The Numina Group released a cloud-based warehouse management system (WMS) product on Tuesday, pitching it to mid-market users looking to grow their volumes.
The platform is an extension of tools that Numina had already been offering to logistics clients who used the Woodridge, Ill.-based material handling software and consulting firm's order-fulfillment automation products, Numina CEO Dan Hanrahan said in an interview. "We've had WMS functionality for years, offering features like location, replenishment, and cycle count as options in our voice-directed and pick-to-light products,"
Numina has now bundled that WMS functionality as a standalone product and integrated it with logistics software tools from a partner company, the Germany-based WMS vendor Ehrhardt + Partner Group.
The new product combines two software suites that support warehouse and transportation management. One is Numina's combined warehouse execution system (WES) and warehouse control system (WCS) product, called Real-Time Distribution Software (RDS). The second is Ehrhardt + Partner's transportation management system (TMS), called LFS.tms.
Together, they are called "RDS+ LFS.tms" and represent a bundle of warehouse-automation control and fulfillment tools based on a core WMS. Numina will supply the product either as cloud-based or on-premise software, with both approaches offering midrange to large-scale DCs the ability to scale up their volume and support facilities in multiple sites, Hanrahan said.
Numina and Erhardt began to collaborate in January, after Erhardt acquired topsystem Systemhaus GmbH, the German company that was licensing the topSPEECH-Lydia voice-directed picking tool to Numina.
The RDS+ LFS.tms product will enter a competitive market with numerous options for warehouses in search of a mature WMS product. However, Hanrahan said, the new product fills a gap by offering highly scalable performance at a moderate price compared to most WMS and enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms.
"Yes, it's a crowded market, but candidly, for low to midrange users, there's a lot of lacking functionality in those other WMS packages," Hanrahan said.
The new partnership could serve a growing market need, since many companies are looking for a better way to integrate their existing WMS platforms with the proliferation of material handling automation systems in DCs, according to Clint Reiser, director of supply chain research at Needham, Mass.-based consultancy ARC Advisory Group. Numina stands the best chance for success if it can ensure that its new product will offer a tight integration between the WMS and material handling automation platforms right out of the box, allowing customers to rapidly ramp up the WMS capabilities, Reiser said.