Warehouse Control Systems vs. Warehouse Management Systems

October 15th 2019 15:00:00 PM

When you’re thinking about or planning to automate your warehouse, you may hear the terms warehouse control system and warehouse management system being discussed. They may also come up when you are doing your own research on the subject. Since they sound similar, it’s easy to think they are interchangeable, but they refer to different systems with different functions within your facility. Understanding the difference between them will make the task of automating your warehouse a much easier process.

Are you already familiar with the differences between a warehouse control system and a warehouse management system? Give us a call at (330) 645-9959 or contact us online to arrange a personal consultation with one of Scanco’s experienced Solutions Experts today. 

Warehouse Control System (WCS) 

A warehouse control system (WCS) is put in place to oversee the activities within the warehouse. It focuses on the material handling equipment and its functions. Some WCS systems also include labor under its umbrella of activities and processes it monitors. 

The WCS is focused on the material handling equipment inside one facility. Even though its emphasis may be narrow, this system generally operates in real time to synchronize the functions of systems like sorters, carousels, conveyors, and more. When material flow and labor are added to the mix, managers can use this information to make necessary decisions. The WCS also monitors the equipment, managing and making changes as required to modify their operation automatically. 

To avoid confusion when thinking about warehouse control systems vs. warehouse management systems, it may be helpful to remember that a WCS can form part of a WMS. The WCS is limited geographically to one building or location, while the WMS may operate over a larger area that can include several locations. 

Warehouse Management System (WMS) 

A warehouse management system (WMS) is a type of software application that focuses on the people and processes that occur in the warehouse on a daily basis. The activities of receiving inventory, putting the inventory away in the correct location (bins, shelves, etc.), picking orders and the process of shipping them to customers all fall under its designation. 

Earlier versions of a WMS provided simple functions to users, such as storing information. Today’s warehouse management systems are more sophisticated and able to take on a number of functions, from orders to picking, inventory, and labor allocation. The goal is to provide information to your staff and management so that they can go about their daily routine for picking, putting away, and shipping products in the most efficient manner. 

The WMS is firmly focused on business and it processes information outside of real time in order to plan daily work for the warehouse staff. If you are looking for a system that will focus mainly on scheduling your team members, when products will arrive at the warehouse and be shipped out, and for keeping orders organized, the WMS will perform well. 

Sage100 and Sage Production Management a Powerful Combination 

If you’re looking for a complete solution that can be customized to fulfill your company’s present needs and will grow with your business, Sage 100 and Sage Production Management has a lot to offer. You need to be able to access accurate information about inventory and scheduling in real time, otherwise it’s impossible to make accurate decisions about opportunities as they arise. In today’s business climate, hesitating can often mean losing out on valuable contacts (and contracts) when making a decision quickly was what was needed in a situation. 

Sage Production Management runs on the Sage 100 framework to give you updated inventory quantities in real time. It can be customized to fit the types of products you are working with, as well as the volumes you are moving. If you want even further customization, optional extensions are available. 

Now that you’re well versed in the differences between a warehouse control system and a warehouse management system, we’d like to invite you to take the next step toward implementing one or both of them. Contact us online or call (330) 645-9959 to arrange an appointment with a Solutions Expert today. 



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