Enterprise resource planning (ERP) and warehouse management systems (WMS) are two of the most popular software systems used in modern manufacturing and distribution centers. Yet, the two acronyms tend to cause a lot of confusion. What does each one stand for? What is their purpose? And most importantly, what are the benefits of using them in your business?
In this blog post, you will gain a clear understanding of the difference between ERPs and WMS and their unique purposes, benefits, and drawbacks to decide which one is right for your business.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
ERP systems are designed to manage and streamline the core business processes of an organization. These systems typically include accounting, finance, human resources, manufacturing, and supply chain management modules.
ERP systems are usually much larger and more complex than WMS systems. They can be difficult to implement and require a significant investment of time and money. However, once they are up and running, ERP systems can provide a tremendous return on investment by increasing efficiency and reducing costs.
Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)
WMS is designed specifically for managing the day-to-day operations of a warehouse. These systems include receiving, putaway, picking, shipping, and inventory management modules.
WMS systems are typically much smaller and less complex than ERP systems. They are also generally easier to implement and require a smaller investment of time and money.
ERP & WMS – What’s the Difference?
Both ERP and WMS systems are designed to improve efficiency and reduce costs. However, they do so in different ways.
ERP systems provide a broad overview of an organization’s operations, while WMS systems offer a more detailed look at how goods are managed on a day-to-day basis. Both systems are also highly reliable.
WMS & ERP Cost
An ERP system will generally cost more to license, implement, and maintain than a WMS. Therefore, ERPs will require more resources upfront as it integrates with other core business systems such as CRM, HR, and accounting. Both WMS and ERP systems will provide a better return on investment over time due to their ability to automate processes.
A WMS is typically more straightforward and user-friendly than an ERP system. ERP systems tend to be more complex, making them more challenging to implement and use, especially for businesses that are not accustomed to using complex software.
WMS vs. ERP Reporting
WMS provides inventory management reporting options on order fulfillment, what is selling well, when inventory comes in, and more. ERP systems report on the processes of a company – like financial results.
However, both ERP and WMS systems provide the ability to generate reports that can significantly help improve supply chain operations.
Which is Right For Your Business?
So, which system is right for your business? The answer depends on your specific needs. An ERP system is likely the best option if you are looking for a system to manage your business accounting, finance, or human resources. However, if you are primarily concerned with optimizing the day-to-day operations of your warehouse, including receiving, picking, shipping, or inventory management. In that case, a WMS system may be a better fit. Ultimately, the decision comes down to what will work best for your business.
At McMurray Stern, we’ve spent years cultivating partnerships with key manufacturers and software providers. Our storage solutions can be integrated with software and technology that will help your business grow in the future. Contact us today to get started!