Boost Operational Efficiency with WMS & TMS Integration

Explore the benefits of WMS & TMS Integration

In order to increase operational efficiency, companies are ramping up efforts to integrate warehouse management system (WMS) software with transportation management system (TMS) software; despite traditionally these two operating in silos. WMS & TMS integration can bring numerous benefits such as, the ability to optimise warehouse space and the reallocation of inventory, reducing the time and costs related to transportation and external routing, labour efficiency and a reduction in staff costs as well as the ultimate goal: improving customer satisfaction.

A truly integrated solution meets warehouse and transportation management needs from sourcing to consumption.

When implemented separately, each of these software product types can typically add 1-3% percentage points to the bottom line. TMS savings are usually based on a variety of rate/service shopping, external routing, and internal labour saving activities. WMS products drive costs out of the warehouse by dramatically increasing inventory accuracy, space utilization, and by reducing labour consumption. These factors work together to elevate customer order fill rates to over 99.5%. When the two packages are used in conjunction, their multiple effects can be greater than their sum.

Warehouse managers work daily or even hourly with the transportation team. So why is it with today’s demands on distribution & warehouse operations requiring both sides to collaborate so closely to deliver these results and exceed expectations, that transportation and warehouse functions are often unsynchronised?

What are the key benefits of WMS & TMS integration?

Increased overall execution efficiency:

  • vehicle optimisation
  • reduction in overtime/agency hires
  • better work force planning from better horizon or unload/load plans

Better operational visibility:

  • ability to optimise future fleet
  • ability to determine cost to serve
  • ability to manage customer service levels
  • reduction in DC disruption from order escalation

New optimisation between the two technologies:

  • Transport awareness of warehouse constraints in real-time enabling real-time decisions
  • Elimination of warehouse and customer service errors
  • Full visibility into your inventory
  • The ability to manage distribution schedules more strategically
  • Allows businesses to respond rapidly to customers
  • Reduces carrying costs & helps optimise warehouse space
  • Increases productivity across the organisation and much more

With customers demanding quicker deliveries, soaring transportation costs and the dynamic nature of your business is it time you considered some level of integration between the two platforms?

Where to begin with WMS & TMS Integration?

Start by taking a close look at the areas of the business where the value of merging is clear-cut. There may be efficiency gains from better alignment between labour, resources, and inbound & outbound shipments. For others, it could be increasing visibility so there’s more predictability with shipments.

Carefully integrated transportation and warehouse functions can enable more rapid processing of inbound and outbound shipments resulting in minimise cycle times, and increase asset utilisation while aligning with inbound and outbound shipment capacity and times, that all adds up to more reliably and predictably.

The Balancing Act:-

Inbound Operations

To find out if coordination between transportation and warehouse for inbound operations is right for your business, start by answering these questions:

  • Are inbound freight delivery schedules reliable?
  • Is the volume of inbound freight predictable?
  • Is resource capacity (labour and equipment) in balance with what is necessary to process incoming shipments?

If the answer is “no”, WMS & TMS Integration can put you on the path to solving problems that come from lack of reliability and predictability.

By knowing, in detail, what freight is on its way, managers can do a more efficient job of labour and space planning. Equipment can be put to better use, too, since the number of people needed to operate equipment can scale up or down based on the size, complexity and frequency of shipments.

Outbound Operations

When TMS and WMS are integrated for outbound, the warehouse staff can execute against well-planned outbound shipments, every time. If coordination is done manually using spreadsheets or disconnected systems, companies may miss out on an opportunity since real-time changes to the transportation plan won’t be reflected in the WMS system or work plan.

When information is synchronised between WMS and TMS, loading trailers can become more efficient. For instance, managers can make sure goods are loaded in an ideal sequence and placed in proper temperature zones.

Companies may want to explore multi-vendor pickups. Orchestrating multi-vendor pickups with warehouse operations can lead to lower transportation costs, reduced detention charges, fewer bottlenecks in the yard, and faster flow through and unloading.

WMS & TMS integration means faster delivery

Modern distribution centres are not architected to store inventory, but rather to support swift inventory movement across all demand channels. Keeping things moving reliably and predictably requires partnership between warehouse and transportation, at both a system and organisational level, to make the entire operation run more effectively and at a lower cost.

Another TMS capability, appointment scheduling, can be leveraged to ensure timeliness and predictability of inbound freight.

This can help the DC plan for:

  • Where products need to be stored
  • Inspection or separation of one type of product from another, in the case of perishables, for example
  • Value-added services or customisation applied at the DC level
  • Where to schedule people so they’re at the ready the moment a shipment arrives

Managing all aspects of a supply chain network can be a juggling act, with multi-channel distribution, multi-modal needs and high service requirements. Today’s companies require greater visibility and control than ever before so that customers are assured the right products will be delivered exactly when and where they need them. WMS & TMS integration can give you that valuable insight.

If your TMS and WMS aren’t talking to each other, you may be missing key opportunities to maximise your productivity. When technologies communicate, they turn data into actionable, value-added information. Effective data sharing allows 3PLs and shippers to better plan and execute the movement of goods. It also helps companies increase visibility and enhance efficiency.

About us:

Speak to one of our team to understand how Clarus’ WMS system can cost effectively support best practice warehouse management processes, better customer service and highly efficient working for a range of warehouse operations with pay per month options and no IT infrastructure needed.

Our platform can scale from a one user, small depot system to a 100’s of user distribution centre operation. The ClarusWMS platform will cost effectively scale with your business based on demand.

ClarusWMS is a UK based supplier of warehouse management solutions with a wealth of industry experience in third party logistics, wholesale / retail distribution, online fulfillment and manufacturing warehousing.