Until recently, and for as long as anyone can remember, complex tier 1 warehouse management systems (WMS) resided firmly on premise, either running in a corporate data center or even in the distribution center itself. For a time, it was unclear when or even if this would change. There were technology barriers and reasons to be cautious. Were the cloud and network providers reliable? How about latency with automation? How do I have access to my data? And were the cloud-based warehouse management solutions ready for prime time?
One by one, these barriers have been addressed. Today, all but the most self-contained operations can take advantage of a cloud-based WMS, and the benefits are compelling – a version-less system with access to new features every few months. This means no more aging technology to maintain or costly and disruptive upgrades, along with an always-modern user interface that reduces training time and costly mistakes and increases employee engagement. It also means near 100 precent up-time with IT staff freed up for strategic projects.
Adoption Remains in Early Stages
With the technology mature and the benefits clear, we’ve entered a new era where warehouse systems hum away in the cloud and organizations reap the benefits, right? No more 12-year-old systems, with user interfaces that make Gen Z run for their iPhone, supported by “Jim from IT” (who is retiring next year). Well, not quite yet. In practice, adoption is still in the early stages and has been slower than some expected.
A Shortage of Qualified Labor
There is one final barrier to overcome, which is a shortage of qualified people to assist with the cloud conversion strategy and implement the new systems. For a host of reasons ranging from the pandemic, to the focus on ecommerce expansion work, to a generally tight job market, there simply aren’t enough people to complete these projects. This leaves companies stuck on older, inefficient systems that can’t easily be changed to address new business needs, in addition to software that is tough to maintain and viewed as an increasing security risk. As on-premise systems age, these challenges will become ever more urgent.
How to Overcome Barriers to Entry
To complete the cloud transition and stay competitive, it is crucial that companies invest in experts that can manage and implement projects rapidly and successfully. Software providers are a great source of technical help, though understandably, are focused on the tasks directly linked to the software.
At enVista, we specialize in managing and delivering complex projects on a predictable timeline. enVista has extensive experience with the leading warehouse management systems, and just as importantly, has experts that specialize in the other work needed to enable a timely and successful WMS implementation. Whether it’s supply chain strategy, facility design, training, automation solutions, inventory planning, organizational change management or overall program management, enVista has experts that can help your organization complete the transition and start enjoying the benefits.
The game-changing technology has finally arrived, it’s now time to invest in the people that can bring the solutions to life.