In this week’s Logistics Insights podcast, some lessons learned from dozens of Cloud WMS deployments.
Warehouse Management Systems, or WMS, were a little slow to move to Cloud-based deployment models compared with some other supply chain software categories, for a variety of reasons. Those include concerns about performance in areas such as mobile RF communications and material handling systems integration, where millisecond response times are required.
Another factor was that some of the largest WMS players themselves were slow to embrace Cloud deployment models, while many newer Cloud-oriented WMS vendors lacked in overall functionality.
The good news: latency concerns have proven to not be warranted, if the WMS has been architected for Cloud performance. Meanwhile, virtually every WMS vendor has now embraced the Cloud model, given its many benefits.
Those include faster WMS deployments, little or no need for on-going IT resources to manage the system, and the ability to easily scale the system with volume growth over time.
Softeon, a tier 1 WMS provider, has successfully deployed Warehouse Management Systems in the Cloud dozens of times. Here are some lessons learned from those successes:
As noted earlier, concerns about response times for RF, materials handling, etc. are very overblown, at least with a system architected to maximize Cloud performance. We have seen almost no issues.
That said, simulation prior to go live is recommended to achieve certainty. Softeon has developed a simulation tool that allows us, for example, to measure response times coming from the Cloud for message requests from material handling systems to gauge performance.
We’ve also found that even when multi-tenant deployment offerings are available, nearly all companies prefer a private Cloud WMS deployment.
The deployment benefits are real. We estimate that implementation times for Cloud deployments are 25% faster than for comparable on-premise deployments, reducing costs and accelerating time to value.
Flexibility in Cloud hosting is important. Some retail and even 3PL companies, for example, do not want use of Amazon’s Cloud platform for competitive reasons. Because of that market reaction, unlike many other software providers Softeon can offer a choice between several providers.
We are finding customer satisfaction is simply higher with Cloud WMS deployment, as management of the system is handled by Softeon, dramatically reducing internal support needs and time.
WMS in the Cloud: It’s ready for prime time - and that’s a good thing.
OK, that’s it for this week’s Logistics Insights podcast. Learn more about WMS in the Cloud by browsing our site, including a new white paper on the subject.