Cloud-based systems, also known as Software-as-as-Service (Saas), connect with the tools via a web browser or dedicated interface. It just means the software is hosted on a server somewhere else, rather than on your local infrastructure. Any type of cloud-based solution is always on and always up to date, ready to go to work. That's true for cloud-based inventory management systems as well.
Until recently, there were some legitimate concerns about using cloud-based inventory management. But those have been all addressed. For example, cloud-based systems might have lagged with slow internet speeds. But high-speed internet is available in most areas, and gigabyte speeds are offered in many markets. That means you won't have to wait for a response when you click a button or enter data.
Also, early cloud systems had limited interactivity with other tools. But today, many companies offer APIs and other technologies to allow data to be shared by various systems. That improves accuracy and efficiency by removing silos. Also, cloud-based solutions can be used on essentially any hardware that meets the requirements, including desktops and mobile devices. There's no need to invest in expensive proprietary terminals.
With cloud-based warehouse inventory management, it's much easier to develop an omnichannel approach to inventory management and fulfillment. Inventory visibility is accessible to anyone and retail, wholesale and e-commerce orders can be pulled from where ever is most efficient.
Of course, cloud-based services provide all the basic expected functions, including inbound shipments, inventory control, picking and packing, and shipping. You will have end-to-end visibility to locate inventory and improve picking and packing accuracy and efficiency.
You can also manage labor and assets for the most efficient setup. Improvements in shipping velocity can reduce the need for labor and vehicles, or allow shipping volume to scale up without the additional operating expense. You can use load optimization tools to reduce shipping costs. Also, reverse logistics can be managed with the same tools for greater transparency and visibility.
Data security is also less of a factor in a cloud-based system. The data is not stored locally in your facility so that attacks won't be a problem. The data is stored in a facility that's hardened against cyber attacks at a very high level.
Today, cloud-based warehouse inventory management is ready to tackle the complexity and scale of the most active distribution centers around the world. Some companies are ready to upgrade as they shift toward a multichannel or omnichannel operation to accommodate growing e-commerce volumes. Some companies are expanding through mergers and acquisitions and need systems that scale without capital expenses and a long-lead IT implementation. Many 3PLs are looking for solutions that allow users to access information from anywhere and provide a high level of customer information.
To find out more about how Logiwa's cloud-based warehouse inventory management could work for you, contact us for a demo today.