March 2011 – Warehouse Management vs Warehouse Control System Webinar Recap
Questions & Answers
1. What is the largest cost savings from implementing a WCS?
- Increase in accuracies from real-time control of Warehouse Automation and Material Handling Equipment
- Configurable workflow - due to the modular nature of the software, it costs much less to add, modify or configure workflow to accommodate growth, business process changes, automation etc.
- Reduction in labor
- Reduction in utilities
2. What are the advantages of integrating Receiving, Put-Away, and Order Picking in a WCS?
- Flexibility – configurable workflow according to individual business rules as opposed to changing your own processes or internal systems to accommodate a standard software package
- Real-time visibility
- Real-time integration of Receiving, Put-Away, and Order Picking with Warehouse Automation and Material Handling Equipment, not controlled by your WMS, such as Weight Verification, QC and Order Auditing, Print & Apply, Manifesting, Conveyor systems etc
3. What are the key performance indicators and how can a WCS provide that?
The two most important indicators are 1) Throughput; 2) Error Rate
Since a WCS provides real-time control of merchandise throughout the warehouse, integrating real-time with warehouse automation such a Pick to Light, Voice Picking, Sortation Systems, Print & Apply, QC and Order Auditing, Weight verifications, Manifesting etc., all associated data and statistics is available in the form of reports.
4. How can a WCS help increase accuracy?
A WCS provides “check points” for active monitoring and tracking of merchandise throughout the DC which ensures everything is going to the correct destination, from receiving to storage to forward pick to shipping and out the door.
5. What WMS has AL Systems integrated with?
We have done several integrations, from Tier 1 WMS’ and ERP systems to smaller systems and even home grown solutions where there isn’t a traditional WMS and the WCS has to provide WMS like functionality. Additionally, we have prebuilt interfaces with most Tier 1 WMS companies.
“We see the Warehouse Control System as the backbone of our operations.”
— VP of Distribution and Fulfillment, Simon & Schuster