ERP Integration - Kuebix TMS

Extend the Benefits of Your Transportation Management System (TMS) with an ERP Integration

At their core, transportation management systems (TMS) help shippers perform logistics management functions like rating, booking and tracking. These functions help save companies money, improve efficiency and keep data stored in one place for strategic decision making. However, transportation management systems aren’t only limited to rating and booking. If they were, we’d call them “rate aggregators.” What makes a TMS a TMS is the ability to perform numerous supply chain functions to extend the benefit of the technology. That’s where ERP integrations come in.

ERP integrations (integrations with enterprise resource planning systems) are one of the most popular additions shippers make to their TMS. This type of integration extends the benefits of the TMS by sharing data between internal systems. By adding additional functionality like an ERP integration, any shipper can configure a TMS that is right for their business.

What is an ERP integration?

An ERP integration is a process that allows information to flow between an ERP system and a TMS. Essentially, any information inputted into an ERP system can be seamlessly displayed within the TMS and vice versa. This is especially useful for sharing product, order, and shipment information between systems.

How is an ERP integration with a TMS used?

Many teams can benefit from an ERP integration. When the order processing team receives an order from a customer, they can input it into the ERP as usual. With the integration, that order information is automatically displayed within the TMS and is ready for the logistics team to rate and book the shipment. Once the shipment has been processed, the rate along with any miscellaneous charges or accessorials are mapped back to the ERP for financial teams automatically. Instead of managing a huge paper trail of order information, teams all operate from a “single source of truth.”

Why is it beneficial to integrate my ERP with my TMS?

Here are 4 ways shippers benefit from integrating:

  •  • ERP integrations facilitate the rapid creation of shipments – With an order integration between a TMS and an ERP, orders automatically flow from the ERP to the TMS for easy rating, booking, and tendering. Instead of going back and forth between systems and spreadsheets, the order information is automatically populated, eliminating the need to rekey anything.
  •  • ERP integrations ensure 100% order accuracy – Since information is automatically populated within the TMS, the information is right, every time. It’s amazing the difference it can make when there is no longer any risk of human error because of rekeying. PRO numbers, product SKUs, weights and every other metric of an order appear automatically, resulting in 100% order accuracy.
  •  • ERP integrations give shippers complete order visibility – Once an order has been booked for shipment, shippers don’t lose visibility to that order. All shipment details are mapped back to the target ERP system for accurate record keeping and visibility for all stakeholders.
  •  • ERP integrations help shippers understand the true landed cost of goods – Since all order information is tracked and shared between systems, shippers can leverage reports and analytics to view the true landed cost of goods down to the SKU level. This means they can make smarter decisions regarding their company’s bottom line when they integrate purchase orders directly from an ERP system.

How Do ERP Integrations Work?

  1. By leveraging a common middleware connector, the team performing the integration can map ERP order and item information to automatically creates orders within the TMS.
  2. These orders are stored within the TMS in preparation for shipping departments to simply scan or enter the order number into a lookup field to get rates and begin shipping.
  3. Once the order is shipped, the TMS notifies the ERP system and updates the ERP order with shipment details. (Tracking number, cost, carrier, time in transit, GL code, etc…)
  4. Each ERP connector includes a configurable trigger function to automatically create orders, status changes or approval processes to tell the TMS to pull the order details. This process allows for a seamless flow of data between the two systems.
  5. Once shipped within the TMS, shipment details are mapped back to the target ERP system for accurate record keeping and visibility for all stakeholders.

Click here to learn more about Kuebix’s ERP Integration Highway.


Examples of Companies that Use ERP Integrations

ERP Integration with Microsoft Dynamics and Kuebix TMS

Microsoft Dynamics Integration

OBJECTIVE – Save time and improve order accuracy by consolidating processes into a single transportation management system.

CHALLENGES – TMS needs to integrate with Microsoft Dynamics and connect to a variety of LTL carriers. Scale to incorporate container tracking. Be usable by multiple departments within the organization.

