„Each month we deploy at least one new implementation of WMS," reveals Tomáš Kormaňák, Product Manager of LOKIA WMS, in an interview in the new issue of Computerworld magazine.
What trends in warehouse management systems do you see as a supplier?
Changes in business models of economic systems are moving all areas of business management and the trend of cloud services success is dominant. Monolithic ERP systems are almost history. At the time of easy integration of web services, they can hardly compete with advanced specialised add-ons.
This tendency also affects warehouse management. For more than 15 years, we have ourselves been developing an industrial WMS software tailored to client’s requirements, but nowadays, all implementations are being deployed only in the form of service.
Can you reveal what the reason is?
It turns out that the classic model of on-premise systems for managing logistics ceases to be sufficient for customers and building large and tailored WMS systems has ceased to be effective. Their disadvantage is that implementation projects last long and burden customers with some advanced features that they actually did not want to use.
Following these experiences, we only attain customizations through the right choice of ready-made add-ons and configuration. That allows us to deploy the warehouse system in one day. There are no unique adjustments that are much costly to maintain. In addition, we design the modules so that customer has the system fully under control and adjusts its behaviour to the current needs even without our knowledge.
What’s the use for WMS software on the Czech market?
In many Czech companies, we still find much room for improvement because warehouse management using papers with high reliance on the knowledge of warehouse workers is still a common practice. This wide use is supported by the fact that software provided as a service thanks to low investment costs becomes available also for companies that could not afford purchase of WMS before. Indeed, this is proven by the fact that each month, we deploy at least one new implementation of a warehouse management system.
Why are some companies hesitant about purchasing a WMS?
A number of companies have settled for a simple inventory recording, tolerate an error rate and a mess in a warehouse. They start resolving the situation only at the moment when the pressure to increase the level of services provided forces them to give internal logistics higher priority. Then we come to speed it up, to get rid of losses, errors and complaints.
Which branch currently has more dynamic development in logistics?
We are most aware of the effort to better manage warehousing in the segment of e-commerces. This branch lagged behind the classic retail, or FMCG, but that is changing. The parallel is the use of exchange of structured data with electronic documents. A few years ago, we introduced them in ALZA or MALL but nowadays, we deploy EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) also in smaller e-commerces. Smaller and smaller e-commerces with dozens or only units of warehouse workers need a WMS nowadays and with us, they also gain a competitive advantage – online integration with parcel services.