Archive | July, 2013

Gartner overview of Warehouse Management Systems

18 Jul

Gartner’s take on WMi, which is the application I spend most of my time on, WMi version 2012:

Manhattan Associates (Warehouse Management for IBM i)

Strengths
  • Manhattan Associates’ Warehouse Management for IBM i is a very mature, stable and proven product, with more than 20 years on the market.
  • Warehouse Management for IBM i is a functionally robust and proven WMS application, with a notable group of long-tenured and quite complex WMS customers.
  • Although the product is mature, the vendor continues to invest dedicated R&D in this version. Manhattan has built integrations to its other SCE offerings, such as labor management, slotting, transportation management and SCP.
  • Customer references note the stability and scalability of the solution.
  • It’s the most robust and well-supported RPG/IBM i WMS available. It’s primarily sold to retail, with a particular strength in apparel.
  • There is a very loyal IBM i community, and Manhattan is one of the few vendors still committed to supporting robust offerings in the space, which helps these users extend their IBM i investments.
Cautions
  • Manhattan Associates’ Warehouse Management for IBM i offering is developed in RPG/IBM i, and RPG expertise is becoming increasingly difficult to secure.
  • For intraproduct integration (for example, WMS to transportation management system [TMS]), the vendor leverages a variety of data communication methods that are chosen based on a specific client’s needs for a given size of data payload or functionality, which is then enabled by Manhattan’s integration layer.
  • Warehouse Management for IBM i lacks the strategic emphasis of Manhattan’s WMOS.
  • The traditional green-screen UI is becoming less acceptable to users who are used to Windows and Web-based Is.
  • This is not the strategic direction for the vendor.

http://www.gartner.com/technology/reprints.do?id=1-FPVZGG&ct=130520&st=sg&utm_campaign=13JUNE_US_Customer_Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua

HS: I would mention that MarkMagic (from Cybra), a separate but included product, is used for generating shipping labels. 

Within WMi,  there are 2 separate products, the Warehouse Management System and the Transportation Execution (TE) system.  I believe Manhattan does offer modular versions of the WMS or the TE product, but it is usually a combined product.  As a result there is complexity in the code between WMS and TE that has thrown me off a few times, in part because there are some functions and data that are duplicated.  The 2 products also have UI differences that can be nettlesome.

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