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Supply Chain News: Understanding the Gartner WMS Critical Capabilities Report



WMS Vendors Ranked across Nine Functional Attributes and Stratified by Gartner Warehouse Complexity Framework

Sept.14, 2022


SCDigest Editorial Staff

Many if not most of readers are familiar with Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant,” where technology vendors and service providers of all sorts are ranked on two dimensions: Completeness of Vision, and Ability to Execute.

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WMS vendors are ranked numerically by their score for each attribute and the weighting of the attributes for each level of warehouse complexity.

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That includes Magic Quadrants for both Warehouse Management and Transportation Management Systems, Supply Chain Planning, Global 3PLs, among many others, in and outside of the supply chain.

Software functionality or service capabilities are just one input into the Magic Quadrant scoring on those two dimensions.

Repeated each year, at least for WMS, the Magic Quadrant for Warehouse Management is usually released in May, right before Gartner’s annual supply chain conference.

But many logistics and supply chain managers do not know that for some technology categories, including WMS, there is a companion piece called the Critical Capabilities report. That analysis for WMS is usually released in late August, as was case for the 2022 report again this year, with the report written by Gartner WMS analysts Dwight Klappich, Simon Tunstall, and Rishabh Narang.

Different from the WMS Magic Quadrant analysis, the Critical Capabilities report focuses solely on functionality, across nine different attributes. Those attributes include core and extended WMS capabilities, adaptability, usability, the ability to support automated material handling systems, and several others.

There’s more. The scores for the nine WMS attributes are weighted differently depending on the level of warehouse complexity, using Gartner’s 5-level model in which level 1 is the least complex, and level 5 is the most complex warehouse operation.

(See More Below)





The end result: WMS vendors are ranked numerically by their score for each attribute and the weighting of the attributes for each level of warehouse complexity. In other words, a given WMS vendor could rate very highly for a relatively simple level 2 warehouse operation, but much lower for a highly complex, automated level 5 facility.


As with the Magic Quadrant, Gartner clients can access the WMS Critical Capabilities report as part of their subscription agreement. The good news for non-Gartner clients: vendors scoring well in the Critical Capabilities report often secure reprint rights that allow them to make the report available with registration.

The Gartner WMS Critical Capabilities Report – an excellence resource for those interested in Warehouse Management.

Do you have any thoughts on the WMS Critical Capabilities report? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback button below (email) or in the Feedback section.




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