Software Connect is a consultancy that offers advice on business software. They recently surveyed WMS buyers over the past two years to see what warehouse management software systems they were buying, and why. Their conclusions were compiled into a report you can find here but we’ll summarize a few highlights here today, since we have helped folks implement WMS systems for many years and found their advice and comments timely. For their report, they summarized 116 conversations with buyers. The common denominator among these WMS system purchasers is that they all have “high order velocity and want to optimize their inventory movement” (and who doesn’t?)
Their key findings…
- Fully 75% want barcoding, “still far and away the most used scanning tech in warehouses.” By contrast, just 7% were looking into RFID.
- Budgets for WMS have gone up – as the ROI value over time has been proven, no doubt. In companies of 100 employees, systems are selling for around $300,000. In companies of 20 to 100 employees, the costs run from about $100 to $150K.
- Over 50% of buyers are managing multiple warehouses.
- About half of buyers want standalone WMS, while the other half are looking for a full ERP + WMS system.
- One-third of those surveyed wanted new software because they needed “more or better features,” (presumably over what they currently have), and 20% are looking to replace an older system.
- 70% of buyers surveyed were tracking 10,000 or fewer SKUs. Over half of all respondents tracked between 1,000 and 10,000.
- About 25% of WMS buyers manage customer-owned inventory, and thus have 3PL requirements, which often include things like unique labeling systems and of course the ability to track by multiple client-inventory-owners.
- Buyers are using new WMS systems to replace a wide range of systems, but the most commonly cited were QuickBooks Enterprise, QuickBooks and Sage 300 (formerly Sage ACCPAC).
Software Connect’s wrap-up sums up their conclusions this way:
“A WMS must be able to process all the steps necessary to complete an order. Often buyers demand software integration with other ERP, distribution, and supply-chain systems. All to better connect their warehouse, enterprise, and partner relations.”