Global investment in warehouse management system (WMS) platforms surged from $2.3 billion in 2019 to over $2.5 billion in 2020, indicating an 8% year-over-year growth, according to ABI Research, with the biggest investment coming from logistics service providers at over $636 million last year.
Investments in retail and food and beverages follow suit with $509 million and $483 million, respectively, with WMS market revenues projected to exceed $10 billion in revenues by 2030.
“Companies are starting to combine the value of multiple hardware and software solutions. Productivity technologies can achieve far greater return on investment if combined correctly with other technologies. For example, by combining location tracking data with a voice solution, warehouses using a WMS can optimize workflows by minimizing distance traveled based on a worker’s whereabouts,” says Adhish Luitel, industry analyst, supply chain management and logistics at ABI Research.
From ABI Research:
- Blockchain applications within WMS could fully streamline workflows and link them all together via encryption to ensure comprehensive security.
- Robotic process automation (RPA) is also seeing growth, providing a faster way of completing inventory management tasks like picking up or putting back items onto shelves.
“There is also a need for warehouse operators to formulate a strong inventory management strategy. Inventory management is becoming an increasingly crucial pillar of supply chain management. Ensuring that workers can access the right technology to monitor inventory efficiently is important, but automated solutions for inventory management should also be explored,” Luitel adds. “Vendors should be ensuring that they have a well-developed partner network and integration strategy relating to complementary technologies. Technological vendors and solution providers should be paying close attention to indoor real-time location system (RTLS) providers.”