Intelligentes Lager & ERP
Intelligentes Lager & ERP

Intelligent warehouse & ERP - the interface as a critical point

Highly efficient order processes, increased productivity and maximum efficiency in logistics - an intelligent warehouse with automated processes and real-time data transmission comes with strong advantages.

What many do not know: Designing the interface between the warehouse management system and the ERP system is an important step in setting up an automated warehouse and actually achieving optimization and increased efficiency. If the interface is not neatly tailored to the processes and integrated with the systems, the consequences can be messy. 

Worst case: When the interface doesn't fit 

Inaccurate data, delayed data transfer or inventory bottlenecks - a poorly functioning interface between a smart warehouse and an ERP system quickly leads to incorrect inventory levels or delivery delays. The result: dissatisfied customers and, in the worst case, massive drops in sales. 

Ergo: Only with a well-designed and thoroughly tested interface can reliable communication between the intelligent warehouse and the ERP system be ensured. What exactly needs to be taken into account in the interface design? The following is a brief overview of the most important points. 

Interface design - what to pay attention to?

1. Relevant data 

The interface for the intelligent warehouse must be designed in such a way that the really relevant data can be exchanged between the warehouse management system and the ERP system, usually data on warehouse stocks, orders, deliveries and suppliers. Depending on the type of warehouse, this can be quite different information: warehouses with the FIFO method, for example, require data on the storage location, storage bin and batch number, while for other warehouses information on the general product quantity is quite sufficient.  

2. Data formats and protocols 

The interface for an intelligent warehouse must support data formats and protocols that are understood by both systems, the warehouse management system and the ERP system. This includes, for example, the use of standardized data formats such as XML or JSON and protocols such as REST or SOAP.  

3. Data validation and processing 

The smart warehouse interface must be able to validate and process the data it receives to ensure it is accurate and complete. Incorrect or incomplete data must be automatically identified and handled. 

4. Synchronization of data 

The interface for an automated warehouse must ensure that data is synchronized in real time between the two systems. This includes, for example, ensuring that changes to inventory or orders are immediately transmitted to the ERP system to ensure accurate inventory management and order processing. 

5. (Data) security 

The interface for the intelligent warehouse must take into account security-relevant aspects such as authentication, authorization and encryption to protect data from unauthorized access. 

Conclusion: Design the right interface (or have it designed) 

The right interface must not only meet specific technical requirements, but must also be specifically aligned with the internal processes of each company - this is the only way to succeed on the road to an automated warehouse. 

Anyone dreaming of an intelligent warehouse with automated warehouse management system, self-driving robots and other 4.0 technologies should therefore start with the right interface and call in experts who have a lot of experience in the field of interface design.


By Lars Schäfer (Team Leader ORDAT.ERP Application) 

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