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Five Factors for Selecting a Warehouse Management Solution for ERP That Should Come In Ahead of Integration

by Bridget McCrea
Contributing Writer,

When shopping around for a new Transportation Management System (TMS) or Warehouse Management System (WMS), it's natural to put system integration concerns at the top of the criteria list. After all, if the new kid on the block doesn't play well with others, the situation can become more complex than expected, leaving the company to wonder why it invested in the supply chain software in the first place.

While ease of integration should be high on the criteria list for any big implementation, it shouldn't be the ultimate deal breaker. "It should be fifth or sixth on the list but not number one," said Dwight Klappich, vice president at Boston-based Gartner Inc. "Integration and other technical issues tend to take up 10-15 percent or less of total implementation time, effort, and cost, and aren't as critical as one might assume."

So what factors should be considered, outside of system integration? Here are five key questions to ask yourself the next time you layer a new WMS or TMS on top of your existing Microsoft Dynamics ERP or other major system:

1)    What business value will we get out of this software? This should be the overarching criterion for any implementation, according to Belinda Griffin-Cryan, global supply chain executive program manager at Capgemini Consulting in Boston. "It's easy to get star-struck by the possibilities without building a solid business case around the investment, particularly when viewing fancy demos and presentations," said Griffin-Cryan. "In many cases, companies wind up putting in systems that don't meet their needs, or that are more complicated ...

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About Bridget McCrea

Bridget McCrea covers business and technology topics for various publications. She can be reached at

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