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Can a SaaS Warehouse Management System and an ERP make a powerful team?

Would Andy Murray have won Wimbledon without the support of his coach Ivan Lendl? Would Justin Rose have won the US Open without the support of his caddie, Mark Fulcher?

Possibly, but unlikely……each member of the team must play to their strengths to deliver the final goal.

What is your goal? Improve, Increase, Reduce, Grow?… these words have become popular in the phrases that people use to show they can make things better, easier, cheaper, but what are the real goals for the warehouse?

The answers to this question are where a specialist Warehouse Management System (WMS) starts to really show its strengths.

Virtually all ERPs are dedicated to the financial aspects of the business and this is essential, the ‘Talent’ if you will. But in operations with busy warehouse environments, there is a need for physical support for the actual inventory, "will it fit in this location? Are these locations in the best place? Are the pickers walking in the shortest routes?"

These question and many others are often answered by the experienced WMS system and its vendor/provider, or the ‘Coach/Caddie’

This formidable ‘team’ of specialist / dedicated WMS and sophisticated ERP works well at many businesses across the globe and throughout the business spectrum, blue chip corporates through to SMBs / SMEs. The knowledge and functionality of a specialist warehouse management system, enhances the control provided an ERP and enables both to drive cost reduction through and improved efficiency.

Combining your current ERP with an RF driven WMS will of course manage the inventory receipts, despatch and stock location, but just as importantly, by directing the warehouse operatives around the warehouse via the most efficient routes, verifying every step in "real time" via the RF terminal, the specialist WMS will provide detailed reporting on each individual’s performance to management, ultimately increasing operator efficiency of approximately 20-30%. A very strong return on Investment in resource terms alone.

However, interfacing the results of each operation is often thought to be difficult (and hence expensive), which often deters ERP operators as they cannot justify the initial costs. The good news is that the constantly changing technology supporting modern Warehouse Management Software solutions can make this perceived burden much simpler.

For example, SaaS (Software as a Service) WMS providers like Snapfulfil offer a fully featured WMS package delivered as a managed service. Amongst the range of benefits this particular model delivers, interfacing is now straight forward. By simply using FTP, CSV, XML, Web API or specialist middleware that can provide pre-built ‘connectors’ to mainstream ERP systems, data can be swapped quickly and easily from the Snapfulfil data centres to the ERP Installation, wherever it is located.

A managed service will also help the recipient company balance sheet and cash flow as there is no requirement for capital expenditure. All of the RF hardware, infrastructure, implementation and training, along with the actual software licence are included on one monthly payment, based on the number of concurrent users. This means that the solution can be funded directly from revenue, once the system is ‘Live’ and delivering savings to the operation. It becomes effectively ‘self funding’. There are no costs incurred whatsoever until the system is tested and functioning fully within a business, which is a real departure from traditional software acquisitions.

If you would like to find out more about how a SaaS WMS can integrate with your existing ERP system, contact Snapfulfil SaaS WMS at Snapfulfil.com or search for "SaaS WMS".

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