For many, the idea of business systems delivered as a cloud service still feels very new and a bit scary. Cloud Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) are no exception.
The reality is, cloud systems have been around for many years and most of us use them daily in our personal lives trusting some of our most sensitive information to major cloud platforms without a great deal of thought or worry.
The reality is, cloud systems have been around for many years
Online banking for example, has revolutionised the way most of us manage our finances alongside global systems such as Facebook now holding the vast majority of our memories and life actives, certainly for the millennials who before long will make up the next generation of business owners and board members throughout the world.
A lot of the fear around cloud systems is still spread by traditional software vendors who are 5 or 10 years behind in terms of technology and still have to promote and sell their solutions. Many of these legacy systems have served businesses well over the last 20 years but like any business, if they don’t move forward, they will go into decline and ultimately disappear.
a non cloud system may soon no longer be an option
Over the next ten years as software providers upgrade and redevelop their systems to take advantage of newer and much improved web technology, the idea of buying a non cloud system segregated away, installed in a dark lonely room within your own offices may no longer even be an option….. not that many will even want to enquire about it. There may still be a place for locally installed software but like the fax machine, non cloud systems will be the exception and not the norm.
Household names such as SAP, Oracle and Microsoft are all making big pushes into cloud technology including the recent acquisition of Netsuite by Oracle for over 9 billion USD. This shift by the vast majority of the industry will become normality and early adopters of true cloud technologies and cloud WMS will reap the rewards with a huge early competitive advantage over their less forward thinking competitors.
6 reasons to subscribe with a Cloud WMS service
Below are 6 reasons we believe a Cloud WMS is the right choice for growing businesses in 2016.
Being able to scale your operation and associated systems quickly allows a business to be nimble and take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves without months of planning and prohibitive upfront costs. ClarusWMS has been capacity tested to process over 100,000 orders per day without any impact on performance to users. Seasonal peaks and events such as Black Friday no longer need to be a concern to your core systems. Many legacy systems rely on the paying user community to advise of system limits but with powerful, automated testing running continually, you don’t need to be a guinea pig with Clarus’ cloud WMS.
Allowing the cloud software provider to manage any scale-ability challenges that may come during peak times it is one less thing for the business to worry about when growing. With no need to purchase and maintain infrastructure, companies that utilise the cloud can be thinner on the ground with their IT resources. When a business decides to try something new they should not be restrained by resources or infrastructure. Cloud software enables this.
2. Software as a Service (SaaS)
Subscribing to a true Cloud WMS service like ClarusWMS puts the control firmly back into the hands of users. The software industry is very unique in the sense it asks for a large upfront payment for something which you’ll never own and have to continue to pay a licence fee to use with no real guarantee it will every actually work even after a costly, long and drawn out project.
In addition to the very attractive commercial element of a cloud WMS delivered as SaaS, this model of delivery ensures our user base always benefit from the latest in innovation unlike legacy applications which will require the risk and cost of locally installed upgrades for every minor change.
capacity tested to process over 100,000 orders per day
The success of ClarusWMS is integrally linked to the continuous service it provides its user base because without a large upfront payment, Clarus has a very vested interest to ensure our users continue to get value from the service and expand their use of the application as they can simply stop subscribing and switch if they wanted to! Software, delivered with customer service at the heart of everything, that’s an idea few software suppliers can really live by!
3. One project, get it right first time
Regardless of your current view of cloud WMS or software as a service, one thing is very clear. If you buy a piece of software which is not a cloud application you will be either upgrading or buying again within 5 years, so you are investing for the short term. The vast majority of software vendors have already started rewriting their legacy software into cloud technology so they can also benefit from delivering their applications as a cloud service because it works better for everyone. One version of the software to develop and support makes scaling a software business much easier, keeps clients happier which means they buy more from you and grow their businesses at the same time. Win win.
Even an upgrade from an on premise legacy system to a cloud system from the same suppliers needs to be treated as a new project which involves time, cost and a lot of risk.
We don’t want to gloat as technology is all about cycles and things move very quickly but ClarusWMS is currently at the forefront of this technology shift so is a wise choice for those that only want to go through one warehouse management system install in the next 10-15 years.
4. Available anywhere and on any device
A huge advantage of Cloud WMS is that it is accessible from anywhere at anytime providing you have an internet connection. With most mobile networks now running on 4G and this being quicker than many traditional broadband connections, this offers a whole new way of working to lots of businesses who need all the benefits of a cloud WMS solution but perhaps as a short term solution or they operate in a very open space (e.g. large outdoor areas) where traditional infrastructure is not possible. With 5G being on the horizon, even variable internet speeds will soon be a thing of the past for the majority of businesses.
Web technology also means that cloud software can be accessed from any device with a web browser; phone, tablet, PC or even car! This means that users can access the application on the go allowing them to be kept up-to-date with what is going on within the business.
5. Save your internal resources
With legacy software you have to buy infrastructure, buy server and database licenses, install the software and maintain it going forward. This usually falls on the desk of the already over-worked IT team. When a company has purchased several different applications all potentially running on different servers and with different architectures this can become a huge problem and a massive risk to the business. It’s also a huge cost in hardware, additional software like operating systems and databases and resources on top of actually buying the software that you wanted in order to fix a problem.
With cloud applications the software vendor takes responsibility for the infrastructure and availability of the application which is all paid for as part of the subscription to the service. How is this financially viable? – Scale. The more clients the cloud providers get the cheaper the infrastructure costs become for them. This means the client base can benefit from enterprise grade infrastructure while paying a fraction of the cost. Strength in numbers.
So with Cloud applications your IT department can focus on other problems within your business and let the Cloud vendor concentrate on delivering a high quality service. This saves companies a large amount of investment in infrastructure and reduces the risk of having on-site servers. Smaller companies without IT resources are able to benefit from software that 5 years ago they would have not been able to support.
The future belongs to organisations who open their systems to their trading partners and clients. Many businesses are actually one entity in a much wider network of collaborating organisations to provide a service to clients. By being open and collaborating effectively, businesses can reduce cost and increase their service levels providing a huge competitive advantage and better services to client.
For collaboration to be successful, it must be streamlined and data accuracy is key to everyone being able to perform their role correctly as part of that network. Exchanging data across multiple systems using integration methods designed 30 years ago is a very dangerous way to exchange information in a truly real time, global society. A modern web API is a powerful tool in any businesses kit bag to be able to connect to a wide range of 3rd party applications with minimal effort further increasing the value of the cloud WMS service outside of the four walls of the warehouse.
The Cloud Revolution – Don’t get left behind
Cloud software provides businesses with greater flexibility, reduced risk and lower total cost of ownership. It truly has been a revolution of recent years and has led to a democratisation of software for smaller businesses. Small and Medium sized companies are now able to utilise higher quality software which 5-10 years ago was not cost effective for them to use. This means those businesses are better equipped to deal with the day to day challenges of doing business in 2016. Make sure your company is taking advantage of this revolution and do not get sucked into buying legacy software that will hold you back.
To find out more on how your business could benefit by subscribing to Clarus’ cloud WMS service, please enter your details below and we’ll be in touch soon. Our flexible approach to business with customer service at the heart of the service we deliver ensures there is very little risk in partnering with such a dynamic software provider.