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Supply Chain and Logistics Technology: The State of the Cloud

While cloud computing is the talk in many industries, warehouse management software (WMS) is slow to adopt cloud-based hosting, according to a report by Logistics Management. Experts estimate fewer than 10 percent of the WMS market uses the cloud, compared with about 45 percent of the customer relationship management (CRM) market.

Why the slow adoption? Theories abound, many based on skepticism that the cloud cannot handle the transaction-heavy, internal warehouse management systems, particularly for a company that has warehouses in far-flung regions. Disruptions within those systems can be costly. Plus, there is the “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” mentality if an internal system is working just fine. At Kaye-Smith, we understand that just because something is working fine, it doesn’t mean it’s working at its best.

Though it’s a new player, the benefits of cloud computing are far-reaching:

  • Reduced investment costs since software is paid for on a subscription basis
  • Ability to add space during peak volume
  • Speed of deployment
  • No in-house servers to build and maintain

Cloud computing companies are responding to industry concerns by offering “multi-tenant” architecture software, meaning any designated user can tap into the core functionality of the system, but there are ways to customize the software for alerts, reports, workflows, labels, and forms. In other words, it is adaptable, without changing the core software. Also, cloud service providers are changing to offer WMS multi-channel fulfillment, so that the cloud can manage items as well as cases.

What if the cloud goes down? Back-up cloud connection is available, and could be easier and cheaper than maintaining redundant systems on-site.

As cloud providers answer the concerns of supply chain managers, experts believe cloud adoption for WMS will grow rapidly in coming years. Is your business ready for the cloud? For more information about supply chain solutions that include real-time information on inventory and fulfillment and best-in-class data security, contact Kaye-Smith today. Kaye-Smith is a one-stop shop for all of your warehousing and distribution needs. We manage your inventory so you don’t have to.



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