A TMS solution streamlines your shipping, and when fully integrated with your existing software, operational efficiency vastly improves. Here we cover 5 tips on how to integrate your ERP.
Once your Transportation Management Software (TMS) is integrated with your ERP solution, you can gain enhanced visibility across your entire supply chain, particularly if you incorporate both your inbound and outbound shipping. This integration can lead to faster and more reliable data exchange by eliminating many manual processes through automation.
But before you attempt to integrate your TMS solution with your ERP, here is a checklist of things you should consider when making this leap forward.
1. Decide on the level of integration you want to achieve
There are different levels of integration when working with an ERP for logistics. For instance, for simple integration, you can merge your two systems by submitting shipping documents for verifications or an automatic go-through in checks and balances.
You can also opt to fuse with your entire supply chain processes altogether, which requires a more complex integration. Still, it comes with robust benefits such as increased operational visibility and risk mitigation, a faster ROI, real-time transparency throughout your transportation pipeline, and enhanced efficiency, to name a few.
Knowing the level of integration you wish to achieve with your TMS and your logistics ERP solutions allows you to envision your end goal for your two systems and your future operations. It gives you a clear idea on what to expect with your workflows once integration is complete, and it gives you a more concrete path to work with and follow.
2. Consider the time it takes to complete integration
Integrating with logistics ERP solutions is not something that happens in a blink of an eye, which is why you need to check for the duration of the entire integration process. Regular integration implementation for most businesses varies from 1 to 3 months.
You need to be aware of the process’s duration to establish a work-around schedule. With a schedule, you can tell if there are any delays in implementation, and you can quickly pinpoint and resolve the issues causing those delays.
Knowing the initiative's duration also gives your staff time to adjust to the effects of integrating your TMS and ERP. You'll require ample time to train and educate your staff regarding your operations' changes once integration is complete.
You can also have more exact expectations of the period it takes to conjoin these products and decide whether your organization can allot the time and effort for this process. Suppose you have many projects lined up during the proposed integration period. In that case, it may be best to put off incorporating your logistics ERP solutions to a TMS solution for the time being.
However, there are TMS solutions on the market, like FreightPOP's, that can integrate quickly. Time is money, and the sooner you can incorporate your TMS with your logistics ERP solution, the sooner you'll reap the rewards!
3. Find out which ERP is compatible with your TMS
An increasing number of companies worldwide are beginning to see the effect ERP can provide to their enterprise's efficiency. The global ERP software market will hit $71.63 billion by 2026, according to Fortune Business Insights. More and more logistics ERP solutions are being released in the market, making selection quite challenging for ventures who still don't have one.
While most TMS that offer integrations can work alongside various ERP for logistics, you should double-check the platforms your provider can use before proceeding to the integration process.
To give you an idea, the most common logistics ERP solutions that work with the best TMS software include Netsuite, Zoho, SAP, and Quickbooks. Most TMS can also work with Microsoft Dynamics and Oracle. Meanwhile, if you're still wondering about which ERP to purchase and integrate with your TMS, take a look at these ERP software examples compiled by FinancesOnline for business processes.
4. Get rid of rough and ready solutions (if you have any)
Although an ERP for logistics is already powerful in its own right, transportation management is an aspect of your business that's too vital for you to manage with makeshift solutions. This rings particularly true when you are trying to stay on top of holiday peaks, push through pandemics, and maintain a reputation as a shipper.
You need a TMS that perfectly accompanies your ERP system to usher in more advantages for your business. If you already have these systems and processes in place, it's best to dismantle them and start anew by integrating your ERP with your TMS.
Industry experts recommend investing in solutions that yield efficiency and success at the moment while nurturing future functions that boost supply chain resiliency and determine new opportunities. They also suggest revisiting and evaluating your supply chain to ensure its preparedness for heightening levels of digitally enabled solutions and initiatives, which includes making choices related to infrastructure such as integrations.
Giving you the best of both worlds
A TMS merged with your ERP system offer top-tier supply chain management. By fusing data from your venture's business and transportation aspects, your technology can easily surface inefficiencies, outstanding executions, and budding innovations.
Most importantly, merging your TMS with ERP integrated solutions allows you to be a business that makes speedy and well-informed decisions due to the high-powered and real-time data you acquire on your transportation workflows and activities.
For more tips, please see our ultimate bundle covering carrier rate shopping, digitizing supply chains, tracking and reporting, and freight auditing.