The Business Case for Cloud-Based Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)

This article is about cloud-based warehouse management systems. It starts with an overview of warehouse management, moving to what is WMS software is, and then on to the development, features, and supply chain benefits of cloud-based WMSs. 

ipad showing warehouse management system

Have you ever noticed that much of the day-to-day struggle in logistics is just trying to stay on top of what’s happening? Did you know it doesn’t have to be that way? You can shift from spending your management time and energy trying to “stay on top” of daily operations to staying ahead. How? The Cloud!

Accenture reports that “21% of supply chain executives have deployed cloud-enabled capabilities across their entire supply chain.” On average, they’ve attributed their cloud use to a “26% increase in demand forecast accuracy, 16% reduction in supply chain operating costs, and a 5% increase in revenue growth and profitability.” 

You see, the cloud-based shift in work for the supply chain workers optimizes your operations and keeps you on top of the day-to-day. With that off your mind, you’re more focused on maintaining the flow of information and processes - which leads to positive net gains and advantages for the business.

How does this kind of warehouse transformation happen with cloud technologies? And how can you get there?  

A brief history of warehouse management

Groundbreaking shifts in transportation, storage, and distribution logistics have pushed and evolved how warehouses are managed. From the era of horse-drawn wagons to cloud-based systems, the warehouse management system (WMS) in the cloud has emerged as the leading solution.

Over the centuries, most changes were incremental. But there are key shifts we can point out that demonstrate how transformations in the way goods are transported, stored, and distributed dramatically reshaped the warehouse (or warehouse system).

In the days of horse-drawn wagons, warehouse management was a straightforward affair—store goods until they were ready to be transported to local markets. Of course, perishable goods were hyper-local, staying in town or where they were produced unless preparation and curing methods allowed more time for distribution.

As maritime trade expanded, the role of warehouses evolved significantly. They were no longer local storage units. they became critical nodes in an expanding global supply chain. 

These warehouses served as the first point of contact for goods arriving from distant lands, acting as storage and sorting facilities. Likewise, they often represented the backbone of trade routes, strategically located near ports and, eventually, railways.

During the Industrial Revolution, the introduction of machinery and more efficient production methods increased the volume of goods being stored and transported. Warehouses had to adapt to accommodate these larger quantities, leading to the development of more organized storage systems and inventory management techniques.

The advent of airplanes and modern truck/trailer carriers further revolutionized warehouse management. Warehouses became dynamic hubs that had to optimize for speed, efficiency, and turnover. The development of computer technology and software-based systems introduced data-driven decision-making, automating once labor-intensive tasks.

Today, the scene is shifting again, thanks partly to technological advancements. The "cloud,” once a term for off-device data storage, has become an integral part of managing the complexities of transportation, storage, and distribution of goods and shipments in logistics. 

The cloud's real-time capabilities and scalability set new standards, making it easier to adapt to market demands and operational challenges.

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What’s a cloud-based warehouse management system?

A Warehouse Management System (WMS) serves as a software-based tactical command center. It automates and streamlines many warehouse operations, from inventory tracking to order fulfillment and labor management, serving as the warehouse's on-site single source of truth.

As software as a service (SaaS) products have emerged, new cloud-based counterparts to older supply chain software are becoming dominant. These versions of the WMS operate in the digital cloud rather than within localized, on-site servers. But this seemingly subtle shift brings many competitive advantages to the table over our earlier WMS solutions.

First, cloud-based WMS systems offer unparalleled scalability. As your operations expand, the system effortlessly scales with you, requiring nothing more than a tweak in your subscription plan.

Second, the cloud ensures real-time data accessibility from virtually anywhere. Whether in a boardroom or at a remote site, an internet connection is all you need to tap into your warehouse's pulse.

Lastly, the financial benefits are compelling. Cloud-based WMS eliminates the need for significant upfront hardware investments and slashes ongoing maintenance costs, making it a cost-effective choice for businesses of varying sizes.

While a traditional WMS had its place, cloud-based systems are steadily replacing them.