RESULTS – Significant time savings on each LTL order processed. Improved order information accuracy. Optimized interactions between multinational teams.


ERP Integration with NetSuite and Kuebix TMS

NetSuite Integration

OBJECTIVE – Automate the order creation process to save time manually inputting orders and avoid human error while operating in a centralized transportation management system.

CHALLENGES – Previous process was too manual and relied on team members entering orders one-by-one into different carrier websites.

RESULTS – Implemented an integration between NetSuite and Kuebix to automatically allow order information to flow from their ERP system to Kuebix TMS.


Examples of ERPs Shippers Integrate With:

  •  • NetSuite
  •  • Oracle
  •  • Microsoft Dynamics
  •  • Infor
  •  • Quickbooks
  •  • SAP
  •  • Claritysoft
  •  • Epicor
  •  • Sage

Integrating Your ERP with Kuebix TMS

Unlike many TMS providers who direct users to external or third-party integrators, the Kuebix team has internally developed an array of integrations that our customers use to enhance and expand their ever-evolving supply chains. Gone are the days of trying to view a product’s lifecycle by exporting data from internal, carrier, broker and 3rd party monitoring systems. Instead, with an integration, users get the information they need automatically and human error is drastically reduced with the help of technology.

Kuebix offers out-of-the-box integrations based on EDI formats as well as integrations that use more direct APIs/web services. Kuebix can also customize an integration to meet your company’s specific needs.

AMMEX Case Study with Kuebix

How One Company Benefits from an Integration with Microsoft Dynamics & Kuebix

Global Importer, AMMEX, Realizes Significant Time Savings By Leveraging an Integration Between Kuebix and Microsoft Dynamics

About AMMEX

AMMEX is a global importer of disposable gloves providing retailers and distributors with high-performance, high-margin products. The company sources disposable rubber, latex, and nitrile gloves from vendors across Asia before transporting their goods via direct shipping containers to North America. AMMEX uses third-party warehouses located in Washington, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, and Canada to fulfill orders across North America with LTL shipments.

Currently, AMMEX ships between 80 – 100+ LTL shipments every day from their domestic warehouse locations. As a massive enterprise organization, AMMEX decided to turn to technology to streamline their logistics operations and make shipping processes more transparent.

How AMMEX Is Using Kuebix Today

In 2018, AMMEX conducted an RFP to discover the best fitting transportation management system for their needs. Being able to connect their ERP system, Microsoft Dynamics, to streamline order processing was a significant factor in the company’s final decision.

After evaluating several options, AMMEX implemented Kuebix TMS in late 2018 and has continued to add functionality and features to expand its usage across their offices in the USA and the Philippines. Currently, 15 logistics and supply chain professionals within the company are registered users of the TMS.

AMMEX’s logistics team uses the TMS on a daily basis to rate, book, and track their LTL shipments to retailers and distributors nationwide. The company’s Operations Manager, Patricia David, leads a team of 9 people who oversee the company’s logistics processes.

David handles daily organization with the warehouses, manages returns and sales, and also deals with vendors and brokers. David, who is based in Metro Manila, Philippines, has worked at AMMEX for 12 years and has seen significant0 operational improvements since implementing Kuebix.

“The ease of comparing rates between different carriers makes the process of rating and booking much faster for us,” said David. “Instead of going between multiple carrier websites, we only have to look at a single page!”

Integrating with Microsoft Dynamics

Not only does the technology make rating easier, it also consolidates the company’s LTL shipment information into a single source of truth.

Instead of re-keying information between their ERP system and Kuebix TMS, AMMEX is leveraging an ERP integration between Microsoft Dynamics and Kuebix to automatically populate order information between systems. This greatly speeds up the order creation process and ensures that issues don’t arise because of human error.

