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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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…)
- 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.
- 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
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.
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:
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.