CognitOps Insights

Warehouse Management System: What Does the Future Hold?

The future of warehouse management systems will be to share their data with other systems. The greatest gain in warehouse performance is dependent on freeing and operationalizing data from the WMS. CognitOps ALIGN plugs into any WMS, takes advantage of that data set, adds a machine-learning powered intelligence layer and empowers distribution center operators with powerful real-time recommendations. 

The Warehouse Management System (WMS) was invented in the early ’90s and quickly became mission-critical to distribution centers across the supply chain. Today, WMS is an integral part of every distribution center, managing retail and eCommerce inventories and serving as systems of record for financial reporting.  

Although a Warehouse Management System is critical to operations across the distribution center, innovation has been limited to more flexible transactions, inventory, and channel management  Retail and eCommerce channels are becoming increasingly complex, with both DC Ops and Channel Sales exploding in variability, SLA requirements, and speed. Yet WMS vendors primarily chose to focus on enabling channel sales, and have deprioritized innovating their warehouse products beyond core transactional execution capabilities — causing no end in pain for DC operators. 

Warehouse Management System Review
Warehouse Management System Review
Warehouse Management System Review

**Gartner Report — “Top Technology Trends Transforming Warehousing Over the Next 5 Years: Part 2, Handling Volatility and Complexity” [Link]

Despite being the most premium — and expensive — solutions, even heavily modified Tier One systems cannot handle the complexity of moderate to highly complex distribution operations. Instead of complex and costly modifications and add-ons, a more straightforward, more economical approach is the use of optimized applications that tie into WMS.  

The most significant gain in warehouse performance depends on freeing and operationalizing data. Today operators are building an ecosystem of either home-grown customizations or Excel / BI reporting layers to try and make sense of their data.  

Primary development investments have been focussed on re-architecting: lift and shift to the cloud, web-based UI’s, and maximizing the revenue model as the application becomes commoditized. Versioning of legacy systems has become complex, with upgrades pushed every other year.

WMSs should focus on opening up to external applications, connecting data, empowering data warehouses, and enabling an application ecosystem. Salesforce CRM has used this model to become a legacy-defining warehouse software that generates massive, time-driven data sets ideal for a continuous, machine learning-based optimization approach.  

CognitOps ALIGN is a solution that takes advantage of that data set. CognitOps is a comprehensive warehouse resource planning and optimization platform built on leveraging the massive stack of data currently locked in the WMS; We can connect to any WMS, draw that data, and provide and empower DC operators.

Find the visibility your operation needs with CognitOps. Get in touch here.

See how CognitOps can free your data from your legacy WMS.