Most of the warehouse and inventory management solutions that have traditionally been used are usually on premise. That is, in order to access or use them you need to be on site at the warehouse. Technology and other factors though have been shifting this standard more and more towards cloud-based solutions. Why is this and what are the advantages?
Businesses need more and more flexibility and connectivity with both their data and workforce. As well being able to consolidate information across various warehouse operations is vital. It allows for seamless information flow and for businesses to better manage their inventory assets. On premise solutions tend to need specialized development, internal networks, and specific hardware to attain this type of interconnectivity. Cloud-based solutions rely on the connectivity of the internet. This makes the warehouse management solution accessible from almost anywhere and at any time.
This type of connectivity also allows multiple warehouses to be managed simultaneously and under one environment. In WAM for example, a business can have multiple warehouses onboarded under the same accessible system. The warehouses can also be segregated within the environment so that access to each warehouse is determined by the permissions allowed by the solution’s administrators and managers, while giving more over arcing visibility to those within the business that require it, say procurement teams or managers. This type of visibility allows decision makers the ability to know what inventory they have and at which location. Should one warehouse have inventory that is required by another to fulfill an order the appropriate decisions can then be taken to facilitate the fulfilment instead of creating backorders due to lack of connectivity and visibility.
On premise solutions are frequently chosen due to the idea that they can be developed for a business’ specific use case. This is true of course, but development can come at a huge cost. As cloud-solutions have become more and more the trend in most industry sectors these solutions have continued to give great flexibility to customize the system to the specific business needs. This customization comes with the benefit of being low cost as it is generally configuration based and not development.
Cloud-based solutions have the added benefit of being part of a larger and secured network. Cloud-based platforms like Salesforce, the one which WAM is based on, have multiple redundant backup systems, so if one fails then the network stays online through the mutual support of another. On premise solutions can be vulnerable to a network failure. If this occurs operations come to a standstill, which can jeopardize productivity.
Cloud-solutions do come with an ongoing cost for license subscription fees for use of the application as well as upkeep. But unlike on premise solutions these subscriptions come with the benefit of continued updates and improvements. On premise solutions tend not to have these types of continuous updates and improvements. Thus, they tend to outgrow their use over time. A good cloud-solution though continues to add new and useful features and since the platforms they run on have unlimited space they can scale with the business and support its growth.
Cloud-solutions can be integrated with other useful business tools and software. A cloud-based warehouse and inventory management system can thus be integrated without much effort to financial, logistics, e-commerce, and other important and core systems used by your business.
On premise solutions continue to be used in the warehousing and inventory management operations of lots of businesses. But with more companies choosing to gain greater access and connectivity in their business processes cloud is becoming the norm and not just the trend. Cloud solutions like WAM provide efficiency and reliability as well as great value and are easy to transition too. If your business would benefit from these types of features and benefits, contact us with your project and we’d be happy to help.