David went on to say, “Our PO team simply processes orders in our ERP system and they appear in Kuebix. Then, all my team needs to do is book the shipments and process the BOL (bill of lading) in the TMS! Once it’s been processed, it comes back automatically with a PRO number. When we were doing BOLs manually, it was taking us between 3 – 5 minutes per shipment since we needed to check the weight, pallet count, etc. With Kuebix and an integration to Microsoft Dynamics, we’ve cut that time down to 2 minutes and are ensuring accuracy every time!”

Being able to have full visibility to exact order information is especially helpful for AMMEX as an organization with teams located across the globe and with third-party warehouses. Accurate communication is essential to keeping operations running smoothly and having all information consolidated into a single TMS creates efficiencies. All records, invoice payments, and financial analytics are also stored within the system when an ERP integration is added.

Adding Additional Functionality With Kuebix TMS

AMMEX has decided to continue to scale with Kuebix by adding container tracking for inbound visibility. Once this has been configured for AMMEX, the team located in Kent, Washington will also begin using Kuebix to manage inbound container shipments from China, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Click here to download this case study as a PDF.


Kuebix is a Gold Sponsor of the Microsoft Dynamics User Group Summit North America on October 15 – 18, 2019 in Kissimmee, FL. Stop by Booth #1713 at the conference for a demonstration or to learn more about Kuebix’s seamless integrations to Microsoft Dynamics.

Stop the Double-Entry Madness!

When most people think of the supply chain, they picture pallets arranged on trailers or colorful shipping containers being loaded off of ships. However, there are a lot of moving parts to the supply chain even before product starts moving from point A to point B. Getting those pallets and containers to where they need to be takes time and a lot of pre-planning. To keep the supply chain running smoothly, orders need to be received, product needs to be produced to meet demand and transport needs to be arranged for pickup.

These steps require a high degree of attention in order to work successfully. Orders are tracked by PO number, SKU and many other metrics which might encompass anything from dimension to Haz-Mat classification. Many shipping departments studiously key order information from their ERP systems to their carriers’ websites to arrange transport. In some cases, printouts are even being re-keyed into spreadsheets. For anyone who has keyed product or order information back and forth between systems, you know that it can take considerable time and be riddled with manual errors.

Technology is helping shipping departments stop the double-entry madness. By integrating purchase orders directly from their ERP system, logistics professionals can automate the rapid creation of shipments by avoiding the need to re-key a long list of order line items. Integration is also two-way, meaning financial and customer service teams can gain visibility on all transactions as information flows seamlessly back to the ERP system.

By allowing order and product information to populate automatically, the need to re-key information between systems is completely eliminated. This decreases labor costs by saving time manually typing orders while simultaneously increasing order accuracy. Better order accuracy means never shipping the wrong product or quantity because of a simple typo and never having to explain to a customer why human error was to blame for your poor service.

Leveraging technology to automate a previously manual and tedious process is saving countless companies valuable time. Some companies have been slow to integrate their ERP with their TMS for fear of a long, complicated process. However, by seeking a TMS that offers a common integration approach to all ERP systems, shippers can be assured of rapid implementation and ROI. Kuebix TMS offers out-of-the-box ERP integrations. Click here to check out how we integrate with Microsoft DynamicsNetSuite and QuickBooks!

Kuebix ERP Integration Highway

The ERP Integration Highway

Many companies are discovering the benefits of using a TMS to streamline their transportation operations. A well-rounded TMS offers many modular features to support the changing needs of any type of supply chain. One of the most universally beneficial features is the ability to integrate purchase orders automatically from an ERP system directly into the TMS.

Why is integrating POs directly from an ERP so beneficial?

Integrating POs directly from an ERP system facilitates the rapid creation of shipments by avoiding the need to re-key a long list of order line items, ensuring 100% order accuracy.

