The worldwide market for warehouse management systems (WMS) software hit $1.3 billion in 2011, a 10-percent increase from 2010 levels, according to a report by the consulting firm ARC Advisory Group.
WMS applications oversee and manage inventory, equipment, and workers in a distribution center.
The author of the study, Clint Reiser, a research analyst at ARC, said the market growth resulted in part from increased sales in both Latin America and Asia. Sales of add-on WMS modules such as analytics, labor management, and optimization also contributed to growth in the warehouse segment of supply chain execution software, he said.
Reiser noted that in 2011 a large number of WMS sales occurred in the field of discrete manufacturing. He expects robust activity in 2013 from food and beverage companies as they look to improve their track-and-trace efforts in order to comply with food safety regulations.
Retailers are also expected to purchase WMS solutions that fully support piece pick, packing, and labeling to manage the high labor requirements associated with e-commerce fulfillment.