In this rapidly evolving and competitive market where even minute delays along a supply chain workflow, compounded by warehouse management errors, can snowball into serious financial losses. Further, the blossoming e-commerce market in the Asia Pacific region, which is accelerated by the ongoing global pandemic, is driving growth in Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and cloud adoption.
Gartner defines a warehouse management system (WMS) as "a software application that helps manage the operations of a warehouse or distribution centre."
According to Data Bridge Market Research, the WMS market in Asia Pacific is expected to reach US$2434.16 million by 2029, with a CAGR of 18% during the forecast period of 2022 to 2029. Unlike traditional warehousing operations where data is typically loaded, extracting real-time statistics is no longer just preferred, but a necessity to gain prior insights into potential challenges within warehouse operations.
Unify Analytics from AutoStore is a cloud-based service and data platform for intelligent warehousing. It enables businesses using AutoStore, an automated storage and retrieval system, to leverage data-led insights from their system and easily identify the cause of operational challenges.
“Over the last two years, we have seen how businesses are startled by the sudden explosive demand and orders. Our aim is to assist businesses in ensuring their operations run smoothly without disruptions due to poor inventory management, or the inaccuracy of data storage,” says Clement Yew, director of business development for Southeast Asia at AutoStore.
“Through Unify Analytics with AutoStore, customers can now have real-time visibility and statistics for their warehouse operations to make informed and verifiable decisions. Despite the fluctuations in demand, the insights can prepare customers in adapting to the changing market trends and uncertainties.”Clement Yew
Unify Analytics is available in two versions, a web application where businesses can view real-time statistics and analytics, and an API that enables seamless integration with any external third-party applications.
“Businesses can reap multiple benefits by combining automated storage and retrieval, and data-led insights. This data analysis tool will allow businesses to be more proactive and respond rapidly to real-time challenges,” says Andreas Munch, product manager at AutoStore.
Monitoring with data visualisation tools
Unify Analytics consists of several performance analysis dashboards that provide graphical presentations of operational information. Examples of available data are uptime and number of stops within the system; waiting time per bin; average distance per robot; and the number of tasks a customer has prepared in the system (each hour). It also shows if the software and firmware have been updated.
“Data is only effective if we measure the right metrics. We currently include a selected list of key metrics and will develop and add new features to the software gradually, in close dialogue with our users," says Munch.
In the next stages of the technology, AutoStore developers plan to include an alert functionality. End-users will get a notification via email or SMS when set conditions are triggered, allowing businesses to respond quickly to operational challenges.
A single data platform
The AutoStore System generates vast amounts of information on a continuous basis, making it valuable to have a technology that organises all data onto a single platform, is highly protected, and meets security requirements.
“The new analytics tool secures access to real-time and logged data and is only accessible to designated end-users and distribution partners. We automatically deploy software updates when they are available, without any system downtime,” says Munch.