Benefits of a cloud-based WMS

As cloud-based technologies continue to revolutionize industries, they bring with them a suite of capabilities that are transforming warehouse management systems. Advances in data analytics, machine learning, and internet-of-things (IoT) technologies have paved the way for real-time data and insights. 

SaaS models provide scalable solutions with reduced overhead costs inversely scaling to capacity increases. Enhanced security protocols and online updates ensure your WMS is always at the forefront of technological innovation. Let's explore these advantages in greater detail.

Real-Time inventory management

Real-time inventory management is a standout feature enabled by the cloud's data analytic capabilities. Immediate visibility into stock levels and order statuses allows for quick, informed decision-making, reducing over or understocking risks and improving customer satisfaction.


The inherent growth capability in cloud-based SaaS systems is peerless. The cloud-based WMS can effortlessly adapt to changing needs as a business grows.

Often, scaling up is as simple as upgrading a subscription to a different price plan - delivering new features, increased storage, and even integrations with other cloud systems.


The cloud's SaaS model also brings financial benefits. Just consider the time saved that leads to reductions in personnel expenses. Or think about the simplified and streamlined scalability that significantly reduces capital investment - especially when growth is exponential. 

Enhanced collaboration and data sharing

Cloud-based systems facilitate better collaboration among team members and even between different departments or locations. With data accessible from anywhere, teams can work more cohesively, and decision-making becomes a more streamlined process.

Business Continuity

Cloud-based information architectures mitigate disaster recovery options, ensuring business continuity even in unexpected events like hardware failures or natural disasters. These systems are built to update and minimize time-to-fix any problems due to the command-center style control the SaaS company has over the software and servers. 

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6 Key features & business impacts for supply chain logistics

A cloud-based WMS is a range of features that streamline operations and profoundly impact the supply chain. Let's examine these key features and their specific impacts.

1. Real-time inventory tracking

Real-time inventory tracking allows for immediate adjustments to stock levels, reducing the risk of overstocking or stockouts. For example, if a sudden spike in demand for a particular product occurs, the system can automatically prioritize its restocking, ensuring that the product is always available for customer orders.

2. Automated order picking

Automated order picking significantly reduces the time and labor involved in fulfilling orders. This feature can automatically generate the most efficient picking routes in the warehouse, minimizing travel time for warehouse workers and accelerating the entire order fulfillment process.

3. Centralized data management

Centralized data management consolidates all warehouse data into a single platform, making generating comprehensive reports and analytics easier. This impacts activities like demand forecasting, where accurate data can lead to more effective inventory planning, reducing carrying costs.

4. Multi-location support

For businesses operating multiple warehouses, cloud-based WMSs offer multi-location support. This feature allows for seamless inventory transfers between locations, optimizing stock levels across the entire supply chain. For instance, if one warehouse runs low on a high-demand item, you can quickly transfer stock from another location to meet demand.

5. Advanced security protocols

Cloud-based WMSs often come with advanced security features that protect sensitive data and ensure compliance with industry regulations. This is crucial for handling sensitive information, such as customer data or proprietary product details.

6. Seamless integration capabilities

The ability to integrate with other systems, like Transportation Management Systems (TMS) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, creates a more cohesive and efficient supply chain. For example, integration with a TMS could allow for real-time tracking of inbound shipments, enabling better planning and utilization of warehouse resources.

GoRamp: a cloud-based solution with global reach

When it comes to cloud-based warehouse management systems, GoRamp stands out for its innovation and proven track record: GoRamp. With 23 years of experience and operations in over 20 countries, GoRamp has established itself as a supply chain logistics SaaS leader. 

What sets GoRamp apart is its focus on customer needs. It's known for its adaptability, partially demonstrated through its platforms' modular design. That, coupled with GoRamp’s commitment to providing tailored solutions for unique business requirements, makes it a cloud-based option for any supply chain sector. 

With a client base of leading global companies, GoRamp has demonstrated its ability to scale and adapt. As businesses look to optimize their supply chain logistics, they’ve consistently found GoRamp to be the right choice.

When choosing a cloud-based WMS, GoRamp stands out as the go-to solution, blending innovation, experience, and customer focus that is hard to beat. Book a demo today and discover what GoRamp can do for you. 

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