Our Blog

Implement a Transportation Management Solution to Connect Warehouse Management and Order Processing

by Aristides (Ari) Smith 03/10/2017

A warehouse management system (WMS), order processing system, and transportation management solution (TMS) walk into a bar. The TMS sits between the WMS and the order processing system. The TMS software is also the “middle person” in the supply chain: It ensures proper transportation optimization. The problem is that these three sometimes don’t get along well, so they could get kicked out of the bar for fighting too much. To make sure these three don’t cause a ruckus for your organization, here are some “gotchas” to review and avoid.

Seamless integration

In an organization in which employees deal with both physical inventory and shipping said inventory to consumers, decision-makers can’t think of WMS, TMS, and order processing systems as separate entities. Before implementing package information, problems can begin when the systems determine that they can’t talk to one another when they need to pass data for inventory checks, shipping and delivery time frame setup, and order processing. In addition, you can’t slip a TMS package into an already working WMS and order processing setup for the same reasons. Taking this step could break the supply chain and result in a loss of money and customers.

Ask questions

The following questions can help you prepare for a more seamless integration to avoid a break in your supply chain.

  • The first question for any manager or IT representative to ask those selling integrated WMS, TMS, and order processing software is “How are the three are going to work together?”
  • You also need to ask “Will there be a lot of custom programming required to convert and transfer data between the systems?”
  • Next, “Is the transfer is going to slow down transactions?”
  • Finally, inquire “What visibility can I gain from the systems that will allow me to comprehend the process of moving inventory from warehouse to shipping vessel to sale?” When it comes to purchasing TMS and order processing software packages for an existing WMS, this visibility is critical.

In the end, instead of asking these questions, you can query sales representatives as to whether they offer strong dynamic packages that integrate all three.

Other “gotchas”

You need to watch out for other things when it comes to integration that can impact your business efficiencies and bottom line.

  • Deployment time: When sales and IT representatives are totally opposite one another, operation integration could cause lengthy delays.
  • Upgrades and patches: Business leaders often underestimate the time necessary to manage upgrades and security patches.
  • Training: Software vendors can provide several volumes containing operation procedures, but can they also provide extensive training?
  • Provisioning: Do company staff members have provisions to implement these third-party packages into their systems and still allow proper data flow?

Avoid these common implementation and integration issues with Next Generation Logistics FreightMaster TMS and Dynamics TMS software packages. Both are complete enterprise transportation management planning and execution suites that enable organization leaders to make effective and efficient business decisions. The software is quickly deployed whether you choose our On-Premise model or Hosted On-Demand model, simple to use, and powerful enough to reduce costs, save time, and deliver the necessary functionality for end-to-end support.

To learn more about Next Generation Logistics supply chain FreightMaster TMS® and Dynamics TMS® software as well as our additional services, contact us at +1 847-963-0007, online, or via email.