cloud warehouse management system

Is a Cloud Warehouse Management System (WMS) the Right Choice?

Well, maybe? Read any current warehousing / supply chain article and they will overwhelmingly tout that Cloud Warehouse Management System (Cloud WMS) implementations will overtake on-premise deployments in the near future.

A Cloud WMS implementation is hailed as the “smart choice” to keep pace with change, impress partners, increase warehouse performance and contain costs. Because of this, it’s really tempting to immediately leap on board with this new technology tool.

Cooler Heads Should Prevail.

Choosing between staying the course with tried and true on-premise or migrating to the cloud requires careful analysis and expert advice, because… you knew this was coming… a Cloud WMS isn’t for everyone. There I said it!

As a quick example, a 3PL company might find that courier integration required across the system may become problematic with a web-based WMS if the internet goes down, not acceptable.

The PROS of a Cloud Warehouse Management System

  • Cloud hosting releases an IT team from the responsibility of on-site servers, which need to be maintained, and kept secure and compliant.
  • Revenue savings from not having to purchase expensive databases, operating systems and reduction of professional services hours can pencil out nicely.
  • Security – Arguably, cloud storage data can be more secure with premium Cloud WMS systems having instant failover backup.
  • Disaster Recovery – Offsite data back-up can be essential following a business catastrophe.
  • Compliance – A Cloud WMS, can be configured with business rules to fit your operations and compliance requirements.
  • Efficiencies – Maybe one of the stronger points… Cloud WMS users are always on the latest version of the software, automatically.

The CONS of a Cloud Warehouse Management System

  • Instant response on information requests and document access is not always possible because of bandwidth limitations, internet reliability. Especially in remote locations.
  • Printing instantly would be lost for the same above reason.
  • Integration with multiple courier systems can be an issue.
  • No guarantee of speed because the system is reliant on internet connections. Some industries have production, warehousing and distribution in some pretty remote locations.
  • Local client installed systems hold data better on screen than a browser which can easily lose data mid-entry. Have you ever shopped online and lost connection midway through… I rest my case.
  • Access to underlying data can be very restricted because you’re sharing a database with lots of other users. Again it’s a shared internet resource.

There are pluses and minuses with both Cloud WMS and on-premise WMS. By teaming with a knowledgeable partner and considering your particular warehouse management needs, size of operation, reach in the market, locations and operational plans for the future you can feel comfortable with a direction to go.

Conclusion

The Cloud WMS offer you’re considering may very well be the right choice for your company, but it is certainly not a solution for all. The key when dealing with any noteworthy WMS supplier is to make sure their offer truly fits your organization demands and needs. Take a breath and look at all your concerns and options to make sure you didn’t make this move for technology buzzword sake only.

To Learn more about Cloud vs on-premise WMS solution feel free to give us a call! We only have 20+ years experience!

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