June 4, 2020

Typical integrations between warehouses and a business’s ERP require the involvement of multiple parties, 4-6 months to organize and test, and a lot of money without an immediate benefit. Stord’s team, on the other hand, can guarantee the delivery of the 3 main integration points: inbound documents, outbound documents and inventory documents in as little as 9 weeks, and any one of those in 3 weeks.

Why Integrate? 

For high customer satisfaction. Many companies use 3PLs to store their goods as close to customers as possible, to ensure fast delivery times and low costs. But if you use multiple 3PLs, you risk having less visibility into your supply chain. Low visibility means inaccurate inventory counts and a higher shipment error rate, which could result in a substantial amount of errors if you’re shipping high volumes. Integrating warehouse systems with your ERP gives you that visibility so your customer can trust you to deliver on commitments. 

Limitations of Typical Integrations 

Many different parties, who have varying degrees of technical expertise, need to be involved in a typical integration, from an ERP IT team, the warehouse partner, the tech team of the WMS provider, and support consultants. It often takes months for so many parties to identify the gaps between the current state and the desired future state, select their method of integration, delegate responsibilities, test the new system, and go live with it. Then, it may take additional weeks or months to fix any bugs or issues. Meanwhile, your operations have had to be manually managed while you wait to cut over to the new, completed integration. 

As an alternative, some companies rely on point-to-point integrations, which is a single integration to a single receiver (like a warehouse). These can be quick to implement in the short term, but aren’t flexible, causing a long of time and money in the long-run. Because a point-to-point integration relies on a rigid web of systems working together, integrating an additional 3PL into your network can cause the system to break, requiring additional IT support.

Stord’s Solution

Stord’s smart integrative layer allows us to avoid point-to-point integrations, so we can be flexible for the first integration, and any and all that come afterward. It supports a number of methods: EDI, API, XL or flat files, and a number of methods of connectivity: AS2, S/FTP and API over HTTPS.

After data moves from the warehouse through our integrative layer, it hits our canonical data model, which normalizes the warehouse data before it’s sent to your ERP. Data standards and fields tend to vary widely, especially when you have a large warehouse network, so having a model that cleans the data before it hits the ERP saves you from having to manually derive insights. Stord’s data science team can also analyze that data, and report on warehousing and transportation spend and develop distribution network studies

All of the above, plus our project management team, makes our 9-week timeline possible. Each integration is led by a designated integrations lead who manages the project end-to-end, from requirements gathering to development, testing, go-live and support. The operations specialist who will be responsible for managing your orders is also involved in the integrations project from end-to-end, so by the time we’re ready to launch, you’re familiar with your operations team and know what to expect.

To learn more about the benefits and pain points of integrations, what to expect from an integrations project, and Stord’s solution, download this webinar hosted by Stord’s VP of Engineering David Hardwick and Integrations Lead Isaac Wyatt: https://go.stord.com/integrations-webinar-od