To derive the greatest benefits from your Warehouse Management Software system, here are the top 5 integration opportunities that a 3PL should consider which will streamline and add efficiencies to warehouse operations.
I Accounting & ERP Integrations
Studies indicate that only 28% of 3PL’s take advantage of integrating their accounting programs to their WMS software. There are significant cost and time savings having your accounting program linked to your WMS. These integrations will create invoices by automatic billing. A WMS can capture all billable events including receiving and storage fees, pick pack fees, accessed charges and shipping fees and can automatically generate invoices at the end of the billing period. An integration will enable accounting processes that manually take days to be part of an automatic process.
II. API Integrations
Today only 35% of 3PL’s are using shopping carts and marketplace integration programs. As eCommerce continues to grow with revenue expected to reach $502.5B in 2022. It’s critical that 3PL’s have the ability to link with eCommerce programs. Once the integration takes effect the result will be improved warehouse efficiencies by streamlining the order process. API connections allow eCommerce channels and your WMS to send information back and forth regarding orders, shipments and inventory levels.
An eCommerce program provides connections to the WMS system via API’s and automatically pushes orders through to the WMS when they when they come in with all of the order information included. The WMS also communicates the inventory levels back to the eCommerce provider to avoid overselling products on the online platform.
III. EDI Integration
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is one of the most popular utilized integrations. EDI integration enables document exchanges between retailers, warehouses and manufacturers. The most popular documents used in EDI include purchase orders and shipping notices including Advanced Shipping Notices (ASN). An EDI document exchange increases warehouse efficiency by automating transactions that could otherwise require error prone manual entries including purchase orders. Accuracy is also increased because EDI requires a specific format for processing.
IV. Mobile BarCode Scanning
More than 50% of 3PL’s are using barcode scanning. Mobile BarCode scanning can integrate with a warehouse management software system to enable the system to receive scanned barcodes throughout the supply chain operation. As an example, at pick time, you only have to scan the barcode of the item you are picking for the system to mark it as picked. There is no need to note long SKU’s and UPC’s as serial numbers as one system records all data with a single scan. Mobile barcode scanning also comes in handy when verifying receipts, receiving against ASN’s, cycle counting and auditing inventory for quality controls and accuracy.
V. Shipping Carrier Integrations
USPS, UPS, or FedEx have continuously been raising rates and have been unable to process shipments as efficiently as they have done in the past, shipping carriers have emerged as resellers; Example A shipping carrier will purchase labels from USPS and other carriers in bulk and resell them to their customer base. A major benefit of using a shipping integrator is the ability to compare rates across different carriers and service types to find the most affordable shipping option with the fastest delivery service. Once you choose a shipping service the system will generate labels that are ready for printing as well as tracking numbers for the shipment.
Core eBusiness Solutions offers all of aforementioned integration platforms as part of its Evolve CoreWarehouse 3PL Warehouse Management Software. Core is headquartered in Fairfield, NJ and can be reached at (201) 836-8900.