July 22, 2022 | Dann Woellert
The last several years have required warehouses to operate more efficiently to handle the increase in orders. For most this means increased automation, which can seem overwhelming to scope. A good warehouse execution system (WES) can integrate high level operational data to optimize workers and equipment. Deciding which WES company to engage with can seem daunting and there are many misconceptions about what a WES should and can do.
Let’s investigate some of these top misconceptions and how Matthews WES systems break these myths.
# 1 A WMS can do most of what a WES does
There is certainly a delineation between WMS and WES. A good WES can manage and prioritize order generation and product flow – by directly managing equipment – a WMS cannot do that. A WMS moves just data, a WES manages both data flow and product flow. A WES has a foot in both worlds – data management and equipment control.
# 2 WES controls equipment only
A good WES controls product flow and puts work ahead of employees without bottlenecking work areas. The WES uses data to create a pull system that then manages and optimizes the physical flow of product through the equipment. It moves things AND data.
# 3 A WES can’t manage inventory
Matthews WES is the inventory system of record at numerous installations and can manage communication to and from an inventory database.
# 4 WES can’t initiate and manage orders
WES can manage order prioritization by creating either waves or batches, depending on the needs of the operation.
# 5 WES are designed to control ONLY the equipment provided by their company
Matthews WES is equipment agnostic, so we can communicate and manage any vendor’s equipment.
# 6 WES systems don’t have much experience with robotics
Matthews has integrated several robotics equipment systems into WES automation like Berkshire Grey and CAJA.
# 7 WES Systems are not able to handle custom designs
Matthews works with customers to provide a system as custom to the specific needs of their operations as needed.
# 8 WES systems haven’t been around for very long
Matthews Pyramid and Compass WES systems have been around and automating warehouses for over 25 years with over 500 customers, many of them with multi-site installations.
# 9 WES systems aren’t able to perform cartonization
No one seems to be pleased with cartonization provided by WMS systems. Matthews can perform liquid cube cartonization as a standard, but can also integrate with third parties like Paccurate who specialize in cartonization.
# 10 It’s hard to support a WES
Even with the such short supply of labor and high warehouse turnover, Matthews offers in-depth training and support packages with live expert support personnel who can VPN into your system to troubleshoot.
Dann Woellert, Matthews Software Product Manager, cut his professional teeth as a Process Controls Engineer in plant automation. Over the years he’s played the role of product manager in a variety of manufacturing industries. He’s a foodie, avid kayaker, and history geek.