A Guide to SaaS: How Does it Compare to On Premise Software?
As Software as a Service (SaaS) applications are quickly becoming the norm in many industries, the warehouse management systems industry is no exception. In this Guide, SaaS warehouse management system provider Snapfulfil explains what a SaaS system is, what the traditional on premise system is and the difference between web-enabled and web-based
Software as a Service Is the new kid on the warehouse block
The Software as a Service (SaaS) model of deploying software is fast becoming established in the warehouse management systems world. Warehouse Managers / Operations Managers are adopting this internet orientated model to offset the burden of server maintenance and data backup, whilst improving access to their system and providing employees with an intuitive user interface.
To assess the SaaS model, it is important to first understand what it is and how it differs from conventional software models. Most warehouse managers and operations managers are familiar with SaaS or “web-based” software, but few really grasp the differences between traditional client/server, web-enabled, web-based and SaaS systems.
What Is a SaaS System?
SaaS refers to a type of software deployment in which all of the system’s software and data is hosted and managed at a central point / data center operated by the software provider.
Warehouse managers simply use the warehouse management system through their web browsers and via a broadband Internet connection.
The software provider will manage data backups and updates. The warehouse will normally pay a monthly subscription fee to use the service, rather than purchase the software up front.
Providers of SaaS warehouse management system products include Deposco ShipForce, Snapfulfil SaaS WMS, Sterling Commerce Selling and Fulfilment Suite and Red Prairie On-Demand Warehouse Management
What is On Premise or Client / Server Software?
The alternative to SaaS is the traditional standard of client /server, what is often referred to as on-premise software.
With this model, software is installed on the server and on each personal computer in the office.
The server hardware is located in the warehouse and is accessed on the PCs used by managers, warehouse operatives and admin staff. The warehouse staff are also responsible for data backup and security.
Normally the software is purchased upfront and there is an annual support fee to cover upgrades and customer support services. Leading warehouse management system products like Infor, Epicor, and Microsoft Dynamics NAV offer client /server, on-premise systems.
What Do “Web-Based” and “Web-Enabled” Mean?
While SaaS and web-based have become synonymous in recent times, there are subtle differences.
Some systems are web-based in that users access the system through a web browser but the server that hosts the system is maintained on-site by the warehouse (i.e. “on-premise”).
In this instance, “web-based” refers to the system’s design, rather than the deployment model.
“Web-enabled” refers to a hybrid model in which a traditional client /server system is supported with an additional feature that allows users to connect to the system over the internet utilising a special browser-based user interface.
This web-enabled option might be used in order for the warehouse manager to access the system from home or the office. Some warehouses choose to use the web-enabled model to offload server maintenance to a third party hosting company. Many client / server systems provide a web-enabled option.
Lion Electric to Construct US EV Manufacturing Facility
Who is Lion Electric?
Founded in 2008, is an innovative manufacturer of all-electric, zero-emissions, medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles. Lion Electric designs, manufactures, and assembles all components for its vehicles that have unique features specifically adapted to the users and their needs. “We believe that transitioning to all-electric vehicles will lead to major improvements in our society, environment and overall quality of life,” believes Lion Electric.
Lion Electric’s new Illinois Manufacturing Facility
Just two months after announcing plans to construct a battery manufacturing plant and innovation centre in Quebec, Lion Electric is expanding its locations further, selecting Joliet, Illinois for its new manufacturing facility in the US.
The new facility is said to “represent the largest dedicated production site for zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles in the US,” as well as being the company’s biggest footprint in the market. The new facility will give Lion Electric the capacity to meet increasing demand for ‘Made in America’ zero-emission vehicles and bring production closer to customers.
It is expected that the first vehicles off the production line will be in the second half of 2022.
“Lion’s historic investment to bring its largest production facility to Illinois represents not only a win for our communities, but a strong step forward in our work to expand clean energy alternatives and the jobs they bring to our communities,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
“The new Joliet facility will put Illinois at the forefront of a national movement to transition to zero-emission vehicle use, advancing our own goals of putting one million of these cars on the road by 2030. In Illinois, we know that a clean energy economy is about more than just vehicles – it’s about healthier communities and jobs for those who live there. We are excited to welcome Lion to the Land of Lincoln and look forward to their future success here.”
Lion Electric’s Agreement with the Government of Illinois
Over the next three years, Lion Electric will invest a minimum of US$70mn into Illinois. The new facility - totalling 900,000 square feet - is expected to create a minimum of 745 clean energy direct jobs in the next three years, and have an annual production capacity of up to 20,000 all electric buses and trucks.
Scaling electric bus production and decarbonising freight and transportation
As the US moves to electrifying its school buses, the additional production capacity at the facility will help Lion Electric to scale its electric bus production, as well as produce an increased volume of heavy-duty zero-emission trucks to help governments and operators in the US further the decarbonisation of freight and transportation fleets.
“Lion is the leader in electric school buses and has always been dedicated to the U.S. market, and our commitment to be close to our customers is one of the core values we have as a company. This significant expansion into the U.S. market will not only allow us to drastically increase our overall manufacturing capacity of electric trucks and buses but to also better serve our customers, while adding critical clean manufacturing jobs that will form the backbone of the green economy,” said Marc Bedard, CEO and Founder of Lion.
“I also want to acknowledge the crucial role that P33 and Intersect Illinois, civic groups committed to developing developing a long-term roadmap for the local tech industry, played in connecting Lion with the Chicago area’s business and civic community to help further commercial traction, as well as engagement with key workforce and supplier partners.”