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Supply Chain Best Practices: Reduced TCO via Best Of Breed or ERP WMS

It has been debated over and over again if Best of Breed WMS is more suited to lower the Total Cost of Ownership as compared to an ERP based WMS. But a settlement has not been reached yet. Organizations with logistics management as their core competency may choose to favor best of breed software whereas a traditional sales company or retailer may choose to look in the other direction.

ERP-based WMS solutions are gradually making inroads into this terrain but they are myopic in terms of classical warehouse operations including receiving, put-away, inventory control, picking and loading. Warehouse operations entail much more and beyond these set of identified functions like labor management, slotting management, advanced wave planning, and last mile delivery. These operations are generally not solutioned for or supported by ERP WMS solutions. And if the need arises to have these capabilities built in, the same would have to achieved via expensive customizations with multiple integration touch points.

It has been said a general rule of thumb that a WMS solution typically has a life span of approximately ten years. ERP upgrades are generally more expensive because of the interdependencies between modules and re-application/reporting of customizations. This too gives a lean towards the best of breed WMS software.

A traditional ERP boasts of the following features:

  • Lower Integration cost: upfront as well as over a period of time
  • Functionalities that is good enough for simpler operations
  • Less Vendor risk due to larger company size

Parallely Best of Breed WMS boasts of the following features:

  • Superior and best in class functionality
  • Focused on supply chain operations
  • Complete Logistics suite supported
  • Vertical Industry experience

Both claim to lower the total cost of ownership. The search of truth is on and the right answer lies with the SMART organizations that know what they really need.

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