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All you need to know about Warehouse Control Systems.

As the warehouse contains hundreds, if not thousands, of moving parts – which without following the proper flow can fall into a disorganized mess. A warehouse conventionally is operated with manual operations like forklifts, conveyors, carts, etc. However, with the era of automation, and the emergence of time-critical orders – manual operations have become a cause for lower profits. Companies like Amazon have turned their attention to the rising need for Automatic Guide Vehicles (AGV), Automated Storage and Retrieval system (AS/RS) etc. to ease the dependency on Manual Operations. The automation process has led not only to the automation of manual tasks but also has led to the rise of Warehouse Control Systems.

What is Warehouse Control Systems?

The Warehouse Control Systems (WCS) choreographs the activity flow within the warehouse or distribution center. The application is used in the management and direction of the material handling automation systems within the warehouse or distribution center. It is responsible for establishing an efficient product flow across different material handling equipment and sub-systems such as conveyors, carousels, sorters, pick-to-light modules, etc.

Why choose to use a Warehouse Control System (WCS)?

Warehouse Control System (WCS) is an application designed to systemize day-to-day operations within a warehouse or distribution center. The WCS keeps everything running smoothly, maximizing the efficiency of the material handling subsystems and often, the activities of the warehouse associates themselves.

How does the WCS works?

  • The software proves a single central interface to a host system by working with material handling equipment from a variety of vendors, providing flexibility in purchasing decisions.
  • Reacts to feedback from the fulfillment automation and material handling equipment used and quickly adjusts and balances workflows.
  • Offers a continuous flow, with visibility of both incoming orders and orders already in process, releases orders in quantities to match the system’s current ability to process them.
  • It coordinates multiple types of material handling equipment within one system for synchronized, high output processing.
  • Real-time monitoring, controlling, and diagnostics of automated systems based on data collected from system-level controllers and sensors.

What are the Advantages?

  • Helps with smooth end-to-end workflow between the warehouse workers and equipment.
  • Optimization of product routes and improved resource assignment
  • Enhanced visibility of day-to-day tasks.
  • Increased efficiency of material handling sub-systems.
  • Optimized storage.

How does a Warehouse Control System compare to a Warehouse Management System?

The Warehouse Management System (WMS) specializes in overseeing the flow of the inventory within the company’s distribution centers(s), assignment of labor tasks, and tracking orders from receipt to shipping, also the reporting capabilities. However, the WMS does not manage the equipment and machines like sorters, conveyors, AS/RS, etc.

WMS knows the inventory flow of the company, but it needs a WCS to provide information on where items, cartons, and pallets are as they move among automated systems within the four walls of a distribution center or warehouse.

For those who operate a highly automated facility, WCS is very important to ensure the site runs smoothly and orders are tracked as they move through the facility on automation systems.

A trusted systems integrator can help you understand your options and guide you to the solution that makes the most sense to your business. Contact us today to speak to our WCS experts.

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