ERP vs. WMS: What’s Your Best Option?

There are critical differences between ERP warehouse management functionality and the functionality of a stand-alone, best-of-breed WMS. Uncover critical decision factors every supply chain professional must consider when comparing these two very different options.

By · June 14, 2011

The effective management of your warehouse and fulfillment/distribution operations is critical to the ongoing success of your business—but you’re unsure whether to select your ERP’s warehouse module or a best-of-breed warehouse management system (WMS). Unfortunately, the answer is not simple. In today’s tight economy, there is significant pressure to use the warehouse module from your ERP vendor because its price is usually heavily discounted as part of the original ERP license or the cost of integration is presumed to be lower.

The fact is, implementing an add-on ERP module without fully understanding the implications to your business could actually prove more costly when considering the potential impact on total cost of ownership (TCO), competitive advantage and customer satisfaction. Your system’s total cost of ownership is determined by all costs associated with initial implementation, which includes functionality fit, any up-front business process modifications, and integration; the ease of adapting the solution to your ever-changing requirements on an ongoing basis; and the upgrade process. In today’s highly competitive economy, the ability to respond to changing business and customer requirements more effectively and more quickly than your competitors is a key consideration. The strategic importance of your selection cannot be overstated. Budget overruns, dissatisfied customers and lost competitive advantage are very real threats.