When you are trying to figure out which enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to use, it's not always a simple decision to make. Moreover, it's not unlikely that shipping may not be a priority on your list. However, the decision does not have to be time-consuming.
Read on to discover how to choose the ERP system that best fits your shipping needs.
Similar Shipping Needs
Both Oracle and SAP have the capability to add third-party shipping solutions, such as InfoShip. Both Oracle and SAP also offer built-in shipping solutions. In fact, both systems are focused on large-volume shipping solutions, such as rail or fleet shipping.
The disadvantage to this is that these ERP systems may lack parcel-piece fulfillment. That means if your enterprise uses parcel shipping solutions, such as the ones provided by UPS or DHL, then it will not find strong support for parcel delivery. This is due to the fact that many of the customers that buy ERP systems, such as Oracle and SAP, are large manufacturers.
Additionally, both Oracle's and SAP's focus on large-volume shipping solutions can be attributed to the notion that parcel shipping solutions are customized. For example, shipping is often specific to the location and business itself. If you want to configure SAP to be a global solution and ship packages around the globe as a unified effort, there are particular localized modules that prevent a global roll-out. That is because each specific location needs its own custom setup, or localization, within SAP.
The Localization Component
Transportation and shipping are almost always a localization component of SAP, because it is rarely possible to roll this component out globally. Since each distribution center has its own shipping methods, the selection of your ERP system will not be solely based on your shipping needs but on the overarching business needs. For example, one distribution center may only ship bulk packages, while another only ships parcel.
Rather than focus on whether Oracle or SAP will provide a better shipping solution, decision makers purchasing ERP systems will look at which ERP system offers the better fit for operations, cash or manufacturing as a whole.
However, if parcel shipping solutions are part of the implementation of these ERP systems, they frequently offer a bolted-on transportation management solution within its backend to handle the parcel carrier shipping.
Here some tips to consider when you are trying to decide whether Oracle or SAP best fits your shipping needs:
- Understand what either ERP system offers in regards to the transportation component early on in your decision-making.
- Decide if its transportation solution will work for your business and shipping needs. For example, if you are the VP of operations or the housing manager, you understand that while other business processes are important to look at, your shipping solution is also a vital component to consider. Moreover, knowing that neither ERP supports a very strong shipping module means that you need to consider which ERP system offers the shipping solution you need.
- Decide what you will do. This may also mean that you will have to consider bringing in a third-party system to interface to it or work with your Oracle or SAP vendor to build a shipping solution that will meet your shipping needs. It's important to make this decision early on, especially if you are considering a third-party vendor so that they can work hand in hand with your ERP vendor during the testing and development stages.
Evaluating which ERP package takes care of your shipping needs best, in addition to your manufacturing, procurement, accounting, warehouse management, finance, distribution and full supply chain needs, is a vital task. But it doesn't have to be a complicated one.
Many times the best solution is to choose an ERP vendor to partner with and then select a shipping solution vendor together that not only meets your shipping needs but already has experience with interfacing to your ERP.