The warehouse is an important operational center for any company. In the warehouse, there must be accurate control of goods movement and robust security systems.

Most companies already have some form of management systems for their warehousing operations. Many companies invested in these systems are they were in their initial stages of growth. However, as the business grew and operations become more complex these systems are no longer sufficient to control aspects such as item stock availability, order line fulfillment, costs management, the efficiency of asset usage, and inventory integrity.

The science behind supply chain management has also grown more complex over the years. As a result, more data points are required for accuracy and completeness when measuring KPIs.

Increasingly, supply chains demand greater attention, grow, and are internationalized so they must rely on other types of systems that adapt to the needs of companies to perform the tasks optimally and be more competitive. These systems are:

• Warehouse Management System (WMS)
• Warehouse Control System (WCS)
• Warehouse Execution System (WES)

These solutions help reduce costs, efficient processes or increase productivity, but before carrying them out it is essential that the purpose of each of these be understood according to the needs of the company and its capabilities.

Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)

This application is used for day-to-day operations in a warehouse. Thanks to this type of software, administrative work in terms of inventory or stock tracking can be reduced, synthesize processes such as speed in deliveries or operations of handling of products and transport.
Inventory is one of the most important features for companies. With technology such as cloud systems, warehouse management vendors can provide customers with solutions that allow them to have their information as updated as possible and to carry out basic operations in the warehouse, properly manage their inventories, as well as act according to the rules. WMS systems improve customer service because you have real-time inventory visibility. In addition, because processes are automated, the margin of error is significantly reduced.

Warehouse Control System (WCS)

WCS solutions manage and control the flow of units of measurement – such as pallets, articles, and packaging – during their journey. They exchange real-time communication, help package sorting, automated selection, support transportation planning, and shipment execution. They are ideal for highly automated installations. Although not all vendors provide the functions needed to manage all processes in a warehouse, so more and more WCS vendors are adding WMS-specific capabilities.

Warehouse Execution System (WES)

This type of system is the newest of the three, so it is considered a more comprehensive solution. It was developed to extend the capabilities of a WCS and also breaks into the field of WMS in terms of meeting customer demands and increasing the efficiency of transportation processes, for example. In fact, for certain retailers, implementing a WES solution may suffice.

Its basic functions are:

  • basic receipt of goods,
  • shipment management,
  • replenishment management,
  • non-automated collection control,
  • inventory management.

There are several factors to consider before choosing a solution or combination of these. Typically, non-automated warehouses will see results with a WMS, while highly automated ones will require a WES or WCS, even coordinated with a WMS. The most appropriate option for the organization is the one that really represents a decrease in operational costs and ensures its stay in the market.

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