At the turn of the century, the WMS market took a major setback along with the entire software technology market. Quite simply, companies were burned out from excessive information technology spending resulting from the Y2K crisis. The result was a period of unprecedented market consolidation as cash-starved companies sold out and exited the market. During this period, the WMS market leaders took advantage of market instability by growing through acquisition. When the dust had settled, roughly 25 WMS companies had survived the drought and were poised to compete for the next wave of WMS market growth.
Today the market has emerged to the point where the traditional warehouse management system has become an important point solution within an enterprise-wide suite of supply chain planning and execution applications. Over the years, some WMS market leaders have expanded the scope of their product offering to include a diverse range of supply chain applications such as: demand planning; distributed order management; yard management; inbound and outbound transportation optimization; labor management; supply chain visibility; event management; and slotting; amongst others. These applications have enabled the traditional WMS supplier to move beyond “the four walls of the warehouse” and into the global supply chain arena. The market has embraced these enterprise supply chain execution solutions as a key enabler to gaining more control over supply chain business activities.
The WMS market may be less confusing today than it was ten years ago, but the basic challenges of selecting and implementing the right application for your business remain the same. New technologies such as service oriented architecture (SOA) and Software as a Service (SaaS) have emerged to improve the flexibility of these applications. A promising new generation of WMS solutions is now emerging as a result. As importantly, the radio frequency handheld unit is no longer the only tool available for data collection within the distribution center. Voice recognition technology, pick to light, and other technologies have been developed and exciting levels of quality and productivity are being achieved that were previously unimaginable.
MWPVL International works with suppliers, customers and business partners to provide unbiased WMS consulting services that address the following types of questions:
- Which WMS software application is best-suited for our company, size of business, industry vertical, preferred computing platform and financial budget?
- Should our firm deploy the warehouse software provided within our ERP system or should we consider a best of breed warehouse management system application?
- What is the economic business case for investing in a WMS application? What are the total capital investment requirements including internal and external resource requirements? What financial benefits or competitive advantage can our company realistically expect to obtain from a new WMS application?
- What are the main features and functions that our company should expect from a WMS application? Is it possible to avoid costly custom enhancements to a WMS application by changing how we operate the warehouse?
- What are the main differences between the commercial WMS applications available within the market place? Which vendors should our company consider evaluating based on our operating profile and warehouse-specific requirements?
- Is there a structured process that our company should follow when selecting a WMS application to ensure due diligence and to protect our interests?
MWPVL International provides strictly unbiased consulting services and trusted experience in helping companies with:
- Developing the economic business case and financial justification for a WMS application
- WMS requirements definition and RFP development
- Development of structured software demonstration scripts
- Vendor/solution evaluation and selection
- Software negotiation and acquisition
- Developing the project budget, plan, schedule, internal and external resource requirements for deployment
- Project management