What is the difference between ERP and WMS ?
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Member since: 2011-10-01Michael's answer is dead on correct. I just wanted to elaborate a little to possibly help understand the place for software in facilities/organizations.
The ERP is the software most organizations use to "run" their business. Historically ERP systems have deep roots in finance and allow standard processes to be followed and implementing an organization's business logic throughout their many facilities, departments and groups.
The WMS (Warehouse Management System) tracks the flow of assets into and out of an organizations facilities, departments and zones.
Small to medium sized organizations will often use a WCS (Warehouse Control System) before moving to a WMS to reduce costs, implementation complexity and ease of use. The WCS does many of the same things as a WMS does, except only in the "four walls" of the warehouse(s). It does not track assets until they are in the warehouse(s). The WCS will control picking, packing, tracking and moving of materials within the warehouse(s).
Below the WCS is often another level of Inventory Management System Software specific to equipment or processes. A good example of this would be the range of software specifically designed to drive automated storage and retrieval systems such as horizontal and vertical carousels and Vertical Lift Modules (VLMs) and pick to light flow rack.
The key reason this product or process specific software is used is to enhance the performance of the equipment. A WMS or WCS can control the inventory and possibly the picking using automated equipment, but lacks specific functionality to optimize the equipment.
Just one example of this is the fact that automated carousel and VLM software not only tracks and optimizes individual items heights and widths (like WMS and WCS software), but also the height of each item. This height information allows automated systems to save up to 85% of otherwise wasted floor space... a key reason why an organization implements automated equipment.
All levels of the software communicates with each other to create a perfect business flow and visibility of up to the minute performance and stock levels. So an organization could have an ERP system driving their business logic > a WMS or WCS software system driving their warehouse(s) > and an inventory management software package driving equipment. All levels perform the functions best to what they were designed to do while allowing an organization visibility, control and top performance.
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Member since: 2011-10-01Both of these terms describe software systems. Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) are software solutions that assist with tracking assets as they enter the warehouse, are stored inside and eventually leave the facility. WMS solutions often integrate with various hardware systems to assist warehouse workers with picking, packing, tracking and moving materials throughout the warehouse. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) suites automate the management of data collection, processing and analysis for an entire corporation. These solutions often integrate applications and modules dedicated to servicing sales, accounting, marketing, manufacturing and supply chain departments. As such, ERP suites often include WMS solutions within their application portfolio.