Will SaaS WMS Work for You?

There exists much debate over whether or not companies should opt for SaaS WMS solutions. While both on-premise and SaaS WMS systems offer benefits, which option is best for your environment?

It may not be enough to start the exploration into SaaS WMS without first explaining a bit about the platform and how it differs from on-premise solutions. For the sake of simplicity, consider that the applications that are loaded onto your PC or laptop are examples of on-premise software. If you (or the company) purchased the software and loaded a disc into the drive, you loaded on-premise software. While it is true you are simply licensing the software for your use, the entire license was purchased.

When leveraging SaaS, software vendors actually host the application over the Internet and deliver to companies such as yours for a recurring license fee. In other words, to access SaaS WMS, you would need to use your browser to get to it, whereas an on-premise solution would be located in a folder on your computer or your company’s network. In your environment, it is likely you are more accustomed to on-premise solutions, yet the landscape of the industry is changing and SaaS WMS is growing in popularity.

By leveraging SaaS WMS, your company can enjoy greater technical, operational and financial flexibility. This is important if you are operating on a smaller scale than your competitors, yet still need the same capability to drive results. With SaaS solutions you can gain access to powerful, highly secure and flexible applications that may have previously been out of reach due to the cost of securing the software or necessary hardware to support the solution. Through SaaS WMS, you can eliminate much of that upfront cost and focus on immediate results.

While it is not necessarily ideal in every environment, SaaS WMS provides great flexibility and scalability in serving existing accounts and developing new revenue opportunities. In addition, SaaS WMS can also help you to reduce initial costs when compared with on-premise solutions and applications; to produce more predictable and usage-based recurring costs to assist in more accurate budgeting and forecasting; enjoy fast application deployment; reduce the complexity of your solutions; generally enjoy better support from providing vendors; leverage free upgrades; and scale according to your ongoing needs.

Even with all of these benefits, SaaS WMS is not without certain concerns. One of the most glaring in any industry is that of data control. When you move to an SaaS model, your data is moved outside of your firewall and could put that information at risk if not protected. Your data backup is also at the mercy of your provider and if the application fails, you want to be sure the provider can get you back online as fast as your own internal IT.

Before deciding whether or not SaaS WMS is right for your environment, first determine the amount of risk you can tolerate by moving to such a system. A proven provider will be able to do the job better than an on-premise solution, but you have to still trust that what they promise will actually happen. If you can put your trust in that vendor – and they have proven they have earned that trust – you can enjoy the benefits of SaaS WMS. If you cannot let go of the reigns, it may not be the right move for you at this time.