Warehouses are transitioning from cost centres to growth centres while supporting entirely new, higher speed business models that require greater speed, scale and simplicity of operation and Warehouse Management in the Cloud is fast becoming a necessity.
In today’s market, almost all business applications are migrating to a cloud solution, yet we are still seeing companies rehashing their WMS legacy applications into a cloud solution resulting in inefficient and costly solutions. A true Warehouse Management in the Cloud solution makes it easier for businesses managing small-to-midsize warehouses to access sophisticated warehouse management software with all the latest features and technologies.
Through improvements in technology and prototyping of various deployment options, SaaS-based WMS is now reality. Warehouse workers are able to connect to the WMS from their mobile handheld computer using the Internet. The WMS provides them optimised work instructions to perform tasks in the distribution centre. Additionally, management has visibility to inventory, work tasks and performance of workers through Web-based user interfaces that connect to the WMS over the Internet.
The SaaS option for WMS can be even more flexible when the WMS is deployed in a Cloud architecture, which provides the flexibility of SaaS with the additional flexibility of having all computing resources available on demand.
Key benefits of a cloud-based WMS include:
1. Minimal capital expense:
Without the need for long-term licenses, specialised equipment, and resources to host and maintain the system, a SaaS WMS eliminates the need for large capital outlays. Businesses can be more financially nimble without burdensome upfront expenses, instead paying predictable subscription fees.
2. Rapid implementation:
With configuration, hosting, and implementation all taken care of by the vendor, a typical SaaS WMS implementation can take just weeks, compared to months or even years for an on-premise system.
The SaaS model encourages scalability on two fronts. First, the software can be operated on any web-enabled computer, without the need for time-consuming hardware setup and can quickly and easily be deployed to additional warehouses to support growth and expansion. Secondly, additional licenses can be enabled on an as-needed basis, allowing a warehouse to quickly scale to meet growing demand or accommodate seasonal peaks.
4. Ease of use:
A cloud-based WMS ends up being more practical and uncomplicated for the end user. Picking and fulfilment operations can be optimised and made more efficient when the WMS in place makes sense and is easy to access for everyday users.
5. Access from anywhere:
With cloud computing, if you’ve got an internet connection you can be at work. And with most serious cloud services offering mobile apps, you’re not restricted by which device you’ve got to hand.
As businesses look to scale business models beyond existing constraints while growing faster and more profitable than before. By moving warehouse operations to the cloud, businesses transform their supply chain into a digital network, mirroring in real time what happens in the physical world to this virtual world. This real-time experience makes collaboration with external suppliers and customers effortless and enables users to rapidly react to changing business dynamics at speed.
Once the supply network is connected, users drill down into data in real time, use analytics to gain new insights and communicate with workforce in the field via smart mobile apps to deliver the right decision-making information. The product offers a clear overview of current fulfilment activity and complete control over logistics operations.
Once connected to the cloud and now intelligent, the supply chain network is able to scale.
Customers can quickly add new business partners and suppliers as needed, to expand into new markets and geographies. The digitised supply chain enables businesses to operate at speed amidst dynamic business environments.
When implementing a traditional warehouse management system, you will need to have people within your business that have the technical know-how to assist with the implementation and maintenance. However, with a SaaS WMS, very little IT overhead is required at all. This means that your technical team can stay focused on other jobs and internal requirements. With fewer IT resources required from the vendor, too, this is also reduces the cost.
Lastly, moving to the cloud will instantly improve your organisation’s data security. Using state-of-the-art technologies, your data is maintained using a continual process of compliance updates, security patches and implementation, insulating your organisation against threats as they happen. With your data safely stored in a secure data centre, you are fully protected – from hardware malfunctions to power disruptions to natural disasters.
Businesses of all sizes should be investing in robust disaster recovery, but for smaller businesses that lack the required cash and expertise, this is often more an ideal than the reality. Cloud solutions is now enabling more organisations to implement cloud-based backup and recovery solutions that will save time, avoid large up-front investment and roll up third-party expertise as part of the deal.
Is it time you moved to Warehouse Management in the Cloud?
While the reasons stated above certainly make a solid case for investigating SaaS WMS, there may be additional benefits. Commerce is increasingly becoming “frictionless.” As the flow of information between trading partners increases, both parties are able drive down supply chain costs and improve customer service. WMS is uniquely positioned to provide detailed information to both buyer and seller about the products moving through the supply chain.
As more companies move to Cloud-based WMS, opportunities increase to share even greater information.
Imagine the transparency of inventory flows if both the shipper and receiver of goods are running on the same Cloud-based WMS. Real time inventory visibility is simple and the need for complex B2B integration is minimised. And that may prove to be the true promise of SaaS WMS.
Warehouse management and the supply chain are reaping huge rewards from this technology. Not only is it increasing efficiency throughout the warehouse, but it’s also enabling warehouse decision makers to work smarter. During 2019, we expect to see continued adoption of Cloud Warehouse Management Systems as more and more companies realise the benefits of cloud computing & WMS solutions.
Speak to one of our team to understand how Clarus’ WMS system can cost effectively support best practice warehouse management processes, better customer service and highly efficient working for a range of warehouse operations with pay per month options and no IT infrastructure needed.
Our platform can scale from a one user, small depot system to a 100’s of user distribution centre operation. The Clarus WMS platform will cost effectively scale with your business based on demand.
Clarus WMS is a UK based supplier of warehouse management solutions with a wealth of industry experience in third party logistics, wholesale / retail distribution, online fulfillment and manufacturing warehousing.