Why select WMS instead of ERP?

When you invest in an ERP system for your distribution business, you may be offered a WMS module as a part of the ERP purchase. These add-on WMS solutions are popular for several reasons: they usually integrate with the ERP system well, they are often easy to implement, and they are (frequently) less expensive than a best-of-breed WMS.

However, these ERP-based WMS systems lack the fundamental functionality and warehouse focus that a real warehouse management system should have.

What are the biggest drawbacks to ERP-based WMS?

#1 ERP-based WMS is slow

ERP-based WMS systems actually tie up ERP licenses, because they run on the same system; that means that warehouse work can actually slow down back office operations like accounting. A true warehouse management system like Latitude WMS has a different set of licenses, and won't tie up your ERP.





#2 ERP-based WMS has out-of-order label printing

When ERP-based WMS systems print item labels during receiving, the printing is random and out of order. A best-of-breed WMS like Latitude Warehouse Management System prints labels as items are being received, so there's no manual sorting required.





#3 ERP-based WMS takes a long time to learn new bar codes

Bar codes need to be learned in just milliseconds, but ERP-based WMS "solutions" can take several minutes to learn and process a single new bar code. A real WMS like Latitude WMS learns bar codes so fast that you don't even notice it. Just point your scanner at the new bar code, scan it, and follow the simple prompts. Within milliseconds, Latitude WMS knows the new bar code.





#4 ERP-based WMS doesn't work in real-time

ERP-based WMS systems don't always post warehouse processes back to the ERP in real-time. That means that warehouse staff might be directed to an empty bin for picking (because the picking job that emptied the bin is still in progress and the ERP system doesn't realize that the bin was just emptied). Latitude WMS processes all warehous transacations in real-time. So if an order is being picked, inventory is updated in Latitude in real-time, so Latitude always has an accurate picture of where inventory is.





#5 ERP-based WMS is less automated than a best-of-breed WMS

ERP-based WMS systems require some awkward manual workarounds to launch very basic warehouse operations, like receiving. Latitude WMS is fully automated, so starting a new putaway job is as easy as scanning a receiving tote.





#6 ERP-based WMS makes shipping tricky

Finishing order picking in time for various carrier cut-off times is hard to do with an ERP-based WMS. Latitude WMS, however, lets your sort your orders by carrier, so you always know how many more orders need to be finished before FedEx arrives for the daily pickup.




More Reasons to Choose Real WMS over ERP-based Warehouse Management


Cascade Orthopedics Adopts a Real Warehouse Management Solution

PathGuide customer Cascade Orthopedic struggled with ERP-based warehouse software, and finally adopted Latitude WMS in their California warehouse. See how Latitude WMS trumped the ERP-based WMS solution.




6 Reasons to Choose a Real WMS over an ERP-based WMS

Still considering an ERP-based WMS solution? Here are six good reasons to give a real warehouse management solution a second look.