Submitted on Thu, 2014-03-27
By Jim Laverty

No longer just a tool in the warehouse but now a partner in the boardroom, cloud computing has quickly ushered in a golden age for warehouse management system innovation

cloud warehouse management system innovation

Inventory management systems have been around in some form or another since the dawn of written language more than 5,000 years ago. From rudimentary handwritten records for tracking grain in ancient Egypt to the systems of today that can track millions of transactions a minute in the cloud, we’ve sure come a long way. Warehouse management systems are easier to use, faster, more accurate, and more flexible than you can imagine.

A cloud-based WMS has become a truly indispensable tool for decision makers looking to reduce costs and find a competitive edge. Slashed start-up and monthly costs, complete flexibility, and fast, reliable integration have helped to ensure that all supply chain data can be easily viewed in one place. Business decisions have never had so much real-time information supporting them.

Here are the five reasons warehouse management systems are more important to running a successful business than ever before:

One Size Fits All Out-of-the-Box Solutions

The technology powering leading warehouse management systems has improved tremendously over just the past couple years. The flexibility of cloud systems means that the solutions will work for your business right out of the box and can often be implemented with minimal changes and work perfectly for your organization in your industry. You’re new system will be up and running in days instead of months.

Lightning Quick Integration

Time is money. Data integration under a traditional WMS always took an intense number of man-hours for the custom coding and development required to connect components. With over 450 off the shelf connectors the WMS can reliably and securely interface in hours instead of months. In an instant, you’re able to connect right up with other applications your business runs on, such as Oracle or QuickBooks.

This means that single warehouses and warehouse networks will be up and running on a new WMS in no time at all with no interruption to business.

Extremely Customizable

A cloud WMS allows you to create and maintain completely unique environments, whether it’s for your company, customers, partners, vendors, or clients. Omni-channel operations can adapt to the uniqueness of each client immediately by using workflow rules.

More than just adapting to your business model and rules, cloud-based warehouse management systems can easily handle any of the unique information your company tracks. You can track inventory in your warehouse in units like pallets, drums, feet, or even vintage if you’re tracking wine. No matter what your industry is, there’s a unit of measure to track it. Not even language is a barrier as the system easily translates into Spanish, French, or any other language you can imagine.

Actionable Analytics & Business Intelligence

Real-time analytics provide the blueprint for how you can reduce costs in your supply chain. Making the right changes will not only improve your operations and customer service but will have a measurable impact on your bottom line.

A cloud warehouse management system keeps meticulous track of every facet of your supply chain and offers valuable analytics in real-time to aid decision making. Root out problems before they happen on the floor and keep your warehouse running more effectively. It’s a great way to stay out in front of the competition. Every company is unique, and a cloud WMS can adapt to each company with custom reports that give them the exact metrics they want to track right out of the box.

Comprehensive Labor Management

Tracking and managing labor better will yield higher production at lower costs. Labor management and reporting functions will help you incentivize your staff with wage increases based on high productivity, leading to increased individual performance, reduced need to hire additional labor, and the creation of a positive competitive environment where staff challenges each other to constantly improve. Labor costs often make up the largest percentage of a warehouse’s operating expenses, so it makes sense to track it with as sophisticated tools as possible.

Just a few years ago it could be argued that the “M” in WMS was a bit of a misnomer. Previously focused on tracking and execution, the labor management function within a WMS has grown significantly. Your WMS is now be a true intelligence center that will help you run your business more effectively.

For too long companies have been making reactionary adjustments to labor based on how tasks have already changed. Labor management features can look at upcoming tasks and provide actionable content on how to move forward ahead of time. This is a huge improvement for companies that have extremely seasonal businesses.

 

If you’re still rocking a WMS from the last millennium, there’s no better time than now to climb on the new wave of cloud-based warehouse management systems. The monumental technological advances in the past few years have led to low setup costs, incredibly low user license fees, and huge business intelligence improvements. A new WMS will help your business reduce costs, streamline operations, and increase throughput.

Schedule a demo to learn more about our cloud-based WMS today.

Blog Type: 
IRMS WM Blog
Innovative Technology Solutions