Web based WMS solutions are being installed in warehouses all over the UK every week. As part of cloud computing, they were one of my three top warehouse management system WMS trends for 2011.
E-commerce order fulfillment companies and temporary warehouse users have been the early-adopters. For them, the benefits of the latest warehouse management technology, web based WMS, are amplified.
High street retailers have had their pockets squeezed, forcing them to look harder into decreasing their fixed operating costs. For some, this has meant downsizing their warehouse operations to take on temporary warehouses or contracting in third-party logistics to deal with seasonal demands.
Others have turned to operating as third-party logistics companies to capitalise on their previous investments in slick warehouse management software.
High-street retailers seeking temporary warehouses and e-commerce companies are similar in their warehouse software requirements:
- Quick set up and installation – in days or weeks, not months.
- Low upfront capital expenditure.
- Variable running costs to mirror seasonal order fulfilment demand.
United in their warehouse software needs, where they meet is where a web based WMS excels.
Configuration not customisation enables a web based WMS to be deployed quickly and bug-free. It takes advantage of the latest warehouse management technology, to be flexible; it can suit any type of operation with just user enabled configuration. This means a web based WMS can quickly and easily be set up to work with the unique process flow of the warehouse.
Web based WMS solutions can be hosted by the provider. What this means is that the investment in IT infrastructure and support for the web based WMS is lower than with traditional, on-premise warehouse software.
A web based WMS is an operating expense, rather than a capital expenditure. Temporary warehouses can turn it on from the day they start carrying inventory and turn it off when they are emptied. E-commerce businesses can increase their number of users to meet their seasonal demand.
To get a warehouse set-up with a web based WMS, you need:
- Warehouse consultancy – understand exact requirements to ensure correct web-based WMS configuration from day 1.
- Hardware – barcode scanners, barcode label printers and wireless networking.
- Installation – correct configuration and time on site to configure the hardware to talk to one another and the web based WMS.
Web based WMS has taken off for e-commerce and temporary warehouse owners. With further investment in innovative warehouse management technology, web based WMS is heading towards the de-facto way to run your warehouse if you are one of these types of business.