When companies rely on a dated warehouse management system (WMS) to run distribution centers, it’s not uncommon for the IT staff familiar with the system to move on. Unfortunately, this leaves the company without an in-house expert to manage issues as they arise. Added to this, if the original vendor is no longer supporting that version of the system, it can be incredibly difficult to get the system back up and running.
“Over time, each organisation builds the distribution ecosystem that uniquely addresses its needs. The challenge emerges when only a handful of people understand how to manage and maintain that system successfully and perhaps only one individual truly understands the complete picture,” says Phil Lewis, Infor’s VP of Solution Consulting EMEA. “With a mission critical WMS and corresponding data at the very core of the business, any scenario that puts it at risk can be detrimental to getting products out the door.”
For many organisations, the realisation that the “go-to” people who fully understand all the nuances in the business’ operations - and the systems that support them - are no longer there, comes too late. Whether this loss comes through resignation, retirement, health issues, or merger and acquisition, finding replacements when running a legacy on-premise WMS can become an exceedingly difficult task. How can organisations ensure the continuity of day-to-day operations with the potential loss of technical expertise?
One of the ways to mitigate this risk is to accelerate cloud migration. By shifting the WMS to the cloud, organisations are supported by a comprehensive solution that is continuously updated. This guards against new trends forcing upgrades to the system down the road. “A trusted cloud partner should have a substantial investment in IT personnel that would be difficult for some of the largest organisations to match. A small army is dedicated to monitoring the organisation’s WMS and its data to ensure both optimisation and protection,” adds Lewis.
A recent CIO tech priorities survey by IDG showed that “despite increased budgets and interest in new technologies that can positively impact business in the future, organisations still face familiar challenges to adoption. The top challenges that IT leaders encounter are lack of sufficient budget (48%), lack of staff (46%), and lack of skill sets (42%).”
It’s time to shift the responsibility of managing and maintaining the organisation’s WMS over to a cloud provider with modern capabilities. “With this approach, organisations will not only create an opportunity to reset expectations and priorities for their IT staff, but also ensure their WMS always has the support it needs to stay up and running so that customers receive their orders on-time and in-full,” concludes Lewis.