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Logistics technology: ARC says 2009 was a tough year for WMS sector

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According to Steve Banker, Service Director for Supply Chain Management at the ARC Advisory Group, and the principal author of ARC’s “Warehouse Management Systems Worldwide Outlook Study”, “The market has lost five years of market growth.  The global 2005 WMS market was bigger than the market in 2009.”

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
July 06, 2010

The damage the global recession inflicted in the Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) marketplace in 2009 was severe to say the least, according to an analysis from ARC Advisory Group.


ARC said that the initial signs of the recession for the WMS market were evident in 2007 and 2008 saw market revenues decline slightly year-over-year. But with implementations taking several months sometimes, ARC explained that backlog projects protected suppliers’ 2008 revenues until the backlog dried up in 2009, which made for a trying year in the WMS sector.

What’s more, these factors lessened the prospects of any meaningful WMS industry consolidation, which many analysts thought was likely in the past.

ARC Service Director for Supply Chain Management Steve Banker told LM that the with consolidation not occurring maintenance revenue streams protected companies during that time and companies also took steps to downsize and cut salaries to stay solvent.

While WMS had a tough time in 2009, the SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) segment, which is comprised of services packaged as part of a leasing model and are hosted online, continued to grow at a double-digit pace from a small base, according to ARC and Banker.

Banker said this is mainly happening with “small companies that never would have bought WMS in the past because it was too expensive.”

As for the future, ARC said that uncertainty is the prevailing theme. To regain the traction that was lost in the WMS Market in 2009, Banker said avoiding a double-dip recession is the key.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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