The WMS market is mature, says Steve Banker, service director for supply chain management at ARC, but it will experience somewhat faster growth in coming years than it has in the recent past. The average WMS solution has a lifespan of 11 years, and the period Banker is projecting for falls in the range of the 11-year anniversary of the boom years for WMS installations--1995 to 2000.
Advances in hardware have affected the demand for WMS. Voice recognition has matured and radio frequency identification (RFID) is advancing, providing more opportunity to use real-time solutions in WMS. Banker also points to the development of “multi-modal” hardware applications in which RFID and voice recognition can be used in combination.
These advances on the hardware side have implications for how a WMS solution is constructed, says Banker, allowing warehouse tasks to be performed quicker and resulting in better data reliability.
ARC’s report is “Warehouse Management Systems Worldwide Outlook.”