Warehouse Management System Selection

ARC has been covering Logistics and Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) for over two decades. Based on our acquired knowledge, ARC analysts have developed a comprehensive set of criteria to help you select the best WMS solution available on the market.  This Selection Guide will allow companies going through a warehouse management system supplier selection process to make quicker and better decisions.


​ARC Return on Investment (ROI) research has demonstrated that warehouse management system (WMS) solutions often provide the single best solution for reducing the costs associated with distribution while simultaneously improving service.  In fact, a WMS can serve as a platform for further savings that would be difficult to achieve without having this solution in place.

Warehouse Management SystemsPart of the success of a WMS in driving cost savings and service improvements is based upon the maturity of this technology.  In theory, this maturity should make supplier selection easier.  In practice, WMS solutions exist on a complexity continuum spanning low cost solutions with limits on the depth of functionality provided, to highly functional, much higher cost solutions.  Further, different suppliers have developed special domain expertise in specific industries.  The potential business benefits and associated payback periods reflect these facts. 

Warehouse Management System (WMS) Selection Strategic Issues

The following are a few of the strategic issues specifically covered in the Warehouse Management System Selection Guide:

Support Your Requirements

An obvious but often obscured objective‒it is important for groups responsible for WMS purchasing to properly define their organization’s requirements, prioritize, and pay for what their organization requires most.  Many organizations that purchase a WMS from their current ERP supplier place a premium on low total cost of ownership.  In contrast, many organizations with complex warehouses place a premium on depth and breadth of functionality.  This guide will describe additional practices.

Think Holistically

WMS suppliers have been competing based on a platform strategy for a number of years.  This has allowed many customers to obtain value from synergies across applications.  These organizations are deriving value from integrated workflows, cross-solution visibility, lower maintenance and upgrade costs, and improved business analytics.  A cross-functional evaluation of system requirements can provide organizations with a holistic view of needs and enable them to prioritize and conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis.  Consider needs across business functions, over time, and even across partner relationships.  Evaluate WMS from within its operating context.

Additional WMS Strategic Acquisition Requirements

This selection guide explores user objectives, business justification, application scope, selection criteria, and helps answer key selection questions. We understand the challenge companies have in selecting and implementing a solution.  These include:

  • Functionality that supports all Warehouse Management System Selection process
  • Warehouse optimization
  • Understanding total cost of ownership
  • Integration with business and material handling systems
  • Native support for multiple forms of Automatic Identification
  • Leveraging new technologies like Cloud, Social Media, and 3D Visualization
  • Architectures based on object models
  • Designs that maximize usability
  • Reporting, event management, and analytic capabilities
  • Implementation support and training
  • Supplier long term viability
  • Identify long term visions
  • Separate leaders from followers

This ARC Selection Guide will help you select the best available warehouse management system to meet your needs now and in the future.

Warehouse Management System Selection Table of Contents

Executive Summary


Technology Evaluation & Selection Criteria

  • Business Goals
  • Product or Solution Functions & Features
    • Architecture
    • Functionality
    • Customer Support
    • Leadership
    • Organization
  • Service Requirements
    • Project
    • Lifecycle

Leading Supplier Analysis

  • Market Shares of the Leading Suppliers
  • Market Shares by Region
  • Market Shares by Application
  • Market Shares by Industry

Leading Supplier Profiles

For More Information

For more information on this technology guide or to discuss how we can help you, please contact us.

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