Being a small and medium-sized business (SMB) owner is no mean feat. Juggling marketing, leadership, inventory, finance, and resource management leaves little room to breathe, let alone focus on boosting profitability and scaling your business. It can feel like pushing a boulder up a hill without the right tools to ease the burden.

But fear not! The digital marketplace is teeming with solutions to this very challenge. The two we’ll talk about today are enterprise resource planning (ERP) and warehouse management system software (WMS).

Today, let’s explore two game-changing options: enterprise resource planning (ERP) and warehouse management system software (WMS). Each brings unique capabilities and serves specific purposes. Keep reading to discover whether your business can benefit from either of these solutions or, perhaps, find the perfect all-in-one answer with DigitBridge. 🛠️💻

Understanding ERP Software

A robust ERP software can simplify daily business operations and ensure critical details are never missed. It should include many features that will help manage several different departments and provide real-time visibility to key stakeholders.

Some key features of ERP systems are:

  • Sales and Purchase Order Management
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Data Analytics
  • Accounts Payable/Receivable Reconciliation
  • Returns and Refunds
  • Inventory & Catalog Management
  • Seamless Integration with Other Programs

Understanding WMS Software

Accurately tracking inventory is critical to business success, efficiency, and profitability. Without it, owners won’t be able to make proper purchasing decisions, display proper stock information, and can even lose track of valuable merchandise.

To help stay on top of warehouse inventory, many SMB owners make use of warehouse management system software.

Figure 1: An infographic displaying common ways a WMS can help manage warehouses. Image Source

A comprehensive WMS should help a business owner manage:

  • Routing Oversight
  • Warehouse Location Management
  • Shipping Label & Packing List Printing
  • Tracking Numbers
  • Picking and Packing
  • Mobile Barcode Scanning
  • Reporting and Data Analytics

Key Differences between ERP and WMS Software

Though the two types of software share a common goal – to simplify the lives of SMB owners – they serve distinct functions.

WMS software is focused on managing warehouse operations. This is no small task since it involves many moving parts and plenty of critical details that cannot be missed. However, it will not be helpful if your main issues are with sales, marketing, or customer service.

WMS is typically used to optimize:

  • Warehouse Efficiency
  • Inventory Movements
  • Order Picking
  • Shipping and Tracking

On the other hand, ERP software takes a wider view. A great ERP system should be capable of helping the business owner manage many daily tasks from a wide range of business departments. Some ERPs can even include certain WMS features!

ERP software will help with:

  • Financial Management
  • Procurement
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Dropshipping
  • Inventory Management

When to Use ERP vs WMS

If you’re running a business that relies on inventory, you’ll need to have a strong grasp of both warehouse and standard business operations. 

Managing inventory takes a lot of time and involves countless details which can’t afford to be missed. WMS can make these repetitive tasks a breeze.

However, the same is true for tasks like financial management, sales, and customer service. A strong ERP system can put hours back in your day by taking on these jobs for you.

How can you as a business owner decide which software is right for you? Here are a few tips to help you decide.

  • Your primary focus is warehouse operations. WMS is specifically designed to optimize inventory management, order fulfillment, and general warehouse operations.
  • You require advanced inventory control. If you have a large inventory with complex storage requirements or multiple picking zones, WMS will help.
  • You need to streamline order fulfillment. If you feel you spend too much time and effort on order accuracy, picking errors, or other fulfillment problems, try a WMS.
  • You don’t need help with customer service, sales, or product information management. Remember that WMS is narrow in scope and can’t help with business operations outside the warehouse. If that’s all you need, then a WMS will make more sense than a typical ERP.
  • You need a comprehensive solution. If your business requires management of multiple complex functions across several departments such as finance, procurement, sales, marketing, and warehouse, an ERP is right for you.
  • You need end-to-end visibility. If you need real-time visibility into varied business aspects like sales, inventory, and financials, you need an ERP.
  • You’re dropshipping. Dropshippers can benefit from an ERP’s centralized order management, supplier communication, product catalog, and integration with marketplaces.
  • You require seamless integration. If you need a system that smoothly integrates with your CRM and sales channels, you’ll need an ERP.

The Unified Strength of ERP and WMS

In the modern business landscape, efficiency and integration are paramount. Enter the combined power of an ERP system and a WMS. When these two titans of operational management converge, the result isn’t just additive—it’s multiplicative. An ERP, with its ability to offer an integrated view of core business processes, and a WMS, which optimizes the storage and movement of goods, work in tandem to create a synergistic effect. This integration translates into streamlined operations, real-time data visibility, cutting edge inventory management, and enhanced decision-making capabilities. In essence, the fusion of ERP and WMS offers businesses a holistic solution where the combined outcome truly surpasses the capabilities of each individual system. This synergy ensures that the whole is, without a doubt, greater than the sum of its parts.

How DigitBridge Builds on that Strength

For the ambitious small business owner, there’s a constant juggling act. With the demands of inventory management paired with the pursuit of growth opportunities, the day often feels far shorter than its allotted 24 hours. It’s all too easy for these entrepreneurs to be mired in the details, overlooking golden growth opportunities in the process. 

Seeing this persistent challenge, DigitBridge developed a solution. Our platform seamlessly marries ERP management and potent WMS functionalities. The result? Simplified complexities, reduced repetitive tasks, and the liberation of business leaders to channel their energies on overarching strategic initiatives.

DigitBridge is a comprehensive turnkey digital commerce platform that will provide SMBs and dropshippers with all the tools they need to sell, fulfill, and buy.

  • Stay on top of all business operations in real time with ERP
  • Keep your warehouse & shipping running smoothly with WMS
  • Manage your sales channels with  Commerce Central (CC)
  • Keep up to date product information with Product Information Management (PIM+)

Ready to give it a try? Get in touch with us to request a demo of DigitBridge, and let’s find out how we can help you scale your business today. 🌟🚀

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