There is no question that Warehouse Management Systems – WMS – were late to the Cloud versus Transportation Management and other types of supply chain software, for a variety of reasons.
Those included concerns that there would be issues with processes that require millisecond response times, such as communicating with material handling systems or even label printing.
The good news: many of those concerns appear to be far overblown, especially if the WMS was architected to maximize Cloud response times.
Lately, we’ve seen about two-thirds of new WMS implementations as cloud-based deployments.
First, simulation prior to go-live is recommended to achieve performance certainty. Softeon has developed a simulation tool that allows us to measure response times coming from the Cloud for message requests from material handling systems to gauge performance and make adjustments accordingly.
Next, even when there is an option for so-called multi-tenant deployment – meaning multiple companies running the WMS on the same software platform - nearly all companies prefer a private Cloud deployment.
Finally, in some cases it makes sense to deploy what we call a small local software agent to buffer communications between the WMS and say a materials handling system, for example – but the need to do this is less common than we initially believed.
There are many benefits achieved from Cloud deployment, including speedier deployments for WMS implementations with tight schedules, dramatically reduced need to manage the software internally, increased software portability and more. There is no question this is where Warehouse Management Systems is headed, as it is with other types of supply chain software.