The decision to invest in a cloud-based warehouse management system (WMS) is often the result of sub-par systems in operation within the exclusive supply chain. Many legacy systems have been in service for up to 20 years or more, reports Roberto Michel of Modern Materials Handling, and supply chains can no longer function on these legacy systems. This is especially true in the age of e-commerce, so supply chain executives should consider these top seven reasons to implement a cloud-based WMS.
1. Scalability of a Cloud-Based WMS Is Limitless
The first issue presented by a non-purpose, traditional WMS solution is scalability. Existing systems may lack the capacity to increase the number of SKUs managed, and as SKU proliferation continues, this problem will result in severe bottlenecks and delays in fulfilling orders. Meanwhile, a cloud-based WMS offers near-limitless capability, leveraging the resources and best companies for those of any size.
2. Cloud Systems Enhance Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is a critical component of any successful system that leverages the Internet, and the web-based capabilities of cloud-based systems require an unmatched level of cybersecurity. Although cybersecurity may not seem like a significant issue for the modern warehouse, cybersecurity is critical to guaranteeing customer support in building brand value. Since cloud-based vendors reside in the cloud and have significant risk to cyber-attacks, vendors have devoted millions in developing advanced cybersecurity measures, so your company can effectually take advantage of cybersecurity initiatives and protocols without the investment and development costs of implementing cybersecurity measures in your enterprise.
3. A Modern WMS Provides Functions of Multiple Warehouse Systems
In the contemporary world, the capabilities of a WMS have merged with a Warehouse Execution Systems (WES), Warehouse Control Systems (WCS), and other types of systems used to manage supply chain functions. A cloud-based system allows companies to take advantage of multiple system functionalities within a central system. Of course, the use of a cloud-based WMS provides for easier integration between systems, so companies may leverage new technology and platforms as they become available.
4. Cloud WMS Vendors May Offer SaaS-Based Payment Models
One of the major factors a company should consider when thinking about upgrading to a cloud-based WMS involves payment models. Implementing a non-permit solution may retain proprietary value, but it comes at a significant cost. Simply upgrading existing systems can quickly increase your initial investment into hundreds of thousands of dollars, and developing a new, in-house system for use can cost millions. Meanwhile, software vendors have already developed modern, advanced WMS solutions and platforms that take advantage of the latest technologies and algorithms to increase operational efficiency. A cloud WMS vendor may offer software-as-a-service (SaaS) payment models that allow companies to take advantage of the software at a fraction of the cost of a traditional WMS.
5. E-Commerce and Omnichannel Benefit From the Cloud
E-commerce and omnichannel benefit from the use of a WMS that resides in the cloud. E-commerce and omnichannel operate around the clock, so any disruption to a non-permit solution, regardless of whether it is for updates or to repair a problem, adversely affect customer experiences. In addition, a cloud-based WMS allows for the broad scaling of product selection and variety to meet the demands of omnichannel and e-commerce.
6. Cloud-Based Technology Alleviates the Burden of Updating and Maintaining a WMS
Another reason to consider implementing a cloud-based WMS revolves around information technology (IT). Since a cloud-based system is the responsibility of the vendor, the internal IT resources necessary to maintain and handle upgrades of the system can be reduced. Meanwhile, the server hosts information software so the company can take advantage of broad capabilities, without sacrificing the in-house technical expertise and engineers. This capability has an added benefit, giving supply chain leaders and managers the opportunity to focus more on customer service and what is and is not working for their individual facilities. As a result, a cloud-based WMS is essential to improving the efficiency of your operation.
7. Cloud-Based Systems May Offer Faster Processing Power
Since cloud-based systems operate in a neutral environment with broad scalability, the systems offer a faster processing power. In other words, downtime is less likely to impact customer experiences adversely. In the world of e-commerce, downtime can mean the difference between consumers shopping with your company or abandoning their purchases in favor of Amazon.
Put the Power of a Cloud-Based WMS to Work in Your Supply Chain
Supply chain executives should begin the process of migrating existing systems to cloud-based software now. Any delay will result in lost competitive advantage and ineffective use of resources, not to mention shortfalls in supply chain visibility. Those that seek to improve the use of a cloud-based WMS should consider partnering with a supply chain systems expert to streamline the process.