As business begins to return to pre-pandemic levels following mass vaccinations and the reopening of facilities across the U.S., manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors hit hardest by mandatory shutdowns have been looking for opportunities to cut costs and increase productivity to help offset the operational impact of 2020 and 2021.
Complete economic recovery may take many years to be fully realized, but economic indicators illustrate a strong rebound with positive momentum across many sectors. This means a sudden increase in demand for warehouse operations, with the added expectation that products/services be delivered much more quickly. Companies can thank Amazon for the new delivery expectations, which reported a 43.6% increase in sales during 2020.
Warehouse operations hoping to compete in 2021 and beyond will need to make strategic decisions about optimizing their facilities and business practices. Software solutions that help manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors manage their businesses are the first step to warehouse optimization. Let’s take a brief look at how enterprises can maximize warehouse efficiency to save time, money, and mental strain.
ERP vs. WMS: What’s the Difference?
Software solutions for warehouse operations take the form of either ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or WMS (Warehouse Management System) applications. Companies need to know the difference between these solutions, which serve fundamentally distinct purposes.
Warehouse Management Systems literally focus on warehouse management – supply chain management, inventory management, and warehouse analysis. These systems are designed to maximize an operation’s efficiency by analyzing inventory/logistical data and providing insight into warehouse operations. This includes suggestions on the use of warehouse space, how to improve the storage of goods, and detailed descriptions of expected labor productivity rates by function or activity.
ERP, on the other hand, takes a more holistic approach, integrating many company sectors into a comprehensive application designed to optimize administrative, financial, and company management activities. This often includes inventory management applications with similar functionality to WMS solutions. A comprehensive ERP software solution for warehouse operations ideally integrates both: features optimized for advanced warehouse management within an ERP system for advanced administrative/financial management.
ERP Warehouse Benefits
The benefits of integrating an ERP with warehouse integrations onto the warehouse floor are often immediate. These solutions accumulate data about the warehouse processes, creating an expansive database of inventory and operational information. Automated inventory tracking performed by these systems eliminates the need for manual counts, saving money in labor costs while dismissing the risk of inaccurate data resulting from human error.
Advanced analytics lets managers effectively plan for production, giving detailed labor productivity descriptions for warehouse activities that allow for optimized floor operations. Managers can more accurately predict staffing needs and plan picking orders to ensure that every job has only the precise number of employees working on it at any given time. For distributors, their warehouse solution should include logistical analytics, optimizing delivery routes, procurement activities, vehicle packing, and other transportation functions that can result in exponential savings for a company.
ERP software solutions offer different benefits to a warehouse operation, focusing more on the accounting and administrative functions that every business undertakes. ERP software is highly specialized, with industry-specific programs tailored explicitly to the needs of individual enterprises.
Comprehensive ERP software integrates various company departments into one system, giving a company a homogeneity that ensures business can run smoothly. This includes accounting applications, automating payroll, banking, billing, and routine payment activities. Administrative tasks immediately become more efficient, as automation and advanced data management facilitate smoother and faster operations.
Modern ERP software often includes AI support, giving a business incredible analytic power that improves with the completion of every successful task. As an AI-enabled ERP system accumulates more information about company operations, the entire system’s performance increases, and strategic decision-making required to stay competitive in a post-pandemic market becomes more effective.
Competitive Edge by Forward Thinking
As the economic recovery continues its progressive trend, companies across the U.S. will continue looking for opportunities to optimize. The sooner your business adapts to the new normal with Sage 100, the further ahead of the competition you’ll find yourself.
Warehouse operations, in particular, are doing everything they can to lower costs, maximize productivity and remain competitive. Increase inventory accuracy, complete and ship orders on time – the bottom line is that warehouse efficiency begins with data analysis and the strategic management of resources, both of which are significantly improved with the implementation of warehouse-specific software solutions.
Sage drives warehouse operations more efficiently and better decision-making through optimizing inventory management processes that ease cash flow concerns and, in the end, save you time and money. Integrating these systems is a capital investment in a company’s longevity, so take the time to research available products, consult with industry experts, and utilize product demos before making a software commitment.
e2b teknologies is a Sage Authorized partner. We customize, implement, and support Sage ERP software for a wide range of warehouse, distributor and manufacturing operations.
Find out how we can take you to peak performance on the warehouse floor, in the accounting department, and across your entire footprint with Sage.