Since the integration is two-way, shipment data is populated back into the ERP system for record keeping and to provide stakeholders with complete visibility. This enables information down to the SKU level to be leveraged in claims management, meaning the shipper always has the information they need to protect their company’s interests. Shippers can also better understand the true landed cost of goods to make smarter decisions regarding their company’s bottom line when they integrate purchase orders directly from an ERP system.

Use the ERP Integration Highway to get started:

  1. The TMS should leverage a common middleware connector that maps ERP order and item information and automatically creates orders within the technology.
  2. These orders are stored within the TMS in preparation for shipping departments to simply scan or enter the order number into a lookup field to get rates and begin shipping.
  3. Once the order is shipped, the TMS notifies the ERP system and updates the ERP order with shipment details. (Tracking number, cost, carrier, time in transit, GL code, etc…)
  4. Each ERP highway connector includes a configurable trigger function to automatically create orders, status changes or approval processes to tell the TMS to pull the order details. This process allows for a seamless flow of data between the two systems.
  5. Once shipped within the TMS, shipment details are mapped back to the target ERP system for accurate record keeping and visibility for all stakeholders.

Kuebix TMS leverages this methodology to provide shippers a pain-free way to integrate their ERP system directly into the TMS. The ERP Integration Highway is a common integration approach to all ERP systems, meaning the process is smooth and efficient for shippers with any ERP system. To learn more about Kuebix integrations, click here.

APIs Rising: Understanding the Newest Integration Technology

I don’t think anyone would disagree with me when I say the shipping ecosystem owes a huge debt of gratitude to EDI. Many decades after companies in numerous industries implemented it to enable electronic communications and change the way they did business, EDI is still alive and well.

But as APIs have ascended, I’ve seen them grow in popularity as the preferred means to integrate shippers and carriers. Why? The EDI approach positions middleware and transaction processing as a sort of middleman. That can take time and create inefficiencies in the supply chain.

In the shipping world, this has given rise to wider use of application programming interfaces (API) which allow tighter integration of shippers with carriers.

APIs allow for rapid onboarding of customers and their negotiated carrier rates into the Kuebix TMS. This can be done in the time it takes to book a flight online.

When it comes to connecting to ship, APIs eliminate the middleman, and create a direct connect that delivers critical information – such as tracking info on shipments – to both parties in the transaction. Better still, APIs are the easiest way to integrate functionality into transportation management systems (TMS).

Enter Integrations

Here’s where the payoff comes. TMS vendors such as Kuebix, have created a menu of integrations that can be added to the system to support added functionalities. Customers can add purchase order, bill of lading, and shipment status and tracking to streamline these processes.

And just like a diner-friendly restaurant, items not on the standard menu can be created or customized to the specific needs of the customer shipping freight.

TMS vendors can provide standard integrations that they have developed as well as integrations created by third parties, all so you can optimize supply chain management to meet the often-top corporate priority of cutting costs in the supply chain.

Once integrations have been added to a customer’s TMS, the time savings and streamlining can really begin. And it’s the beginning of the end for inefficiencies.

Integrations You Can Count On

Let’s take carrier invoice integration as an example. The shipper receives his or her invoices in the TMS for automatic invoice audit. If an invoice does not match the agreed upon rate for the shipment, the TMS will automatically create a rate exception claim. Sound great? It should, given that you can’t squeeze savings out of a process that you don’t directly control.

How about adding a purchase and sales order integration? Logistics managers can use their TMS to simplify the creation and tracking of true landed cost down to the SKU level and streamline shipping freight.

The hits will just keep coming in the form of additional integrations. Complex EDI, SOAP or REST integrations can be simplified with a standard or customer interface that seamlessly ties into an ERP system. That’s a big part of a supply chain management strategy.

What About EDI?

The rise of API integrations doesn’t mean an end to EDI integrations by any means. But those logistics managers looking to streamline and knock time out of common processes that are essential to their supply chain operations might want to check out the API approach and available integrations.

See how a carrier 210 integration works:

 

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