If you can’t get actionable and current information for the decision making process from your warehouse management system (WMS), what’s the point of having it in the first place? Sure there’s the whole “tracking the supply-chain” aspect, but ultimately, you’re keeping meticulous track of your supply-chain so that it can help inform your decision making. Your WMS needs to provide real-time reporting so that you can make the right business decision at the immediate time an issue or opportunity arises, or else you’re going to go out of business.

Analytics are absolutely vital to modern warehousing. There are four key components to why you should not ignore analytics capabilities when buying a WMS:

  1. You can see all of your data in a simple interface
  2. You can quickly identify opportunities and risks
  3. You can get updates in real-time to see the entire supply-chain in action
  4. You can make decision more quickly
  5. You can ultimately make better-informed decisions

Along those same lines, being able to see every facet of your business in analytics can help open your eyes to areas you may have missed before. You can’t fix what you don’t see, so being able to see the entire supply-chain can be a huge benefit.

It all comes down to making the right decision at the right time. If your business can’t do it, you won’t survive in the current environment.

Think of Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane in Major League Baseball and his “Moneyball” approach. MLB was forever changed, and now every single team uses some version of his highly-analytical approach to try to maximize their wins and minimize their costs. A team like the Chicago Cubs that had no Analytics department to speak of until very recently fell way behind the pack and needed to completely rebuild their structure and leadership to even have a chance at becoming good three years from now. The Cubs aren’t going to go away after seven more terrible years, but your business will. In much the same way, warehouse managers can rely on real-time analytics from their WMS to influence their decision making to maximize revenues and minimize costs.

Warehouse management systems continue to improve, and the leading systems today are beginning to provide predictive reporting capabilities as well. Not only do you get actionable real-time analytics, but also reports predicting the future based on your past information. Though now in their infancy, these types of reports will become vital in the decision making process for managers in the future. Missing out on these important new features is going to cause your business to fall behind the pack.

When you’re making your WMS purchase, it’s very important to consider all of the above features to ensure you end up with a long-lasting and valuable resource for your business. Analytics and reporting from your WMS need to positively impact your business and allow managers and executives to see the entire supply chain in 360 degrees. Missing out on this new wave of real-time analytics will cause irreparable harm to your business in the long-term as everybody else passes you by.

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