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According to the ARC Advisory Group, the worldwide market for Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) grew by more than 10 percent in 2011. Growth was broad-based, occurring in both emerging markets and mature market segments. The high growth in the mature market segments implies that the post-recession market rebound is still active.
“Going forward, we expect longer-term user adoption and technology trends to drive growth within the WMS market, as the effects from pent-up demand from the preceding global economic recession diminish. Emerging markets, add-on functionality, and numerous end user industries are expected to lead the charge,” according to Clint Reiser, enterprise software analyst, and the principal author of ARC’s “Warehouse Management Systems Worldwide Outlook”.
WMS Add-on Modules Continue Growth
WMS revenues for add-on functionality such as labor management systems and warehouse analytics have been growing at impressive rates. Many WMS suppliers currently offer a wide range of available WMS add-ons and many other suppliers are currently developing add-on functionality to extend their current WMS solution set. The increased number of suppliers offering these add-on solutions will provide new opportunities for cross selling into their respective installed base and at the same time provide customers with the option to purchase add-ons from their incumbent WMS suppliers. ARC is forecasting above average growth rates for the add-ons as more suppliers extend their product lines to include additional add-on options and customers continue to adopt these solutions.
E-Commerce Expansion Drives WMS Requirements
The expansion of e-commerce and multichannel retail are increasing demand for WMS solutions and functionality that supports the piece pick, pack, labeling, and other process changes driven by the high labor requirements of e-commerce fulfillment. This increase in e-commerce has provided additional opportunities for WMS suppliers to assist retailers and direct-to-consumer manufacturers with distribution efficiencies. Multichannel retailers are integrating what used to be separate brick and mortar and e-commerce distribution channels in an attempt to streamline costs and provide a consistent view to the customer. The desire to support multiple, integrated channels is creating demand for additional WMS functionality and enhancements that support the information and business process complexity of multichannel fulfillment.
Emerging Markets Lead Growth
The world’s emerging markets are experiencing economic growth at a faster rate than the developed nations and this trend is reflected in sales of WMS solutions. These regions will continue to experience above average growth rates in WMS sales due to the currently low market penetration and high economic growth rates in these regions. Companies in these regions will continue to adopt WMS to obtain operational efficiencies in an effort to retain and improve existing cost advantages.
For more information on this study, please visit ARC’s Market Research section.