms designed solely to meet the specific needs of warehousing, such as storage planning and order preparation, in order to obtain response times that are much shorter than conventional multi-criteria queries. Forklift operators can consequently find a location instantly meeting all their constraints combined….
The TVH Consulting Group
TVH Consulting brings together more than 170 Microsoft, SAP ERP and BI solutions experts, committed to 100% project success.
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