After talking with several WMS developers recently it seems like a trend right now that many companies are buying WMS from their existing ERP vendors. Companies don’t make a real procurement with a preliminary study and requirements specification etc. I find it very strange that companies take so easily in such an important system as WMS. My only theory is that the ERP vendor is so eager to get their WMS out on market so they give a low price on the WMS and make it hard for the customer to say no. Then, in my opinion the customer don’t think all the way.
I’m not saying that it is always wrong to buy an ERP suppliers WMS module but warehouse logistics is becoming an increasingly important component in the quest to be competitive, especially considering the ongoing paradigm shift with e-commerce and omni-channel. Warehouse logistics is one of few areas where you still can increase your profit margin against your competitors. In my opinion, a company should put as much energy in a WMS project as of an ERP project. Evaluate which system is optimal for your type of warehouse logistics.
You should also look at how many companies are already using the WMS of interest. Is any of these companies successful in logistics? A driving force in developing the WMS? In that way you get a lot of new features and innovations “for free” in system updates and so on. You need to think strategically and long term, not just what licensing and implementation cost is.
There is no secret that many ERP vendors see their WMS module as a “complement” to ERP. Something they offer if necessary. They do not spend nearly as much resources on WMS as on development and sales of ERP.
Today there are several major global players in WMS business. They have warehouse logistics as its main area and puts a lot of money in research and development of warehouse logistics. Their skills should not be underestimated.
In terms of integration, it is no difference between selecting an ERP vendor’s WMS module to choose an independent supplier. Whatever you choose, the modules are standalone and communicates the same way. Today integration, is not a big question. If you choose an established WMS provider, they usually have solutions to the most established ERP vendors.
When you select WMS do not look at how warehouse logistics work today, base your decision on how you want it to work tomorrow.