Warehouse logistics concerns the flow of operations within the warehouse environment, and there are often sophisticated software tools in place to help with this such as warehouse management systems (WMS) and warehouse control systems (WCS).
Controlling Operations with a Warehouse Management System
As part of an overall warehouse logistics operation, the warehouse management system is a piece of software that carries out many vital tasks, including:
• Deciding the actions involved in transporting materials and storing them in the right places
• Processing transactions in areas such as shipping and receiving
• Directing and optimising storage of stock based on information gathered in real-time
• Monitoring product movement and the levels of progress here, taking into account tracking system data and product station communications
Technology such as barcode scanners, WLAN, data capture and portable devices all often play a part in providing a WMS with the data needed to control warehouse operations effectively. A database is used to store this collected information for later use when a report is required on product statuses, offering a convenient, centralised source for managing a variety of tasks.
Policing Operations with a Warehouse Control System
Working together with the WMS is the warehouse control system (WCS), which is another software application that is used to help manage logistics. This piece of software acts as a real-time regulator keeping everything orderly throughout while taking directions from the WMS. The WCS offers benefits such as:
• An interface with equipment for material handling (palletisers, conveyor systems, etc.)
• A connection to the upper management system, exchanging information for managing distribution operations
• Effectively balancing activities in systems that involve material handling, ensuring workloads are completed
• Helping accomplish orders by direction operatives and controllers to correctly route products
• Dynamic algorithms designed to read information on routing and orders before diverting operations
• Vital data gathering for reporting back to the host system
• Interfaces for straightforward management and control of tasks in distribution
Working in conjunction with one another, both the WMS and WCS offer an efficient and manageable system for the warehouse environment, gathering data in real-time and directing operations accordingly.