Prevent Data Corruption with One Source for Updates

It’s been a tough week – some of your best customers have increased demand for certain products, and your Warehouse Manager is working hard to keep an accurate picture of available inventory.  Changes in product quantity are being updated regularly in your Warehouse Management System, and you’re keeping an eye on what’s being shipped and when. It’s a busy time, but everything is under control – right? It would be, if you weren’t running an inventory master in two different systems. Many companies have an accounting/finance system and a Warehouse Management System (WMS) that don’t talk to each other. This means updates to items in your inventory need to be made in each system in order to stay accurate. What if your sales person creates a quote from your financial system, only to find out the item requested is not in stock? What if these inaccuracies show up in financial reports sent to your auditors, CPA or bank? 

The solution to this problem is having one system that serves as the source for updates to all your other systems. Imagine what it would be like to make decisions based on dependable, correct data that only has to be updated once.  There are specific reasons why this is important for distribution companies that manage inventory. Here are our top three reasons why you need one source of updates for master records:

1. Accurate Inventory Management – Having one source of updates for your inventory master will help ensure an accurate, real-time view of what you have and what you need. This is critical, because inventory is normally the biggest expense for distributors. You can’t have an accurate view of your cash flow without knowing how much of your capital is tied up in inventory at any given time.

2. High Customer Satisfaction – If the thought of telling your customer “no” is unbearable, then you must have the ability to deliver what they need, every time. Being proactive about demand forecasting and inventory management is the best way to establish yourself as a reputable, dependable business and keep your competitive edge. Otherwise, you could easily make promises you can’t keep, and risk disappointing – or losing – your customers.

3. Increased Efficiency – Item updates only need to be made once – no more duplication of effort. Think about what it would be like to do things right the first time, and empower everyone with the single version of the truth.

To achieve the benefits of having one source of updates, first you need to determine which system should be in charge.  ERP solutions such as Dynamics GP, NAV or AX are often used as the source of updates for all other systems within an organization, because they include the accounting functions that are responsible for generating financial reports – which must be accurate.  Companies who are already using Microsoft Office will be ahead of the curve because it is designed to integrate with these Microsoft Dynamics business management solutions. In our experience, an out-of-the-box ERP solution such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV that includes WMS functionalities has more advantages than using separate systems for accounting and warehouse management.  The more your systems work together, the easier your life will be.

If you are updating multiple systems to keep your data accurate, consider the implications this will have on the integrity of your data, and your business. Fixing this problem requires a full evaluation of your current technologies and operational processes to determine the best solution. Contact OmniVue today to find out how we can make it easier for you to maintain data integrity across multiple sources without having to duplicate your efforts.

Author Jeff Pyden

Jeff Pyden is President and CEO of OmniVue, which he founded in 2003. For more than 20 years, Jeff has been following his passion for improving business execution and efficiency through technology.