Warehouse management systems must lower cost-to-serve while enabling retailers to respond quickly to customer demand

As consumer expectations evolve and the focus on serving demand, when and where it occurs, becomes more important than ever, having a warehouse management system (WMS) that enables you as a retailer to respond and adapt to the omni-channel world is critical. Find out what being “future-ready” means for WMS and what retailers need to do to reap the maximum warehouse management systems benefits to remain competitive.

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    When I’ve been talking to retailers about their challenges in the warehouse and the warehouse management solutions (WMS) they’re operating today, the majority have problems with legacy solutions and the cost to maintain, as well as to upgrade them. The result is a lack of ability to maintain peripherals and mobility solutions and to extend and enhance their legacy technology. So as a result, they’re looking to upgrade and lower the cost of ownership for a newer solution.

    When we talk to retailers about helping them lower their cost of ownership for warehouse management solutions, we look at a variety of different topics. One of the things we love to talk about is offering a solution in the cloud. So many traditional WMS installations are on-premise – but when a retailer is interested in looking at the cloud, we can help them think about lowering their cost of upgrades and even removing that cost of maintenance, and that’s a great area of savings.

    When we talk about helping retailers save money and look for supply chain efficiencies in warehouse management solutions, I point to three different areas of affordability. First, offering a solution that’s offered in the cloud and on-premise creates a choice for the retailers in how they deploy their solution. For those retailers that want to have a cloud-based solution, it does offer them the ability to not focus on upgrades and maintenance and defer back to Symphony RetailAI. Second, we talk about things like track and traceability being inherent in the solution, instead of having to add to and customize a non-industry-specific solution. Track and trace is incredibly important in the food industry, so being able to offer and track food from the point of origination of supply, through to the end consumer, is something that comes out of the box with our solution. And third, is the ability to offer an integrated voice solution. Voice is proven to increase productivity and accuracy and Symphony RetailAI offers an affordable solution that is fully integrated out of the box.

    So, where we’re headed in the future, is really offering a WMS solution that enables all types of omnichannel fulfillment. We know what the expectations are today: you have to ship from a warehouse to a store and now we’re experiencing the need to ship from a warehouse direct to a consumer. Being able to address multiple types of fulfillment methods is something that we see in our application, including the ability to perform warehouse management from dark stores. This is another ability that helps our customers think out of the box regarding omnichannel fulfillment and leverage our technology to take advantage of that.

    In relation to thinking about a WMS that’s future-ready, one of our customers is leveraging our warehouse management solution to do eCommerce fulfillment in the back office of their store. So, it’s an exciting opportunity to rethink how to take an existing, traditional warehouse management solution and scale it down, so that it can address Click and Collect in a very seamless fashion in-store.

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