Innovation on Functionality to Help Optimize our Customers’ Warehouse and Supply Chain Performance is Our Ongoing Directions

Nucleus Research (Nucleus) recently published its inaugural Warehouse Technology Value Matrix 2023 report, which provides an overview of the current market for warehouse management systems (WMS) and assesses 17 software providers in this space. Blue Yonder was named a Leader in this inaugural report and the leader in the Better Functionality  quadrant based on an evaluation of our Blue Yonder Warehouse Management solution. This honor comes after Blue Yonder was named a Leader in the Transportation Technology Value Matrix 2023 earlier this year!

Focus on Our Customers’ Key Challenges

Our customers are facing several key and chronic challenges after the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • Omni-channel fulfillment requirements are exposing short-comings of current systems.
  • Digital transformation initiatives are plagued by over-budget and over-expectation challenges.
  • Labor shortages, automation, and labor retention have become key areas of focus.

The consumer-centric era needs new levels of fulfillment speed, agility, responsiveness, and risk mitigation.  Supporting omni-channel requirements necessitates that warehouse operations to be customer-centric and to handle orders and fulfillments in a much more granular way. Blue Yonder’s WMS, a SaaS solution, empowers businesses to deliver consistently high service at a value-driven cost. Blue Yonder is shown as being able to provide WMS solutions across many industries, including Automotive, Food & Beverage, High Tech, Consumer Goods, Life Sciences, Logistics Service Providers, E-Commerce, and Retail Grocery, Hardlines and Softlines.

The solution is built to recognize and react to critical characteristics across industries, from the ability to process various product attributes, support omni-channel commerce fulfillment, balance shelf life and productivity for perishables for retailers, or navigate complex regulatory requirements for manufacturers. According to Paul Brucker from Nucleus Research, “The WMS platform excels in outbound order orchestration, optimizing batch picking, routing, cartonization, parcel, and load building.”

Blue Yonder’s WMS enables businesses to drive crucial operational improvements with real-time inbound and outbound transaction processing, unified yard management, optimized storage and selection strategies, directed task management, integrated labor standards, and more.

How We Enable Digital Transformation Success

Manufacturers, retailers, and logistics service providers (LSP) are undergoing digital transformation to serve their customers faster and more efficiently while having to set up more supply chain nodes such as micro-fulfillment centers, dark stores, and last-mile operations. Blue Yonder’s WMS’s delivery approach focuses on speed to value and further provides effective ways for customers in a wide variety of industries to deploy best practices specific to their verticals, in a supportable and upgrade-safe solution ensuring longevity to their investment. In addition, our strong analytics capabilities, workflow configuration tools, and planning processes enable our customers to configure for industry-specific use cases. Industry templates are enabling deployments of less than six weeks. Furthermore, our unmatched extensibility enables customers to extend capabilities without needing customizations and expensive resources. Paul Brucker noted our partners in making successful transformation journeys possible, “Blue Yonder partnership community includes organizations such as EY, Accenture, Capgemini, HP, Infosys, Zebra Technologies, Honeywell, Tyron Solution, Locus Robotics, Starware, and EC net.”

Labor shortages are overcome by better labor retention, fine-grained and automated task assignments, and resource orchestration of robotics and labor. Blue Yonder has a track record of delivering WMS for some of the largest warehouse operations globally. Blue Yonder has a long history of supporting a large and diversified customer base for their mission critical needs and are now helping customers in their digital transformation journey to speed up processes and satisfy e-commerce-caliber service level requirements. With labor management capabilities, WMS empowers companies to deliver consistently high service at the lowest warehouse and labor costs. Companies can drive changes with integrated labor management on a modern and seamless UI.

In Charles A. Brennan’s analysis of Blue Yonder’s capabilities, he also highlighted our innovations in automation, “At Blue Yonder ICON 2023 in Las Vegas, the software vendor launched its Warehouse Execution System (WES) microservices. Blue Yonder now provides plug-and-play automation APIs, purpose-built to work with specific workflows and validated vendor by vendor, to ensure contract-driven interoperability with a growing number of automation vendors.  This allows customers to test, trial, and change automation at a more suitable pace for their operations without the risk of long integration exercises that make automation vendors very sticky.”

