Buying warehouse systems can be difficult because distribution software is developing quickly. Newer warehouse systems connect to outside software such as transportation management, RFID and e-business tools. Also, newer warehousing and distribution software integrates directly into the company’s enterprise system, while older warehouse software stands alone.
Recently, enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendors have added their own warehouse software components that are fully integrated into the company’s financial tools such as order entry and purchase orders. While it’s convenient to use warehouse distribution software that comes as a module in the ERP system, these warehouse software tools are new with few real-world instances to reference. In this guide you’ll learn:
- How to match your distribution software with your customers’ needs.
- The benefits of integration with ERP software.
- Whether to buy warehouse distribution software from your enterprise vendor or choose a best-of-breed warehouse systems provider.
- How to match your industry with the right warehousing software vendor.
Evaluate your warehouse management software needs with those of your trading partnersYour warehouse management systems’ needs are greater than your own facilities. In choosing warehouse distribution software, create a list of the needs outside your warehouse. These needs can be internal – such as the need to integrate with e-business order-taking tools – or external – such as connecting with suppliers and vendors through electronic connections. Those distributors who ship to large retailers such as Wal-Mart or Target also need RFID capabilities in their warehousing and distribution software.
Determine whether your financial software has useful warehouse management softwareIf you use ERP software, you can may be able to buy your warehouse management software from your ERP vendor. According to AMR Research, warehouse management system software from ERP vendors “has matured significantly in recent months,” but the number of implementations are few, so it may be difficult to find a reference from a company that can offer any hints to the strength of these warehouse systems. The advantage of course, is the bulletproof integration between your warehouse software and your financials tools.
ERP software vendors at Business.com.
Find distribution software that integrates into all your related systemsDistribution management software no longer lives on an island inside the enterprise. Warehouse systems now have to connect to customers and vendors via Electronic Data Interchange as well as connecting to e-business systems, customer relationship management systems and ERP systems. Connectivity to outside systems has become just as important as pick, pack and ship functionality. Make a list of the connectivity points that are critical to your operation, then score warehouse system vendors on their ability to make these connections.
warehouse management software vendors at Business.com to begin your search.
Buying from resellersWorking with a warehouse distribution software reseller has advantages since resellers have worked with many customers across a variety of warehouse systems.
Match your industry with the right warehouse management systemEach industry has its individual distribution management software needs. The pharmaceutical industry and the consumer package goods industries are both turning to solutions that include RFID – but for different reasons. Pharma needs to track and trace its goods through the supply chain. Consumer goods companies need RFID to comply with customer mandates.
warehouse management resources are available at Business.com.
- Create a buying team that includes those who work the warehouse software daily. You need input from those who have been struggling with the shortcomings of your present warehouse distribution software.
- Identify and make a list of every function you need in distribution management software. Include your highest dreams for a warehouse system. You may find you can acquire unexpected functionality in new warehouse software.
- Make a list to questions for your reseller or warehouse systems vendor. You don’t want to buy a warehouse system that falls short simply because you failed to ask whether the warehouse software can connect to a transportation management system.