Technology has been driving the way organizations conduct business for a very long time. This is true when we consider the warehouse and inventory industry. Over the last few decades systems that manage inventory have been particularly on-premise solutions and desktop based, and continue to be. Yet, as technology has evolved, and internet coverage has grown more robust businesses in general have been moving key systems to cloud-based environments. That wider trend has been accelerated, especially during the pandemic and has also been true for warehouse and inventory management.
So, what are some of the pain points that come up with warehousing and inventory management? What are the major benefits over on-premise solutions? And does cloud warehouse and inventory management make sense for your business?
Some of the issues facing warehouse operations revolve around manual inefficiencies that creep up with legacy and on-premise solutions. Communication and sharing of data are some of the key causes. With supply chains and logistics spanning the globe the amount of important information that needs to be consolidated, managed, and shared is huge. On-premise solutions have typically lagged in this capacity. With turnaround times becoming ever more compressed efficient data management and sharing is critical.
One major reason why using a cloud-based warehouse and inventory solution compared to on premise solutions is that you can access your warehouse management software and data from anywhere. As well you can efficiently share key fulfilment data with stakeholders. Say you need to look up information on a shipment, or what is being stored in a particular location, quantities, and then send this to a customer or vendor. A cloud-based WMS allows you to log into your system using your internet connection from anywhere, and the information is at your fingertips all in one navigable environment.
Add to this a mobile device scanner app that interacts through a Wi-Fi connection with your cloud WMS environment and you can perform tasks on the go. Conduct inventory receiving, picking, packing, and shipping all from a handheld device. This means you don’t need to always be tied to a desktop to manage day to day tasks or to fulfill on orders. As well, you practically eliminate manual data entry and management, which can be prone to error.
On premise solutions generally have a higher IT burden attached to them. This may include server maintenance, data security, and other IT related upkeep. Rather, by using a cloud platform your data security, storage, and system updates are managed through your provider. For example, users that use Akatia’s WAM have their data secured and backed up by Salesforce. Salesforce puts a lot of effort as well into maintaining failsafe backup systems. So, while an on-premise solution might go down and take significant time to resolve a blackout without a specific timeline for resolution, a cloud-based WMS limits this type of scenario. A cloud-based environment like Salesforce, which Akatia’s WAM is based on, is not prone to such critical outages. So, you know operations will continue without issue, and allows you to focus on your business.
As the advent of the fulfilment-based economy a cloud-based WMS like Akatia can help a business scale operations, without high development costs. Implementation is quick and thus allows a business to adapt quickly to market or industry changes.
When comparing cloud-based inventory management to on-premise systems, cloud inventory management allows for the same customization and functionality, but minus the burden of upkeep, periodic upgrades, development, or dedicated IT specialists. This translates to lower upfront costs and allows for integration with other systems, like financial packages for example, especially if they’re under the same cloud environment.
Cloud is continuing to gain traction in the warehouse and inventory management industry and transform the digitization of the warehouse environment.
These features and functionality may be new to you but may sound very appealing going forward. Aaktia’s WAM has been offering this cloud-based warehouse and inventory management model from its beginning. Businesses use Salesforce cloud platform because it connects their business staff, customers, and partners alike. Managing and integrating all parts of their business has been a way for them to maximize the platform and improve efficiency. Akatia fills that need, providing robust warehouse and inventory management, at a reasonable investment, while taking advantage of the power of cloud-computing.
Technology and business changes have created a necessity for the digital transformation of the warehouse environment in order to keep pace with a changing landscape. Cloud-based warehouse management can provide a robust and viable way forward as businesses shift to cloud-computing for all their business systems.