Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) bring visibility into a complex process that otherwise wouldn’t be easy to track–materials and goods as they are processed through the warehouse on route to becoming new products. Inventory management and auditing are key functions these systems provide to companies.
Although the use of these systems is still at 70% because many warehouses are manually-tracked with Excel spreadsheets, the market for WMS is expected to continue rapid growth between now and 2027 as more warehouses start to appreciate the benefits. 2018’s WMS market of $ 2.6 billion will likely reach $9.3 billion in less than ten years, according to ReportBuyer. Here are four reasons WMS has a great role in warehouses in 2019 than ever before:
1. WMS Brings Transparency to Supply Chains
WMS can be used with Transportation Management Systems (TMS) to more closely monitor the entire supply chain. These systems, for many organizations and for larger manufacturing operations, are often a must for keeping everything organized and preventing loss.
The US Census Bureau previously found that at any given point, only about 10 percent of inventories owned by manufacturing and trade companies is actually in transit. The remainder is presumably stored in warehouses for future shipment or sales.
This, perhaps, makes it even more critical to have WMS-driven visibility into manufacturing processes, transit and inventory. Automating the audits necessary to track warehouse processes may help reduce the error rate otherwise possible with manual systems.
2. Machine Learning and AI are Transforming how WMS Works
As Logistics Management reported this month, machine learning and expanded functionality are making WMS even better in 2019. Thanks to greater connectivity among various systems in use within the warehouse, WMS is becoming more relevant and useful.
Over the next several years, we can expect to see even more improvements that make WMS even better at tracking supply chain activity.
3. eCommerce Demands Rapid Fulfillment
eCommerce industry growth is another possible reason for expected WMS increases. Consumer and buyer demand for rapid fulfillment is driving a greater need for transparent manufacturing and continuous monitoring. Improved technologies and IoT are also making it easier than ever to accurately see in-process production and closely monitor movement throughout the supply chain.
A rising global middle class is in a position to buy manufactured goods at an increasing rate, and global demand in many industries is rising. Fulfillment of product orders is made possible through continued investment in systems designed to support greater warehouse efficiency. Consumer demand for faster shipping and fulfillment turnaround by suppliers is only possible if warehouses can appropriately identify bottlenecks, redirect resources and respond effectively to problems when they occur.
With future growth anticipated in the need for warehouses and increased product traffic through production, storage
4. WMS Improves Warehouse Efficiency and Connectivity
Connected smart warehouses provide improved insight and visibility over their predecessors, allowing companies to boost their own efficiency. As IndustryWeek noted, smart warehouse technology enabling better inventory tracking may increase productivity by more than 25 percent.
That return on investment (ROI) generates significant savings over time for warehouses. Implementing technologies that assist workers can improve productivity even further, reducing team member travel around the warehouse, which can use up to 30% of a typical shift.
Could Your Warehouse Benefit from WMS?
WMS is a sensible solution for companies looking to keep up with ongoing growth and visibility needs within the supply chain.
Without appropriate transparency powered by software, industry may struggle to manage demand surges and increased need for responsive fulfillment. Warehouses would be smart to consider the added capabilities today’s software offers.