Warehouse Control Systems Open the Door to Improved Flexibility

Tuesday, March 01, 2011 - The Supply Chain Execution Systems & Technologies (SCE) Industry Group of Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) has released it's Winter 2011 Quarterly Report titled Warehouse Control Systems Open the Door to Improved Flexibility. The report asserts that advances in computing technology and data capture equipment, warehouse and distribution center operations have evolved from an inexact art to a highly refined science.

“With today’s software and technology,” says Cubiscan’s Clark Skeen, vice chairman of MHIA’s Supply Chain Execution Systems & Technologies (SCE) Industry Group, “you’d be ashamed to say you had less than a 99 percent accuracy rate and that your turnaround time was less than 48 hours. Those were pie-in-the-sky numbers a few years ago.”

Among the technology advances making this type of speed and accuracy possible is the warehouse control system (WCS). Warehouse control systems create a bridge between a warehouse management system (WMS), which provides plans for meeting inventory demand, and the conveyors, sorters, carousels, and other automated equipment used to execute those plans.

“The warehouse control systems of today are taking over more and more capability to coordinate multiple processes, and that includes not only equipment but people as well,” says Intelligrated’s Jerry Koch, another SCE Group member. A modern WCS, for example, can control such human tasks as order picking, consolidation, replenishment, and put-away.

As companies strive to gain greater efficiencies in their warehouse operations, Koch says, they’re looking to more tightly integrate their automated material flow with human processes. Warehouse controls systems are evolving to provide that integration.

View the complete report — Warehouse Control Systems Open the Door to Improved Flexibility.

Quarterly Reports are an information source from several Industry Groups of MHIA. Each report focuses on trends in the use of material handling and logistics equipment, such as guided vehicles or automated storage, to solve challenges in the plant and warehouse ranging from ROI to sustainability to productivity in the new economy.

Members of MHIA Industry Groups supply material handling and logistics equipment and systems. These industry experts evaluate operational challenges and solve them efficiently and cost effectively. They are authoritative sources for solutions to challenges that end users face on a daily basis.

SCE is an Industry Group of MHIA. SCE members are the Industry’s leading suppliers of supply chain execution software, hardware, services and related technologies. They supply solutions worldwide and in virtually every major manufacturing and distribution sector.

MHIA is an international trade association that has represented this industry since 1945. MHIA members include material handling equipment and systems manufacturers, integrators, consultants, publishers, and third party logistics providers. Member companies come from all areas of material handling and various parts of the world, making MHIA a strong national and international representative for the material handling industry. Much of the work of the industry is done within its Industry Group. The association also sponsors trade events, such as ProMat 2011 and MODEX 2012 to showcase the products and services of its member companies and to educate industry professionals on the productivity solutions provided through material handling and logistics.

Contact: For more information on MHIA activities and programming contact Carol Miller at 704-676-1190/800-345-1815.

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