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WMS Systems Integration – Keys to Success (Part 2)



WMS Systems Integration – Keys to Success (Part 2)

WMS Systems Integration Projects

WMS systems integration projects can be where a WMS Implementation experiences delays. As there is at least one integration with every WMS Implementation, it’s important to plan carefully and make sure you’ve got team members with integration experience. Here are the final four key areas to identify and consider:

  1. Remaining necessary data elements
  2. The best communication method(s)
  3. Reconciliation and Handshake transactions
  4. Temporary storage of sent/receive transaction information
  • Identify the remaining necessary data elements to maintain highest performance capabilities and reduce confusion. Not all data needs to be passed or stored and often integrations can be made simpler, more robust and take up less bandwidth if certain unnecessary elements are not passed or at least ignored. We often see transactions that come in to the WMS with a lot of data that may be important to the ERP, but may never be used in the WMS. Of course there’s a caveat to this step – sometimes you may need some of this “extra” information for future enhancements. Storing extra data in the WMS can cause customizations (i.e., new data fields or tables) or confusion (stuffing the data into a field that means something else); essential to navigating this successfully is observation and maintaining a balance between storing what you might need but still identifying and eliminating what you think you won’t need.
  • Identify the best communication method(s) for your integration network. Selecting the wrong communication method can make or break integration. Look at each communication method individually to make sure you are considering the best way to transmit data. We have implemented systems using Flat File, XML File, HTTP Post, socket to socket, database table to table and others with numerous different data layouts and specialized protocols. Successfully implementing an Integration Network may require the usage of more than one communication method.
  • Consider using Reconciliation Transactions and Handshake (ACK/NACK) transactions. Reconciliation transactions are very smart to have between your WMS and ERP to keep data in sync and to catch failed or missed transactions. Click here to read about why Reconciliations are important in WMS Systems Integration projects. Reconciliation transactions are critical if you don’t have a built-in “handshake” where each transaction is acknowledged by the receiving system to the sending system (something highly recommended for critical transactions). In our experience the companies who invest a little more up front with handshake transactions always spend less on interface support in the long run. So while it may increase implementation costs, we believe handshake transactions reduce total cost of ownership, frustration and avoid upset customers.
  • Consider temporary storage of sent/received transaction information. The benefits to temporarily storing this information are to provide diagnostic information for investigating issues and for recovering “lost” information. The first step of any integration investigation is always checking whatever transaction logs are available. When you have a good transaction log, this may be the only step needed. Being able to resend (or re-receive) a transaction can save a tremendous amount of effort and is required more often than many people expect.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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