While WMS subscriptions typically catered to smaller operations, today’s cloud-based models enable more complex operations to take advantage of the software-as-a-service (SaaS) pricing structure. Despite offering a wealth of benefits, including improved visibility, rapid deployment and a minimal upfront investment, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind when evaluating a WMS subscription.

Lifetime cost
Recent reports have found that total subscription costs can reach those of a traditional software license in as little as two to three years at their current pricing. Before entering a contract, it is important to understand if and how the subscription costs may change over the lifetime of the solution. While cloud-based vendors are touting the lower costs associated with network monitoring, database administration services and the elimination or reduction of upgrades, companies must evaluate total lifetime costs based on their unique requirements and anticipated growth.

Control & customization
Companies today have more control over the customization of their WMS and are able to make modifications without vendor intervention. While features like workflows, configurable data views, scripting and plug-in capabilities provide increased functionality, larger operations need to consider if they can realistically avoid vendor modifications and work efficiently with a more version-less solution.

The market for subscription-based WMS solutions will grow even more over the next year, as distribution operations continue to deal with increasing e-commerce sales and uncertainty. Companies should start exploring SaaS options now to avoid service disruptions in the future.

A version of this article originally appeared in SupplyChainBrain.

About the Author
Cal Petty
Cal Petty