Modern WMS cuts costs where possible

Published: Sunday, April 23, 2017

Market for digital solutions enhancing
productivity without extra labor costs
projected to rise multi-fold
The WMS market size is projected to reach $3,112 million by 2022, growing at a
CAGR of 15.2% from 2016 to 2022. This can be attributed to the increase in
inventory and workload of WMS in warehouse operations.

With recent technological advancements and the
r i s e i n d e m a n d f o r
warehouse management systems
(WMS) in retail and third party
logistics (3PL) application, the WMS
market is expected to be stronger in
the coming decade.

The WMS market size is projected to
reach $3,112 million by 2022, growing
at a CAGR of 15.2% from 2016 to 2022.
This can be attributed to the increase
in inventory and workload of WMS in
warehouse operations.

Europe is expected to be the largest
market during the forecast period,
according to Global Warehouse
Management System Market by
Component Type, Industry Vertical,
and Geography—Global Opportunity
Analysis and Industry Forecasts,
2014–2022 published by Allied
Market Research (AMR).

Air Cargo Update sat down with
Naval Sabharwal, Global Head –
Supply Chain and Logistics, Ramco
Systems to discuss the benefits of
using WMS in the cargo industry.


The evolution of WMS is very similar
to many other software solutions. A
WMS manages the warehouse
operation. It performs in real time,
m a n a g i n g l a b o u r, m a x i m i z i n g
e q u i p m e n t a n d t r a c k i n g a n d
controlling inventory. In doing this, it
maximises labour productivity and
minimises errors.

WMS is available in wide range of
technologies. However, Java and
.NET are the basis for many of the
warehouse management systems
available in the market. There are
ma ny t y p e s of wa re h o u s e s a s
follows; Raw Material Warehouse,
WIP Inventory Warehouse, Finished
Goods Warehouse, Distribution
C e n t e r s , C l i m a t e C o n t r o l l e d
Warehouse and Special Warehouses
such as Bonded Warehouse and Free
Trade Zones.

A modern trend

In WMS, inventory management is an
asset and is defined as any property
intended to meet the requirements of
customers throughout the business
cycle. It adds to the cost of operations
irrespective of the form it is in – be it
r a w m a t e r i a l s ,
W I P g o o d s ,
finished products
and inventory in
transit and it is
important that the
i n v e n t o r y i s
managed at an
optimum level to
improve the cost
revenues of the
o r g a n i z a t i o n
w i t h o u t
compromising its
ability to meet the
ongoing demands
of its operations
and to meet its
c u s t o m e r s ‘
“The advent of
software technology in this space has
r e s u l t e d i n o r g a n i z a t i o n s
implementing modern inventory
management system to achieve this
c o v e t e d b a l a n c e . W i t h t h e
emergence of Mobile technology,
smartphones to are gaining the upper
hand in managing the inventory. A
large number of business owners
have been able to access real-time
information about their inventory onthe-

“Balancing customer and vendor
relationship is a critical aspect in the
supply chain and has often been
considered the essence of supply
chain management. However, closer
examinations reveal that the heart of
these relationships is inventory
movement and storage. Most of the
activities involved in managing the
vendor-customer relationship are
based on purchase, transfer, or
management of inventory. Hence,
i n v e n t o r y i s a f u n d a m e n t a l
component of the supply chain, and
its primary purpose is to feed the
customers’ requirements across the
supply chain”.

An auxiliary of trade

Warehouse helps to store the
inventory in all forms safely and
securely until the point of purchase or
consumption by the customer.
“In today’s world where demands are
volatile and replenishment times are
long due to globalization, achieving
100% JIT (Just in Time) or a Kanban
model is impossible, and this calls for
a build-up of certain types and
quantities of inventory at various
s t a g e s o f t h e s u p p l y c h a i n .
Warehouses provide the means to
store such inventory in a safe and
secure manner”.

Helping warehouse operations

Warehouse managers today have an
array of technologies to choose from,
to streamline operations, reduce
costs and improve performances. A
few key aspects where technology
come to the rescue are – optimizing
w a r e h o u s e p r o c e s s e s a n d
operations, enhancing productivity,
increased visibility of inventory,
improved utilization of resources and
enhanced customer satisfaction.
A superior WMS improves space
utilization in the warehouse by
informing the operator where to put
the item by selecting a storage
location that best fits the product. It
c a n a l s o i m p r o v e w a r e h o u s e
capacity, allowing goods to move
more quickly through the facility and
at the same time reducing handling
and storage requirements.

Like any other software, WMS is a
software which helps to streamline
and optimize processes and will
require manual interaction to some
degree for it to be able to perform the

“ U n s u s t a i n a b l e a n d p e o p l
dependent core activities of a
w a r e h o u s e s u c h a s p l a n n i n g ,
resource allocation and directing
execution are automated by WMS
with little support from operators”.

Mobility availability

T h e w a r e h o u s e i s a l l a b o u t
movement and tracking, and the
availability of mobility feature in
W a r e h o u s e w i l l e n h a n c e
p r o d u c t i v i t y a n d o p e r a t i o n a l
efficiency. Hence, mobile technology
has indeed become a necessity to
keep pace with the technological

Asked if WMS provides mobility,
accuracy and efficiency at Ramco,
Naval responded positively by
saying, “We certainly believe that
WMS streamlines, automates and
enhances warehouse operations
significantly. At its most basic, it
improves the efficiency and economy
of movement within a warehouse
with its logical planning thus reducing
the number of ‘touches’ a material
receives – the most important
objective of any warehouse. Through
automatic data capture and mobility,
it improves accuracy in operations –
say picking or put away – and
a s s o c i a t e d d o c u m e n t a t i o n b y
eliminating the manual entry which is
certainly error prone”.

High productivity levels

A well designed WMS increases
labour productivity by managing
wo r ke r ‘ s t a s k s . I n a d d i t i o n t o
directing labour, WMS also provides
l a b o u r p l a n n i n g f e e d b a c k t o
management. That feedback is then
used for estimating peaks and valleys
in product activity.

“Labor productivity is increased
through optimal work allocation to
resources based on their skill sets,
qualification, performance and
a v a i l a b i l i t y a n d t h e e r r o r s i n
operations are minimized through the
Automatic Data Capture mechanism
that is used in the operations
controlled by WMS.