Any company that keeps major amounts of inventory is going to need a quality warehouse management system. It doesn’t matter how elite your sales team is at closing deals or even how good your product is if it never reaches the customer on a consistent basis thanks to spotty or downright dysfunctional supply chain and warehouse management.
If logistics–regardless of whether it’s handled in house or third party (3PL)–is the circulatory system for the lifeblood of your business (sales) then the warehouse might as well be the heart. Therefore, it’s critical that the warehouse management system an enterprise deploys across its logistical operations be a quality one that fits the company’s particular needs.
It’s interesting to note, then, that in a 2011 article by ERP analyst Michael Koploy it was noted that WMS vendors and consumers are both lagging on the adoption of cloud-based solutions. As cloud-hosted system quickly become the norm in many other segments of enterprise software, WMS lags behind as a result of warehouse managers’ concerns about the security risks of sending inventory data off-site and a desire to see others be the guinea pig for untested technologies rather than take the risk themselves.
We put together a list of five WMS vendors who offer cloud-based solutions to try and shed a bit more light on this nascent subsection of the segment.
Aptean Ross ERP
While not strictly limited to WMS per se, a central part of the Aptean Ross ERP suite is an “Extended Warehouse Management” module that features shelf-life monitoring, RFID scanner compatibility and integration with billing systems as well as FedEx/UPS/USPS shipping. Additionally, the Aptean system requires all lots passing through warehouse systems to be tracked across the entire supply chain up to customer shipment.
If you’re only hearing about Aptean now, it’s because the company is the result of a recent merger between Consona and CDC Software. Ross ERP, originally part of the CDC stable of CRM and ERP solutions, joined the combined Aptean lineup.
UK-based Synergy Logistics has been in the supply chain business since 1972. In that time the company has built a reputation as an early adopter of new technologies with a steadfast commitment towards R&D.
Snapfulfil, Synergy’s flagship WMS solution, forgoes an on-premise version entirely in favor of a full Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that can be accessed through a web browser. All the standard WMS functions are present and accounted for, as well as reporting on team and individual user performance. The system can also be integrated with Sage accounting software, extending the ability for inventory data to factor into accounting ledgers directly.
TECSYS WMS boasts fill rates of up to 99.98% and improvements in order accuracy as high as 99%. To boot, TECSYS uses a remarkably visual interface that makes the system far more intuitive than many of its more abstract competitors.
Issues to be aware of when looking at TECSYS WMS, however, are pricey licensing and maintenance fees and a high-maintenance system that will require plenty of daily micromanagement from staff.
In contrast to an all-inclusive system like Aptean Ross, Accellos One Warehouse is a standalone WMS program that has the capability to integrate with larger ERP systems like Microsoft Dynamics, Sage ERP and SAP Business One. In that sense Accellos One might be better suited to enterprises with established ERP implementations using one of those larger vendors who are looking for a new WMS that won’t require them to throw the baby out with the bath water.
Worldwide Chain Stores
WCS’ warehouse management system is only one part of the company’s larger suite of retail and supply chain-oriented solutions. Contrary to the approach of many other vendors, however, WCS approaches WMS from a consultant’s perspective, conferencing with each of their clients to obtain the information necessary to do deployments custom-tailored to clients’ specific needs and technical capacity.
The company is owned by Capital Eye Investment Group, a South Africa-based investment firm. The core WCS team is descended from Warehouse Management and Procurement Systems, a progenitor to much of the supply chain software industry as it exists today.
If you’d like to learn more about these and other warehouse management systems, check out our exclusive Top 10 Warehouse Management Software report. You can also pay a visit to the Business-Software.com warehouse management systems resource page, the hub for WMS-related materials from us and our network of guest contributors.