What Supply Chain Technology Platforms Integrate With WMS? Part 1
The modern world of supply chain technology is versatile and flexible. Today’s supply chain technology platforms are designed with the ability to integrate with other systems in mind, including your warehouse management system (WMS). There are exceptions to this rule, but working with a supply chain systems integrator, like Veridian, can bring these systems together. Some common supply chain technology platforms that integrate with WMS are included here.
Business Management Software
Most companies have business management software in place that allows them to collect, store, manage and interpret data from business activities. Most large companies have this integrated into an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution like SAP, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics or Infor. Supply chain technology platforms integrate with a company’s business systems in order to provide information about inventory levels and availability, status of goods purchased from vendors, and status of orders that are being processed or have been shipped.
Order Management System
Order Management systems have gained increasing importance in the last 5 years with the rise of omnichannel distribution. It is no longer enough to determine which of your facilities is closet the final destination. Many factors come into play when determining the best way to fulfill an order including profitability, customer service, fulfillment outages, capacity constraints, inventory levels in stores and DCs, and inventory protection. At their best, they can be used to predict and manage inventory shortages, potential customer service issues and delivery problems.
Warehouse Execution System, Yard Management System, and Warehouse Control System
Supply chain technology platforms can integrate with your new or planned warehouse execution system and warehouse control system as well. Also, integration of the systems should include integration with your yard management system. Bringing the systems responsible for orders inside and outside of your facility under one centralized supply chain technology platform will drive efficiency.
Intelligent conveyors rely on information within warehouse systems to determine product stocking locations and move product via conveyor, reducing the labor costs associated with replenishment. The same process can be applied to outbound shipping.
The sortation system is a major opportunity for savings when integrated with your WMS as well. The sortation system adds value to receiving, picking, and shipping areas and at the same time may be configured to process different forms of product, including garment on hanger, and unit/box/tote size considerations. These considerations apply to both inbound and outbound freight alike.
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS)
Automated storage and retrieval systems can also be integrated with your WMS. In the past, ASRS typically referred to a crane that was capable of moving pallets. Next, systems were developed that could deliver and retrieve same-sized totes into locations. That was followed by systems that could move variable-sized corrugate cases. Unit-load ASRS typically refer to systems that can move loads under 5500 pounds, often pallets. A mini-load ASRS typically refers to a system that moves loads less than 500 pounds, often totes and cases.
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