With warehouse execution capabilities, companies can also unlock warehouse efficiency via an autonomous work orchestration service that seamlessly prioritizes between human and machine resources based on downstream commitments and constraints. It aligns resources at a task level towards the KPIs and simulates impacts in order to get to the best results. Warehouse operations will not only be performing singular orchestration but holistic orchestration of resources (both human and machines).

Key Areas of Innovations

What’s the key takeaway from the Nucleus Research Warehouse Technology Value Matrix 2023? For Blue Yonder, one of the important company directions is the continued technology innovation. The leaders in the matrix are those software solutions providers who monitor market needs and respond with value-added functionality and usability.

Our customers are looking to improve service levels, time-to-value, and cost-to-serve, as they are modifying their supply chain footprints and operations to fit the changing market. In response, Blue Yonder is bringing innovative capabilities to support their transformation journey, including cloud-native microservices on an end-to-end supply chain platform to improve our customers’ ease of use, operational resilience, and access to data, insights, and connectivity.  All of this is to streamline our customer’s understanding of their supply chain and improve their organization’s agility and business velocity:

  • Yard Management which is a modern, innovative approach to solving the point of value leakage situation in a warehouse yard resulting from the current market. Companies are finding gaps in their transportation to warehousing handoff. Blue Yonder customers can solve that handoff with set-and-forget camera-driven Panasonic technology and Blue Yonder AI-enabled software joined into a single Yard Management offering. Blue Yonder has the only future-proof Yard Management System of the major players that interprets the physical world directly not relying on third-party signals or imprecise technology.
  • Allocation Service which is a cloud-native engine to elastically allocate with volumes, ensuring operational resilience in times of peak volume. This service can scale within seconds to 300%+ volume with no noticeable impact to the warehouse. This scalability protects our customers and their businesses against volatility.
  • Label Service & Reports Service which automatically produces labels for the warehouse (such as a pick label, or shipping label) and the second automatically produces operational reports (packing lists, Bill of Ladings, Import/Export documentation). Third-party label software has grown more expensive and in small and medium-sized business (SMB) and cost-sensitive markets it can be prohibitively expensive to both purchase and deploy. Each service replaces a third-party tool and allows our customers to ensure compliance and accuracy automatically, not requiring operational overhead or reliance on manual SOPs. Additionally, it simplifies the deployments and run-operate of Blue Yonder’s solution because the WMS comes with both the labels service and reports service connected and interoperable right out of the box.
  • Data Access Service (DAS) which isan enterprise-wide data lake that replicates customer data from every one of their warehouses to the data lake in near real time. This gives customers unprecedented access to the rich transactional data available in WMS. This is useful for many reasons, including normal BI purposes, warehouse dashboards, executive dashboards, etc. This data includes configuration data and pre-built KPIs, so that customers can watch the drift of their configuration over time and clearly calculate with historical accuracy, what changes were good and what changes were bad.
  • Over 3,200 APIs in the last 12 months for improving integration APIs and for providing fine-grained business logic and extensibility hook points, thus a highly differentiated approach. This extensibility strategy is the only one on the market that provides 25+ years of feature function AND an update-safe, cloud-native-friendly extensibility model.

Innovation Separates the Leaders from the Followers

Thanks to this report, a number of our key recent developments were highlighted. We will continue to provide exciting updates to Nucleus Research and its clients.

We are engaging with our customers that would like to innovate their warehouse, transportation, and broader supply chain operations, in order to maintain leadership in increasingly challenging and competitive conditions. As an acknowledged leader in these solution areas, we are focusing on enabling our customers’ success through breakthrough innovations and comprehensive implementation support.

To learn why our customers’ digital journey greatly benefits from our WMS, visit Blue Yonder’s Warehouse Management solution page and review our Warehouse of the Future video and First-to-Last Mile Optimization e-book.