Archive for Warehouse Management Systems

Maximizing MHE: The “Automation-Aware” WMS

Businesses trust material handling equipment (MHE) providers for automated guided vehicles (AVG), conveyors, robotics, sortation, storage and beyond. Top to bottom, material handling manufacturers outfit warehouses with the latest and greatest. This goes beyond automation hardware—on the back page of a MHE provider’s RFP, you can often find a warehouse control system (WCS) bundled into the deal. A prevailing thought is if the manufacturer made the hardware, they must have the software to go with […]

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Remember Webvan? They Weren’t Wrong – Just Early

It’s funny how some trends seem to go “full circle.” In 1999, everybody thought they could pick the next big thing. Then after the dot.com bubble burst, it seemed like everybody distanced themselves from their “visionary” pasts. I recall a brief discussion I had around 2002 with a self-described “internet guy.” He commented about the online grocery company Webvan’s business model with the statement “I don’t know what they were thinking – I mean, if you double-bag […]

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The On-Demand Supply Chain Market

The on-demand supply chain market is experiencing significant interest and growth right now. Within the on-demand supply chain, I am specifically talking about the transportation and warehousing segments, where investment money is pouring in to digital freight matching apps, crowdsourced last miles deliveries, and on-demand warehousing. While these businesses are still in the early stages of development and growth, there is considerable interest as well as questions about the viability of long term success. On-Demand […]

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Warehouse Mobility Upgrades Accelerate

ARC’s research on the global WMS market identified today’s warehouse technology investments that were highest on investment priority lists (see WMS Product Development Roadmaps). Warehouse mobility investments including upgrades and replacements was high on that list. ARC and DC Velocity recently launched an online survey to obtain detailed insights into the topic, including current use and future plans for use of various mobile operating systems (OS), the relative importance of mobile OS capabilities, the range of current […]

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Warehouse Management Systems – WMS Enhancements and Product Development Plans

I just completed the newest version of ARC’s annual warehouse management systems (WMS) market research study. For those of you who are looking to receive your copy, it is currently in editing and should be available before the end of the month. The research process behind this report is extensive and evaluates both quantitative and qualitative developments of the global market. I would like to take this opportunity to discuss a qualitative topic of interest […]

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Manhattan Associate’s Warehouse Management Solution Changes the Rules of Automation

Manhattan Associates made significant enhancements to their warehouse solution. They have changed the rules of automation, employed significant forms of optimization not currently used in warehouse management systems (WMS), and greatly improved the ability to fulfill e-commerce orders.

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Orchestrating the Future of Order Fulfillment

It seems no matter where we look these days, robots and other uses of artificial intelligence are not hard to find. From our cars and smart appliances to Alexa and Siri, the rise of AI technology has permeated our daily lives and is changing the way we operate. Warehouses and distribution centers are no exception. In recent years we’ve seen a dramatic increase in intelligent automation across the supply chain, a necessity to keep up […]

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Can Robots Help You Manage Inventory Better?

In the United States, 250,000 manufacturing plants and warehouses support the activities of 4 million retail stores and e-commerce websites – and all of these operations carry inventory. But in the warehouses, less than 10 percent are using automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) to manage and move their inventories. That means the vast majority are still using racks and other storage solutions that require a lot of floor space (read: high real estate costs) […]

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Manhattan Momentum 2018: Push Possible

I am coming to you live from Manhattan Momentum 2018, in Hollywood, FL at the Diplomat Beach Resort. This year’s theme is “Push Possible” which is very fitting. CEO Eddie Capel explained that push possible is all about pushing the envelope with actionable, measurable solutions. It means bringing in bigger and brighter ideas, to push what is possible for their customers. At last year’s event, Manhattan announced the release of the cloud-based Manhattan Active solution […]

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WMS and Warehouse Automation & Control: Complementary… and Increasingly Competitive Solutions?

Warehouse management systems (WMS) and warehouse automation systems have long been complementary technologies with adjacent and sometimes overlapping functionality sets. The relative importance of the systems to an operation depends on the activities and throughput profile of the given warehouse. Public discussions about the convergence of WMS and warehouse control systems (WCS) into what has been termed a warehouse execution system (WES) is more recent, but also not new.  However, insights from my concurrent research […]

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