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Inventory and Warehouse Management Best Practices Discussion Discussion around best practices, including Webinars, technology, updates and real world inventory and warehouse management scenarios.

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Old 09-24-2009, 02:26 PM   #1
Director, Product Mgmt
Kevin Collins's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 13
Blog Entries: 15
Post Best Practices in Comparing SaaS to On-Premise WMS

In this Best Practice Series several key topics were reviewed to help you make better choices and informed decisions when trying to choose between a SaaS solution and an on-premise solution in the WMS space.

Topic: Best Practices Comparing SaaS to On-Premise WMS Software
Date: Thursday, September 24th, 2009

In this Webinar, our topics include Best Practices on:
  • Defining SaaS
  • Comparing SaaS to On-Premise WMS
  • On-Demand/SaaS Terms
  • SaaS Benefits
  • Concerns About SaaS
  • SaaS Costs
  • Your Plan
  • SmartTurn SaaS Benefits
A copy of the webinar presentation is available here: PDF.

Just a quick note about the recorded video --> about half way through the presentation, the audio link was cut I won't be able to post it. However, we will present this topic again and post the recording then.

If you'd like a copy of our Best Practices eBook, download it here: Inventory & Warehouse Management Best Practices

Here are some of the questions and answers directly from the webinar. Feel free to contact the moderator or our sales team to answer any pre/post webinar questions.

Question & Answer Session:

Q: What if your business requires a custom feature that is not currently offered?
A: SmartTurn has several ways to approach this topic.
  1. We offer configuration in many areas of the application so you can customize whether or not you want specific columns to appear, or you can rename the column headers. We also support hiding columns, and the ability to add over 200 custom fields for critical processes like inbound, inventory and outbound.
  2. All customers can submit their requests for a custom “process”. We analyze all requests, match them with our roadmap, and determine the feasibility of developing the feature now or in the future. Our customers are very important and they are an integral part of our business therefore we include them on our customer advisory council for feature enhancements. And you never know, what might be custom might already be in the works at SmartTurn.
  3. Integration – in many cases custom processes can be delivered via integration through our partners. What we don’t have, they do, and there is always room to explore the possibilities. Your best bet in this scenario is to contact a sales rep, tell them about your process, and the sales manager can bring in a professional service expert who can suggest what will work and what won’t, this is what we are here for.
Q: Do you have advanced scheduled maintenance periods? What are they?
A: We do. Generally speaking major and minor releases go out every six to twelve weeks depending on the features being developed and customers are notified in advance. For maintenance releases, they are normally released on a weekend and with the least of amount of impact to our customer base. Maintenance is pretty fast and typically takes less than an hour and in many cases just a few minutes.

Q: How many simultaneous RF users / transactions can Smart Turn handle?
A: Right now, there is no limit to simultaneous users/transactions.

Q: How do client-specific customizations affect the upgrade path?
A: This really depends on whether the application will be configured – which has no impact, to customization that will be included for all customers – which impacts all customers in that those features will be included as part of a general release, or a customized feature that will be specific to you – which will still be released on a regular release cycle with all of our other features. The point here is that we release new features on a frequent, regular basis and all features whether they are part of our roadmap or custom to one or many customers are released at the same time.

Q: What if we need a custom report. Can we use Crystal Report to tap into the WMS database?
A: You can use any report, BI software, or any application that supports .NET XML protocol if you are integrating yourself or have the resources to build an API. If you use one of our partners like Boomi, they have a pre-built connection to SmartTurn where you can pull data, drop it where you want and build reports through an outside application. Additionally you can use SmartTurn’s Inventory Manager and Activity Manager reporting features that allow you to build thousands of reports that can be run at any-time. I encourage you to check out these two enterprise class features that SmartTurn offers in our SaaS WMS or SaaS Enterprise packages.

Q: What ordering methods are supported i.e. web, fax and does the software create electronic invoices for customers?
A: There are several types of ordering methods supported:
  • Create the order inside of SmartTurn’s application.
  • Import orders via a pre-built template that SmartTurn provides.
  • Provide access to customers who can login and create orders themselves.
  • Integrate SmartTurn with your Ordering system. Electronic orders can be sent through integration by one of our partners, or if you have the resources available we provide you with our API’s and you can create your own connections.
SmartTurn leaves the electronic invoicing process to Accounting packages or your existing application(s). However SmartTurn does provide a means to obtain the data through exports or direct integration to other applications. Call one of our sales managers to learn more.

Q: Can you provide documentation for software validation to address FDA requirements for medical companies?
A: Please call a sales manager to review the specific requirements and validation you are looking for.

Q: Can I access my data transactionally if I want to create my own Crystal Reports?
A: SmartTurn has a number of API’s that will allow you to lookup and query for transactional data. All access to the SmartTurn application is done through Web Services.

Please contact our Sales Team if you'd like a personalized demo of an enterprise class warehouse management system, or questions about the SaaS (software as a service) model: +1 281 218-4892
Kevin Collins,
Director, Sales Engineering

SmartTurn, Inc.
177 Fremont Street
San Francisco, CA 94105

Sales: +1 281 218-4892
Tel: 1-415-685-4200
Fax: 1-415-685-4201

About SmartTurn
SmartTurn™ Inventory and Warehouse Management System is the first true on-demand warehouse management system to provide enterprise class functionality at a fraction of the cost of traditional license and install software. Designed for quick implementation, ease-of-use, real-time inventory accuracy and warehouse performance, the SmartTurn system provides visibility on every item across single or multiple warehouses. Founded on the premise that software should be smart, simple and safe, SmartTurn’s customers span the value chain of most industries to include manufacturers, wholesalers as well as 3PLs. SmartTurn is privately held and backed by leading investors, NEA and Emergence Capital Partners. www.smartturn.com

About the Author
Mr. Kevin Collins joins SmartTurn having been in the warehousing and distribution business for over 15 years, where he fulfilled leadership roles for a military distribution company (Coastal Pacific Food Distributors), a third party logistics service provider and distribution center (Weber Distribution), a heating, ventilation and air conditioning supplier/manufacturer, and two other retail service warehouses (Big Bear Distribution and Fleming Foods General Merchandise Division) where he also partook in two acquisitions. Mr. Collins has spent his entire career learning the art of warehousing and logistics, and has been in every conceivable role within a warehouse; from picking to distribution systems management and everything in between. During that span, Mr. Collins has also had the privilege of working directly with application developers learning about software from inventory and procurement to transportation and warehouse management systems. Mr. Collins brings to SmartTurn in invaluable background and information about processes, software and logistics, and the intricate balances between them.
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