Five WMS for wholesalers to put on their vendor shortlist

Wholesalers have a tough business, and the rise of drop shippers and e-commerce platforms are disrupting the industry without giving much security or reliable new options. In terms of warehouse management systems, those targeting only wholesalers appear to be struggling when it comes to long-term viability.

To help wholesalers look at solutions that should be enduring partners, we’ve put together a list of five suppliers who should be on your shortlist and can give you an idea of what to look for, what to avoid, and what to prioritize when it comes to making your WMS decision.

Iptor: tackling the hard 10%

Iptor, formerly IBS, offers a WMS that’s currently in more than 40 countries and puts an emphasis on real-time data on shipping, receiving, put-away, and picking. The company’s platform supports a wide range of industries, though wholesalers tend to have a significant amount of focus in its development.

The company made our list because its platform combines warehousing and distribution management with a specific commitment to solving customer issues. The philosophy of the company is that your system should be able to tackle the 10% of orders or activities that are outside the norm and need a stronger WMS.

Customers seem to like the philosophy because they’ve seen it in the company’s actions and support.

JDA: total supply chain control

JDA is one of the larger supply chain players that offers tools tailored to a wholesaler. Its WMS is used by some of the largest companies around as well as many growing wholesalers who are creating a hybrid retail and e-commerce approach to today’s markets.

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The JDA Warehouse Management offers real-time visibility across multiple suppliers, warehouses, and channels in a single, easy-to-use package and interface. It’s also smart enough to detect and alert you to disruptions in real time, so you can manage operations and respond efficiently.

Another benefit for JDA is that it offers multiple wholesale distribution and business management tools, allowing you to ensure your operations run smoothly and systems talk to each other.

PathGuide: simple and personal

PathGuide Technologies’ Latitude WMS supports warehouse management and distribution for wholesalers as well as other retailers, integrating with most ERPs and many customer systems.

Latitude is a smart consideration because it is price-competitive for its offering and tends to take a very hands-on approach to solving wholesale problems. The training is intensive and robust, but most customers are very happy with its results.

The platform is easy to adapt to warehouses of 30,000 feet to 300,000 feet, and company engineers are available to tailor functionality to your specific needs. For its customers who were previously running their own platforms, they note the accuracy and simplicity of Latitude as big positives.

BCP: talking to your warehouse

BCP is a big believer in voice-based technologies and offers a WMS that uses speech recognition and speech synthesis to allow workers to communicate verbally with the platform. You’ll outfit your workers with a portable PC and rig so that they can receive and deliver voice instructions and commands, generating a stream of real-time data.

The platform is a strong efficiency play and works to reduce distractions as your pickers move about your warehouse. BCP says that most systems achieve a positive ROI within a year, though many achieve it in six months.

It’s a flexible and interesting platform that could be especially effective for large warehouses and those looking to optimize pick and other operational efficiencies as their core objectives.

Manhattan: learning from retail

Manhattan’s Distribution Management WMS is a next-gen fulfillment platform that aims to automate all your operations and practices with broad supply chain support. It’s one of the more robust and intense items on our list, but it is successful. Some 16 of the top 20 apparel retailers in the U.S. rely on Manhattan’s logistics and supply chain platforms.

If you have multiple connections and partners, such as 3PLs or hubs, it comes with support and visibility tools available right away. You can also extend your supply chain data and reporting tools to suppliers and partners to track costs and goods.

For larger wholesalers, it also offers a suite of workforce planning and performance tools that can help automate, schedule, and reassign assets to maximize your revenues.

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Geoff Whiting

About the author…

Geoff is an experienced journalist, writer, and business development consultant with a focus on enterprise technology, e-commerce, and supply chain development. Outside of the office he can be found toying with the latest in IoT, searching for classic radio broadcast recordings, and playing the perpetual tourist in his home of Washington D.C.

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Geoff Whiting

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