Contact us

Close this search box.

WMS Systems Integration – Keys to Success (Part 1)



WMS Systems Integration – Keys to Success (Part 1)

WMS Systems Integration

There is at least one integration with every Warehouse Management System (WMS) Implementation project. It’s important to plan carefully and make sure you’ve got team members with integration experience as integration can often be where a WMS Implementation project hits delays.  Here are the first four key items that need to be identified:

  1. All systems in the integration network
  2. Role of each system (i.e., host vs. slave) and the flow paths of messages and data (i.e., push vs. pull)
  3. Physical and systemic events that should trigger messages (transactions)
  4. Common primary data elements that drive the system (SSCC, order number, wave number, etc.)

Here are some tips in each area that will help lead to the successful design of a WMS systems integration:

  • Identify all systems in the integration network – Yes this seems obvious, however, many WMS systems integration projects have surprises with this. Not only is it necessary to identify the systems, the systems’ limitations also need to be understood. For example, your WMS might be able to handle an order line number and order sub-line number, but can your ERP or OMS do the same? Take the time to fully identify ALL of the systems that impact your integration upstream and downstream – and make sure to work within the design limitations of those identified systems.
  • Identify the role of each system (i.e., host vs. slave) and the flow paths of messages and data (i.e., push vs. pull) – There is too much room here in this area to make incorrect assumptions. Not every system can be a “master” system and there needs to be an upfront understanding of which system is the host and which system is the slave. Keep in mind the roles can change based on transactions. For example, when it comes to the SKU master, often the ERP is the Host and the WMS is the Slave. But when it comes to the Inventory position, the roles are typically reversed. Another important aspect is determining if a system will push data or pull data. This can have dramatic effects on overall integration quality, as well as the ability of the business to meet Service Level Agreements.
  • Identify the physical and systemic events that should trigger messages (transactions) – Interface mapping does not stop once all the fields have been identified and agreed upon. You must also consider when an event should fire. A great example here is if you plan to send a daily shipment reconciliation transaction to the ERP from the WMS. Make sure the reconciliation file only contains shipments that crossed the event that caused the original shipment confirmation transaction to fire. Having that clearly defined will help all parties to understand when data will arrive.
  • Identify common primary data elements that drive the system (SSCC, order number, wave number, etc.) – There is data and then there is primary key data. It is very important to understand what fields are considered primary data elements (or keys) so that those pieces of data can be preserved and reported back correctly.

Related Articles

It’s time to elevate.

Discover how Open Sky Group
can help you reach new heights
of supply chain efficiency.

Jeremy Hudson

Vice President of Client Services

Jeremy’s focus is on the products and services clients need to stay competitive. Open Sky Group’s mission is to deliver technology-enabled solutions that allow our customers to achieve more while having the flexibility to adapt to change. Jeremy lives the core values and mission by bringing the best experience possible to our clients. He is an essential member of implementation teams, working alongside clients, and encouraging them to use innovation and best practices instead of customizations for success.

Jason Yantiss

Vice President of Client Services

Jason provides leadership to a variety of teams focused on implementation and integration. With 27+ years of experience holding operational and technical management roles in transportation, billing, and warehousing across a vast array of industry verticals, Jason is adept at driving multiple complex projects, understanding customer needs at all levels of the operation and providing viable solutions. Jason’s resume of 150+ implementation projects include Warehouse, Labor, Transportation, Yard Management and multiple AR/AP Freight Pay and Customer Billing systems. 

Eric McPherson

Vice President of Client Services

Mac works to oversee implementation and integration projects. A former Marine officer and military police officer, he brings over 27 years of supply chain experience, including 11 years at Blue Yonder in both delivery and service sales. Mac is a dedicated, team-oriented professional with a background in business management, professional services, customer service, and supply chain technology. His specialties include sales support, supply chain execution systems, project management, fulfillment operations, distribution operations, and GSA contracts.

Shannon Caflisch

Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Shannon is responsible for the strategy and management of all sales, business development, and marketing programs. With over 25 years of sales experience and 15 years focused in the supply chain space, Shannon focuses on building strong relationships with clients and partners and strives to deliver the right software solutions to help conquer supply chain challenges. Shannon believes in learning by listening to understand clients’ goals, struggles, and what is important to their business to build lasting, successful relationships.

Alan Prillaman

Senior Vice President of Client Services

As Senior VP of Client Services, Alan oversees all consulting services and account management at Open Sky Group. Possessing over 30 years of combined industry and consulting experience, Alan leverages his unique background in IT, logistics, quality management systems, manufacturing and distribution operations, and facility and strategic account management to provide clients with creative resolutions to complex challenges. His core philosophy and passion are to deliver tangible value for and establish long-term trusted partnerships with our clients.

Mike Noble

Senior Vice President of Technology

As Senior Vice President of Technology, Mike leads Open Sky Group’s Managed Services, Software Services, Infrastructure Services, and Information Technology teams bringing 35+ years of experience in Supply Chain Execution and Information Technology. Mike and his teams ensure we maintain the highest levels of customer service in a secure and reliable environment, constantly reviewing and evaluating new technologies, their appropriateness and applicability so we can safely and securely transact our own business – and help our clients accomplish the same.

Chad Kramlich


Joining Open Sky Group in 2015, Chad, served as Chief Revenue Officer for three years prior to his appointment to CEO in 2022. With over 25 years of experience delivering results for high-growth software and consulting organizations, Chad is leveraging his background in building efficient and effective implementation teams, establishing high-impact services operations, achieving revenue growth, and deepening executive-level client relations to help propel Open Sky Group into a very successful future.