Modulus 365 > Blog > Turn on the turbo-charger – why your ERP is not helping you pick, pack and ship

Turn on the turbo-charger – why your ERP is not helping you pick, pack and ship

7 min read

Rarely a day goes by without business technology hitting the news. ERP (or Enterprise Resource Planning Systems) are regularly blamed for huge overspends and even bankruptcy like the recent case in Birmingham which threatened to bring down the entire council. You can read about it here.

ERP implementations can be expensive and time consuming, but when you get it right, growing businesses can benefit hugely. Getting the most efficient blend of technology for your industry can turbo-charge your ERP system whether it be SAP Business One or Business ByDesign or Oracle NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics and Sage.

You may have noticed that many ERPs have a warehouse and order management module as part of the offering, however they are pretty inflexible and often leave retail businesses lacking vital specialised functionality. In an industry where expected and unexpected changes occur in the market every season, a pivotable, flexible, scalable & adoptable OMS/WMS is required.

Fit to standard v bespoke

The very best technology solution partners now offer a fit to standard approach which can deliver a fast to implement, cheaper solution which suits companies who plan rapid growth. Costly customisation of core systems is falling out of favour in areas where fitting to best practice is possible, enabling businesses the opportunity to take advantage of all that digital has to offer in terms of automation, AI and beyond.

But while a standardised fit is now the way to go in modern, digital ERP, there is still a need to work with third parties who can provide specialised industry specific functions – for example order management and warehouse management solutions, bar-code scanners and the like.

While most in-built modules are based on the need to move goods and materials through your warehouses efficiently and cost-effectively, many are designed with a very general idea of the needs of say, the manufacturing industry.

Let’s get specific

Very few of these systems, if any, have been built with the specific needs of the retail industry in mind, where you need to pick, pack, track and ship to consumers in double quick time via multiple order locations – from bricks and mortar stores to online. We understand how vital these processes are to your customer’s experience. So even though your warehouses might be a long way from your customer physically – sitting at home online or in store – the way they feel about you may end up being determined by what is happening there. CX is not just about the front-line, it’s about your back end too.

Our founder at Modulus understands this and has created his solution precisely for this reason. After more than 20 years working with technology in the retail industry, he recognises that your problems are not being addressed by the current solutions on the market.

The cycles within retail and even within the individual sectors, from the pet industry to fashion, are so specific that he knows there is a need to be met. Surges in orders can come at predictable times like Boxing Day and Black Friday or they can come at other times too. Variables can be as diverse as the weather, celebrity endorsement or a TV cooking show.

That means technology that flexes with your peaks is key.

The best of both worlds

We believe ERP is a great foundational system for your business – from finance and costings to operations, reporting – even marketing and sales. But to scale, you need complementary / peripheral systems like Modulus 365 which have high pivotability to help implement quick decisions during periods of high growth.

Our OMS/WMS integrates with most ERP systems so that your customer order and shipping information is fed back into your core financial system and linked to your CRM for customer re-targeting. A cloud-based, paperless environment will help you to meet your sustainability goals too.

With ERP as the backbone of your business, holding all your data, automating your financial processes and integrating everything together, your OMS/WMS optimises the processes which shape how your customers experience you.


What is an Order Management System?

An Order Management System (OMS) manages everything to do with orders and shipping from all the sales channels now available to shoppers.

What is a Warehouse Management System?

The warehouse management system (WMS) is all about fulfilment and distribution, optimising the pick, pack and ship elements of your business and the various processes inside or among the warehouses.

Modulus combines the two for a seamless, cohesive experience – tracking orders, communicating with warehouses, and maintaining accurate inventory information.

Why do I need an ERP and an OMS/WMS?

Many ERP systems come with OMS and WMS capabilities built in which leads to the question – why do I need an OMS/WMS? While ERP can be configured to manage functions similar to OMS, including storing, reporting, and routing orders, OMS/WMS software is designed specifically for managing orders and ensuring timely shipping from your warehouse.

According to Oracle NetSuite, Retail “winners,” with greater than 10% growth, are 208% more likely to have an OMS in place than others.

The strength of an ERP is in its ability to integrate all your business processes and data with finance at its heart. So when building the engine that will run your business we recommend combining your ERP with a best of breed solution like Modulus to manage retail and e-commerce operations.

Your ERP is your engine for growth, Modulus will add the turbo charge that takes you to the next level.

Please feel free to chat to us about your retail business. We want to hear from you!

Author: Anthony Williams
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