A warehouse control systems (WCS) is a software based application that is used to control the real- time activities that take place in the warehouse. Often this will be a piece of software that integrates with hand held devices carried by operatives but it should also be able to integrate with other automated solutions to synchronize all activities that are undertaken.
The systems have evolved out of the industries needs for easy to implement systems that can streamline current processes and work in harmony with other technological solutions. The speed at which it can process and action ever changing demands, whilst providing live data, make it an extremely efficient solution to a whole host of different situations.
How it works
Acting as a single central interface the WCS will provide coordination amongst all operatives and equipment; for each of these tasks the WCS will determine the most effective product flow required to achieve the desired results when given a specific criterion to adhere to.
To offer a continuous flow the WCS will have transparency of all upcoming orders and will delegate the tasks in accordance with the facilities current capabilities. Live updates of both incoming and outgoing stock are constantly being fed through the system in order to have the necessary data required to make these decisions. At any one point real-time data can be viewed to see exact progress of individual orders or larger processes as a whole.
The warehouse control system acts as the nerve centre for any distribution centre, providing communication between the warehouse management system and all automated equipment, staff and processes needed to form an efficient distribution system.
Given the transparency of the system managers and supervisors have the ability to get an immediate overview of the current status of all warehouse operations. Individual reports can be created to highlight any particular areas of interest and results can be shared amongst the team in order to improve any existing shortfalls.
By determining the best use of resources and available space a WCS can dramatically reduce operating expenses across the business. Item locations are optimized to streamline picking and storing, expiring items are picked first and popular Items are placed in a central location all adding up to considerable savings over the course of a year.
As the real-time data is immediately available staff are able to respond to customer queries promptly and accurately. Both supply and demand chains are optimised to reduce waiting at either end meaning that your customers will instantly see reduced lead times and an elimination of order inaccuracies.
With most WCS’s requiring individual logins for each user every manual update can be logged to provide an audit trail linking specific users to specific transactions should it ever be required. This not only promotes accountability but also gives a sense of ownership and security to each employee.
The companies that create the WCS are constantly improving and introducing new features for their product. This makes it easier for businesses to stay on top of the latest industry best practices and developments and allows them to continue to improve their own processes based on these innovations.
Warehouse Control Systems are designed to accurately monitor and achieve Just-in-Time delivery targets; customer service, reduced operating expenses and accurate product tracking are all achieved as a direct result of this. Less of each item held in storage can mean that the product range can be expanded with no detrimental effect to either lead or delivery times.
All warehoused based operations are challenged with meeting time, budget and accuracy goals, once implemented a warehouse control system will provide the ideal solution to all of these.