April 7, 2017

Report lists three ways to get more value from your WMS

Know your supply chain complexity, name an in-house expert, and plan to integrate the WMS with other software, IDC says.

By DC Velocity Staff

Retailers that are in the market to buy warehouse management system (WMS) software to help with their omnichannel fulfillment challenges need to look beyond the initial purchase to get the best return from the technology, a report released Tuesday says.

WMS vendors make an array of software products that can help retailers stay competitive in an omnichannel world by finding innovative ways to store and distribute goods and meet demanding consumer expectations, according to the report from the Framingham, Mass., analyst firm IDC Retail Insights. The report evaluated the capabilities of WMS products from nine providers:

  • HighJump Software Inc.
  • Infor
  • JDA Software Group Inc.
  • LogFire Inc.
  • Manhattan Associates Inc.
  • NCR Corp.
  • Netsuite Inc.
  • Oracle Corp.
  • SAP SE

Regardless which vendor they choose, users can take three steps to get the most out of the software and produce a quicker return on investment (ROI) from the purchase, according to study author Victoria Brown, senior research analyst for IDC Retail Insights. The key recommendations include:

  • Know your supply chain complexity before picking a WMS product. Some tools have best practices already included in the system. But if you're looking for additional consulting advice, know that certain vendors will work with you hand in hand to build in your own practices, while others will simply provide you with a tool to move your goods.
  • Identify internal experts on the system. Try to find someone who has past experience with that specific vendor or solution. This step can greatly reduce the cost of relying on vendor tech support.
  • Recognize the value in a portfolio beyond the WMS alone. While you may set out to buy "just" a WMS, any warehouse can get better efficiency and ROI from its application by matching it with complimentary software systems, such as labor management, slotting, allocation, dock-door management, and yard management.

Titled "IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Retail Warehouse Management Systems 2017 Vendor Assessment," the full report analyzes vendors' current strengths and skills, based on surveys and interviews with market leaders, participants, and end users.


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