Software Connect Releases Warehouse Management Software Buyer Trends – 2018 Report

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For warehouse operators in the know, Warehouse Insight from Insight Works represents a fully integrated Microsoft Dynamics, industry leading mobile warehouse management system. The add-on makes inefficient operations due to inaccurate transactions and time-consuming manual tracking a thing of the past. With support for all NAV Location and item tracking configurations, Warehouse Insight brings mobile device integration into a warehouse setting.

Tying into this, Software Connect recently published the Warehouse Management Software Buyer Trends – 2018 Report. Software Connect is a company comprised of independent software advisors who have helped more than 200,000 businesses find the right software for their needs.

If you are part of the manufacturing/warehousing sector, you’re going to definitely want to read further.

What the 2018 Report is All About

Each year, Software Connect helps thousands of distributors and manufacturers select warehouse management systems, understanding that many high-order volume businesses require optimization of inventory logistics, storage and shipping. These regular conversations, say Software Connect representatives, provide unique insight into market trends and common software requirements.

For this report, Software Connect defined WMS (warehouse management system) buyers as “businesses that have a high order velocity and that want to optimize inventory movement;” this often excludes buyers looking for a discrete order-picking system, according to Software Connect reps.

Additionally, the report summarizes 116 conversations with WMS buyers over the past two years, with responses highlighting essential areas that WMS software buyers hope to address in 2018.

Key Findings at a Glance

  • About three-quarters of WMS buyers are interested in barcoding (by far still the most-used scanning tech in the warehouse environment).
  • WMS budgets soared for companies with more than 100 employees (often hitting above $300,000).
  • Over half of WMS buyers are looking for systems to manage multiple warehouses.

Study Area Summaries

Here are the areas the 2018 Report showcased:

Why Businesses Buy WMS
Because WMS software helps businesses optimize warehouse operations such as inventory, picking processes and auditing, it wasn’t surprising to learn that over one-third of those surveyed want to buy new warehouse management software because they require more or better features. Another 20-percent are looking to replace an outdated system.

Why Businesses Buy WMS

Image courtesy of Software Connect.

Barcoding vs. RFID
This wasn’t even a fair fight, based on the numbers – three-quarters of buyers still prefer barcodes over radio-frequency identification (RFID) to track their inventory.

Average WMS Budgets
It was found that WMS budgets, not surprisingly, increase in relation to the size of the company, with investments in WMS software “moderate” with smaller businesses (between one and 99 employees) and budgets that were “accelerated” when company size exceeded 100 employees.

Number of Warehouses
Over half of respondents were looking for software to help manage multiple warehouses; 13-percent were responsible for five or more locations.

SKU Demographics
The vast majority of WMS customers polled – 70-percent – track 10,000 or fewer SKUs; over half of that group has between 1,000 and 10,000 SKUs.

Third-Party Logistics Providers
According to Software Connect, third-party logistics providers (“3PLs”) often have particular WMS requirements; a 3PL-specific WMS must be able to manage multiple clients (inventory owners), and, additionally, 3PLs must provide concurrent support for each inventory owner’s business process. In the 2018 Report, about 25-percent of sampled WMS buyers had supplier-owned inventory – 3PL requirements.

What Products WMS Buyers are Replacing
QuickBooks Enterprise was the most common system replaced, with eight-percent planning to eliminate Sage 300. Less than five-percent targeted Dynamics GP, NetSuite or SAP for replacement.

Survey Demographics
Most WMS buyers focused only on supply chain distribution, yet the study included manufacturers who handled parts of their own distribution.

The Takeaway

For sure, it is concluded that WMS software has grown in importance as customers demand faster delivery times, and businesses need to better coordinate warehouse operations while supporting growth in product sales. A WMS must be able to process all the steps necessary to complete an order, as buyers often demand software integration with other ERP, distribution and supply-chain systems – all to better connect their warehouse, enterprise and partner relations.

This is precisely where Warehouse Insight plays a major role. Click here to learn all about the ways Insight Works is changing the warehouse management game.

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