Given the fact that the warehousing sector has been forced to ramp up its digitization efforts in order to meet both increased order volume and growing omnichannel trends due to the e-commerce boom, sales of warehouse management systems surged from $2.3 billion in 2019 to over $2.5 billion in 2020. This is an 8% year-over-year increase, according to ABI Research.
The biggest investment in WMS is from logistics service providers with over $636 million last year.
Investments in retail and food and beverages follow suit with $509 million and $483 million respectively.
Looking to the future the firm predicts worldwide WMS market revenues will have a compounded annual growth rate of over 23% from 2021 to 2030 and exceed $10 billion in revenues by 2030.
“Companies are starting to combine the value of multiple hardware and software solutions," explains Adhish Luitel, industry analyst, Supply Chain Management and Logistics at ABI Research, in a statement. "Productivity technologies can achieve far greater return on investment if combined correctly with other technologies. For example, by combining location tracking data with a voice solution, warehouses using a WMS can optimize workflows by minimizing distance traveled based on a worker’s whereabouts.”
In terms of adding innovation, the WMS market has seen some developments including advancements in data collection and tracking allow more insights into warehousing operations, as well as boosting predictive analytics. Operators can now deploy Machine Learning (ML) algorithms that capture the data and give insights in real-time.
And a wider adoption of blockchain will allow the supply chains to become more connected, accountable, and visible. Blockchain applications within WMS could fully streamline workflows and link them all together via encryption to ensure comprehensive security.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is another development that combines the use of software, robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and ML to create a much faster way of completing inventory management tasks like picking up or putting back items onto shelves.
“There is also a need for warehouse operators to formulate a strong inventory management strategy. Inventory management is becoming an increasingly crucial pillar of supply chain management. Ensuring that workers can access the right technology to monitor inventory efficiently is important, but automated solutions for inventory management should also be explored,” Luitel adds.