The Rise of WMS

From the recent issue of Logistics Management, “Will WMS Take Over the World?”:

When Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) options reared their heads within the transportation management systems (TMS) space a few years ago, little thought was given to whether WMSs could be delivered in a similar fashion.

Now more commonly known as “cloud computing” (despite the fact that SaaS and cloud aren’t technically synonymous), any type of web-based delivery has become ubiquitous across most software sectors—WMS included. In fact, of the $2.3 billion that Gartner forecasts will be spent on supply chain execution software in 2013, a full 18 percent of that spending will be on cloud-type solutions.

“SaaS started gaining traction last year and is now becoming more viable and popular within the WMS space,” says Klappich, who points to the TMS sector—where SaaS is currently more of a preference than an option—as a role model for WMS and other supply chain solutions.

And while we’re not quite at the point where the first words out of a logistics professional’s mouth are, “We’re looking for a SaaS-based WMS,” Klappich says that could become a reality within the next 12 months based on the overall growth of cloud computing.

“Just a year ago many shippers would run for the hills if I mentioned a cloud-based WMS to them,” says Klappich. “Now they’re considering it.”

As WMS vendors expand their cloud-based offerings, smaller companies also win. In fact, Vernon says cloud-based WMS offerings have also put computing power into the hands of companies that may not have invested in a full-blown software package.

…All of our analysts agree that we should expect to see more growth and innovation within the WMS space in 2013. With shippers demanding more functionality and optimization, and with vendors answering the call with a steady stream of new options, the space is sure to experience more innovation.

You can read the entire article here.

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