Which Industries Use ERP for Inventory Management The Most?

In the vast world of warehouse management systems, you will find that thousands of companies throughout the world have some kind of WMS in place. While most of those companies only use WMS for a small portion of their daily procedure, there are others that rely on ERP for inventory management for complex concerns, including governmental regulations and compliance. That raises an interesting question: Which industries use ERP for WMS the most?

Perhaps learning the answer will also give you some insight as to how you could also use ERP for inventory management for your business!

Manufacturing

Being that manufacturing products require the use of multiple materials from various suppliers, this is one industry where a WMS is a necessity. Tracking materials, maintaining inventory visibility, and ensuring that everything is recorded for validation and compliance are crucial.

Your business may also manufacture pieces of machinery or technology to be sold to others. Thus, each item you construct requires an individual SKU that you assign. For any final product, another SKU has to be used. When possible, manufacturers combine a WMS like Agility from Wisys with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) for inventory management system like SAP Business One to ensure that ordering, production, and distribution all run smoothly.

Overall, using a WMS for manufacturing ensures that information is continuously and automatically updated through real-time data collection. You can stay on top of mistakes, and defects, and make recalls in a flash whenever necessary.

Food and Beverage

Many WMS developers have given special consideration to food and beverage companies. As one of the most regulated industries out there, food and beverage producers cannot have any mistakes. Goods have to be kept fresh, shipped within a certain amount of time, stored at the correct temperature, and handled properly within the warehouse.

Thus, a WMS that uses ERP for inventory management, provides insight into strategic warehouse layouts, and picking routes is always going to be considered essential within the food and beverage industry. Furthermore, a WMS ensures that vendors can track goods back to the source should there need to be a recall.

Health and Pharmaceutical

While the healthcare field may not use a ton of warehouses or have sprawling inventories like retail, they do have strict regulations and a need for increased inventory visibility.

The pharmaceutical industry, for example, is related to the chemical industry, in that many medications have specific requirements for storage and handling. Moreover, many pharmaceuticals need to be audited prior to distribution. Without clear insight into the condition of the inventory, dangerous materials may expire, becoming even more of a risk.

And at the end of the day, the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare have loads of paperwork to help track down who received what and when. This is why the pharmaceutical industry has quickly adopted warehouse management systems to help automate some of the steps involved with operations.

Retail and Consumer Goods

Whether you are an e-commerce business or have a brick-and-mortar location, there is a high chance that your goods are stored in a warehouse. Individual locations may have their own small stockroom onsite. How do you operate effortlessly with such high demand? By incorporating a WMS.

For consumer goods and retail, a WMS is ideal for maintaining correct inventory counts, validating item movements, and ensuring that you never have to worry about expired items, out-of-stock situations, and backorders. Depending on your WMS, you may also have additional features like pick-and-pack routes, sorting options, forecasting, and reporting.

Wholesale Distribution

The supply chain is complex, and no business feels that quite like a wholesale distributor. By using a WMS, such businesses can maximize their labor force, ensure that items are stored correctly and located with higher accuracy, accelerate shipments through cross-docking practices, and more. In short, a WMS cuts the costs of operations for wholesale distributors.

Like consumer goods, wholesale distributors also use WMS to reduce redundancies in manual data entry to increase accuracy and efficiency. A WMS can also be used to keep track of equipment and adhere to maintenance schedules. Similarly, you can create optimal routes through the warehouse to decrease the amount of time an employee spends searching for goods.

Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

Being that the duty of a 3PL is to manage the logistics of other companies, they need to stay on top of everything happening. Few software solutions exist that can provide near-omniscient insight like a flexible WMS. Take Agility from Wisys, for instance. Using the customizable WMS, you get real-time data collection through barcode scanning and RFID tags, as well as synchronization with ERPs like SAP Business One.

Many 3PL companies require a purpose-built WMS, as well. The Agility WMS can be purchased with just the basics and then customized according to the needs of the company later. This gives the 3PL the opportunity to make dashboards for each specific customer, so they can control the metrics more easily and provide accurate client reports.

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