Both a warehouse management system and a transportation management system can help companies with critical warehouse operations and integrating them can benefit organizations even further.
Integrating a TMS and WMS improves visibility into warehouse processes and can help improve scheduling. Supply chain leaders should also keep in mind that integrating a TMS and WMS is not always possible, depending on the systems.
Learn more about WMSes and how integrating them with a TMS can help improve operations.
What is a WMS?
A WMS application manages warehouse inventory, including product status, inventory quality and inventory location.
The WMS also helps with picking and packing by providing workers with location and quantity data.
In some cases, WMSes offer mobile functionality so workers can access the system while using a forklift or moving around the warehouse floor.
What is a TMS?
Companies with a large amount of warehouse products that workers must load and unload into trailers or trucks often use a TMS platform.
A TMS helps support load and route scheduling as well as compliance documentation and provides real-time visibility into product locations.
The benefits of integrating a WMS and a TMS
Using WMS and TMS separately can be challenging for warehouse workers, so integrating a WMS and TMS can improve daily operations.
Here are some other benefits of integrating the two systems.
1. Eliminates manual data entry
Integrating a WMS and TMS reduces the need for data entry because workers won't have to manually key in load information into the TMS. The information will automatically transfer from the WMS to the TMS.
2. End-to-end load visibility
WMS-TMS integration also enables employees to track the status of each load and share the information with customers and internal staff if needed without having to switch between systems.
For example, employees of a manufacturer with integrated TMS and WMS can find out if the materials and ingredients for a scheduled production order will arrive in time.
This visibility also enables warehouse workers to plan ahead for shipments.
3. Improved resource utilization
TMS-WMS integration enables companies to optimize their resources by improving the scheduling of trucks, drivers and warehouse staff.
Since a TMS-WMS integration provides visibility into truck and driver availability, users can schedule warehouse workers more effectively.
However, supply chain leaders should keep in mind that not all WMS and TMS platforms can be integrated. During the software vendor selection process, purchasing team members should ask whether the vendor can support system integration.