What’s a warehouse management system?

Are you by any chance a warehouse operator or a fulfilment centre that’s still flirting with the idea of going with full automation in your business?

Well sir, it’s past mid-2021 and you have missed many “buses” that has taken many of your peers to a new level of efficiency and cost savings that’s until now unheard of!

Let’s talk about digitizing your warehouse operations. You may have heard of this many, many times before – the WMS or warehouse management system.

Warehouse Management System
What’s a warehouse management system? 2

What is it?

This is a software solution that gives you visibility of your entire inventory and takes care of your supply chain fulfilment operations from your distribution centre to the shelves of the stores itself.

Apart from that, you will have the ability to maximize your labour and use of space along with any investments on equipment through efficient coordination and optimization of the use of resources and flow of materials.

It develops this efficiency via supporting the needs of the global supply chain along with distribution, manufacturing, asset-intensive and service businesses.

Why is this important, especially in today’s market? The market has evolved in the blink of an eye to being dynamic, omnichannel, fulfilment-based and connected consumers who want to buy or fulfil anywhere and return at any place.

This demands that you be able to meet all these needs and respond swiftly with a warehouse management software that seriously optimizes its fulfilment capabilities.

Good cloud-based WMS solutions prepares your business for tomorrow’s supply chain, today.

The cloud solutions extend your supply chains to align the management of inventory and fulfilment services with up-to-date purchasing methods besides giving you real-time visibility into your entire inventory – (from anywhere) via smart phone or browser. The only thing you need is a decent internet connection.

So how do you benefit from getting on the cloud?

More ways than one it seems…

Ever since the internet and digital technology completely transformed the way customers buy things or services, supply markets has been disrupted and buying patterns have evolved to add a good measure of complexity to the supply chain. Fulfilment operations are forced to meet these changes by getting themselves digitally-connected. By migrating to the cloud, warehouse management systems are able to meet the connected consumer with a (connected) fulfilment solution that can offer real time visibility, scalability and a good degree of market reactivity.

Another great advantage of moving to a cloud-based warehouse management system is the rapid implementation of the fulfilment process.

Go faster than ever whilst paying much less.

In this new fulfilment economy, everything moves very quickly. To stay competitive, you need to move as fast, if not faster than all that’s going on around you.

When you’re on a cloud-based system, your supply chain can be ramped up pretty fast. Instead of getting your powerful logistics capabilities in months like before – with cloud technology, you are up to speed in just weeks!

This internet-based digital system comes ready to be integrated with multiple systems to support any complex, multichannel fulfilment processes. Its performance capabilities equal that of the (now antiquated) on-premise system but minus the IT overheads.

The beauty of cloud technology is that it eliminates the need to pay for hardware, software and the IT specialist to maintain the system. You can launch your new way of operating completely at great speed and at a more affordable cost.

Costly upgrades are so yesterday.

With cloud-based WMS, the old notion that “with technology you need to constantly spend to update or upgrade” can be junked. On cloud WMS, you don’t need to spend extra for upgrades.  In fact, you’re on the software-as-a-service (SaaS) pricing method that includes regularly scheduled updates without any additional IT infrastructure costs. Everything is in the cloud. To give you a good analogy, the updates to the service work in the same way as your apps in mobile phones – which means as a customer, you always have the latest codebase available to you.

Another benefit of being on the cloud is that logistics are connected and you pay lower upfront costs for the service.

You’ll discover that cloud-based solutions will present you with almost immediate return on investment and a much lower total cost of “ownership”. Without having to pay extra for hardware, software and IT specialists – the system readily connects with multiple systems and logistics processes from end-to-end. You won’t get this if you were on an on-premise WMS. In fact, with the old system, you’d need to pay for several customizations and modifications over a period of say, five years. Upgrades would mean something equivalent to a total reinstallation and configuration. This is vis-à-vis no infrastructure or hardware costs in a cloud-based system.

In cloud, you don’t pay additional IT infrastructure, hardware, system or database administrator costs. So, if in the past you need a huge budget for the same service, it is now more predictable and most importantly more affordable. From this savings, you have the advantage to use your funds for more important areas or preserve them for the future.  

Scale & flex – because you can…

Business is indeed a competition – and the fittest will survive. Cloud-based WMS helps you improve scalability and flexibility of your supply chain. Because it’s digital, it’s nimble enough to quickly adapt to changing market conditions. Today’s market demands that. Being able to scale to handle peak seasons and other changes is vital. So, when new opportunities arise, you’ll be ready. And this agility is incorporated into your system without you having to pay more for it – as was in on-premise WMS. Again, you save on expenditure for in-house hardware, software and labour so that you can invest in your business, not in your IT.

Cloud WMS integrates, not isolate.

On the cloud system, its multiple integration ability allows you to seamless fuse it with your host enterprise resource planning (ERP), merchandising (MMS) and supply chain solutions (SCM).