Every aspect of our daily lives has moved to the cloud, and the functionality of your warehouse is following suit. You can now outsource all of your daily activities to cloud-based services and solutions, which should help you move faster and more efficiently.
Real-time data is a powerhouse that can be unlocked with the right tool. However, selecting the right cloud warehouse management system to help you achieve the improvements and success that are possible with this new type of WMS can be difficult. Fortunately, we will make that process simpler for you.
What is Cloud-Based WMS?
Cloud-based warehouse management system software is a warehouse management system software solution that uses various online technologies such as virtualization and distributed computing to provide users with an easy, secure, and dependable way to access web-based services for inventory, order, and logistics management. Cloud WMS eliminates the need for local physical hardware or software, which is required by traditional WMS systems.
Cloud hosting works by giving a company access to online computing resources while saving money on in-house capital investments. Instead of relying on local hardware, software, and dedicated IT personnel, this type of hosting makes use of off-site infrastructures such as computers, storage devices, and other cloud-hosted services.
Data protection and security
With cloud-based WMS, your data is kept safe, stored on a secure server, and managed by a third-party provider with more resources to manage and thwart potential attacks.
Cloud WMS software also stores customer, supplier, and warehouse data remotely rather than at your location. Systems are typically backed up regularly to allow for quick recovery in the event of a system failure or outage. It is also protected from physical damage and unauthorised access by using firewalls and antivirus software to further protect users and company operations. This adds an extra layer of security and peace of mind to your warehouse or 3PL.
Cloud-based WMS can be implemented much more quickly than on-premise WMS. The service provider handles all onboarding tasks and configures the entire system for the client. This saves the client a lot of valuable time and effort, which they can spend on core activities like sales and marketing, increasing their efficiency.
A cloud-based WMS can typically be implemented in a matter of days or weeks. However, an on-premise WMS may take months, or even a year or two, to fully implement.
The installation and maintenance costs of an on-premise WMS drain the company’s coffers. Since this isn’t their primary activity, they usually end up hiring additional support staff to manage the servers, which only adds to the costs. All of this is avoidable by using a cloud-based WMS.
Cloud-based services require little involvement from the client because the service provider handles the majority of the installation and management remotely. Companies must bear significant upfront installation and software costs when installing a warehouse management system on their premises. By using a cloud-based WMS system, all of these costs are reduced or can be paid monthly or yearly.
Finally, a cloud-based system gives warehouses and 3PLs a great deal of flexibility in terms of supply chain management. When using cloud-based systems, clients can change their resource usage, giving them better inventory control when they need to respond quickly to changing market demands.
Users have access to a variety of features that allow them to scale up or down based on their specific needs at the time. Businesses can use this type of platform to ensure that their operations remain reliable and secure while significantly lowering operational costs when compared to other solutions on the market today.
Cloud-Based WMS Features to Look for
There are a few different must-haves for any cloud-based WMS, as well as some additional concepts to think about when building out your platform. Most SaaS WMSs will have the core functionality, but some warehouse management systems may excel in certain areas while skimping on others. To find the best cloud warehouse options, match the tools and capabilities to your requirements.
Your warehouse’s ability to process inbound shipments and incorporate them into your inventory and warehouse. Not only should the WMS assist you in managing physical goods put away, but it should also assist you in cross-checking orders received against purchase orders to reduce errors and paperwork.
Your cloud warehouse management system should assist your warehouse workers by creating pick orders that get your products out the door as quickly and efficiently as possible. Look for picking tools that are the right size for you, can adjust to multiple layouts, and offer a variety of options such as wave and batch picking. Look for zone picking, multiple pickers on a single order, and support for new picking technology such as voice-based controls in large operations.
One of the most significant time savers is automated inventory counting from your WMS. It reduces human error, can perform multiple inventory checks without interfering with daily activities, and provides various counting options to help you stay on track. Seek out sophisticated counting tools like random audits and rank-based selections.
This is a basic requirement for knowing where your goods are in your warehouse. It can be used in conjunction with advanced features to help you optimise locations and workflows while assisting with replenishment tasks. Serial and lot tracking functions can be used in conjunction with locators to help you keep inventory counts as high as possible.
Customisable planning and selection
Advanced functions for planning your warehouse or picking efforts are becoming more common. These wave planning tools enable you to set up different order groups and picking priorities, as well as orient your warehouse in various ways to best meet the demand for orders or products, and adjust to your staff during different shifts.
This feature ensures that orders from various sources are routed from your ERP to your warehouse with all of the necessary data, labels, and customer information. Flexible order management can assist you in maintaining accurate inventories and orders. It’s also an essential feature for any speciality goods, such as using FIFO on perishable materials.
Introducing or developing new product kits
Creating kits of goods sold together is one of the simplest ways for businesses to diversify their options. These vary in quantity and item selection and are frequently not pre-packaged together. A cloud-based warehouse management system that assists you in building these will allow you to create new kits while maintaining accurate inventory counts, preventing you from running out and taking orders you can’t fill.