When a new customer approaches us to work on a project, our team typically needs to take a deep dive into the organization’s functional business process in order to provide the best possible solution. In a recent situation, we had a customer who was looking to implement a new warehouse management system (WMS) and integrate it with their existing ERP. Because they were a new customer to us, we suggested completing an on-site Business Process Review to get to know the project team and better understand their current systems and processes.
After a tour of the facility, our team met on-site with key executives and business process owners to go through the current business process flows. During these sessions, we identified which aspects were specific to warehouse operations and would affect the integration of the ERP and the WMS.
Through this assessment, a few key integration points were identified:
- Purchase Orders and PO Receipt transactions
- Sales Orders and Order Shipment transactions
- Inventory transactions in the distribution center, such as cycle counting, transfers, and inventory distributions
For each of those points, our team talked through what the functionalities were originally doing and how they were configured, as well as what we thought they would look like with the new WMS and the potential technical implications of data flowing between the two systems. By flushing out those touch points, our team gained a better idea of inventory movements and the overall business processes, which allows for a better architected integration.
While this process was helpful for our team, it was also illuminating for the client. It allowed them to get an initial look at the complexity of the integration in terms of data movement, volume, and movement frequency.
When all was said and done, our team was able to document an integration strategy specific to those identified integration points. We were able to suggest specific timing and movement of everything from item master data and receipt transactions to sales transactions and ship confirmations. With all of the primary data elements identified and straightened out, we were able to confidently move forward with the WMS and ERP integration.
This preliminary session gave our team a closer look at how the customer’s business interacts with their software, which allowed us to provide them with a more detailed and thorough integration strategy. Do you have an ERP that could use a closer look, or a potential integration project that could use a professional opinion? Contact our team.