Inventory Mobility and Traceability
Microsoft Dynamics clients that are projecting growth in their manufacturing and/or distribution operations are seeking improvements in inventory traceability. The majority of these clients are selecting WMS (Warehouse Management) over DC (Data Collection).
So what exactly is the difference between WMS and Data Collection applications?
One article explained the difference between WMS and DC as: “
The primary difference between WMS and DC is that Data Collection is built for one specific ERP with no ability to migrate … meaning you have to start over with inventory traceability any time you change your accounting tools. Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) are built to move, or scale, with your growing business regardless of your accounting system.
Rather than list all of the reasons clients seek WMS over DC … let’s examine the top 3 reasons Microsoft Dynamics Clients are seeking best-of-breed Warehouse Management WMS in detail.
- Power to Scale
- Feature and Function that Fits
- Ease of Use
- Power to Scale – Many clients in growth mode have a challenge managing distributed inventories. They often have a main warehouse of inventory combined with remote sites and distributed inventory that they need to track. WMS easily scales from 1 site to many facilitating inventory transfers and in-transit tracking. This ability to scale is one of the key drivers for a Client's return on investment (ROI). The typical ROI is derived from savings in the following areas that can be addressed by a simple but powerful WMS solution:
Hard ROI justification
~20% labor savings in warehouse functions
Reduction or elimination of duplicate data entry for all inventory movements: (receive, transfer, replenish, count, pick, ship)
Elimination of massive physical inventory counts
Elimination of order checking
Improvements in operator efficiency
Reduction/re-assignment of staff
Order turn-around time
Improved order accuracy
Reduction of inventory and Backorders
Soft ROI Justification
Improved customer satisfaction
Improved inventory turns
Improved work environment
Improved supplier relationships
Reduced order errors
Improved quality control
Having the power to scale also means protecting your investment for the long term. And the long term may mean moving (scaling) from a legacy ERP system to your first Microsoft Dynamics ERP. Or moving from one Microsoft Dynamics ERP to another as your business grows. Appolis WithoutWire not only builds real-time integrations to each of these platforms, but also offers industry standard
2. Feature/Function that Fits – we are all familiar with the concept of the 80/20 pareto rule. But no one really wants 20% of their project costs to pay for customizations. A rich set of options and configurability within the base WMS system are what is most desirable for Clients. Phase 1 can be a set of base options that allow your warehouse operations to “walk” before they “run” with the most powerful configuration options. At Appolis, our clients do not all need to address areas like expiration dating, EDI integration and ASN (advanced shipment notifications) and a variety of ways to accomplish kitting, light assembly or full MO manufacturing in the first phase of their project. But our clients are pleased to know that it is readily available and that they can scale into those options in future phases.
The second part of their challenge is often to address the needs of multiple warehouses (hub and spoke), or remote sites or
Another way that we differentiate our Appolis WithoutWire feature/function is to employ our Advanced Allocation methods and our Intuitively
3. Ease of Use – Freezing inventory to do a Cycle Count is counter-intuitive to a WMS system. ERP systems are primarily designed to accommodate Financial/Accounting considerations of a business. Most warehouse functions are enabled in an ERP as a secondary consideration.
Maintaining real-time visibility and data access is critical to making optimal business decisions. Limiting inventory movements due to posting needs from accounting would unnecessarily slow you down and be counter-productive. A WMS system empowers your business to move at the pace of fulfillment needs, real-time integrated with an ERP system which needs to move at the pace of accounting cycles.
Ease of use is also facilitated through the use of powerful smartphones and tablets. These easy to use and affordable devices have accelerated warehouse functionality faster than we imagined. They have accelerated the rate of Appolis innovation through the intuitive nature of their design. And now
Principal at Appolis