The Business Case for Tighter WMS and WES Integration

Warehouse management systems (WMS) and warehouse execution systems (WES) have become essential components for meeting the growing challenges of e-commerce fulfillment. Each play critical, specific roles in distribution center (DC) operations.

A WMS often enables connection to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and/or an order management system (OMS) to bring orders into the warehouse workflow. The primary purpose of a WMS is to create and release order execution instructions in waves, manage inbound inventory management functions and outbound fulfillment tasks, and track discrete locations of inventory within the warehouse.

A WES then takes over key aspects of order fulfillment execution by processing incoming orders and providing real-time resource allocation. A WES can make decisions based on current order priorities and DC demands while balancing activities across work zones based on available labor, material handling equipment and automation systems to avoid bottlenecks and maximize resource allocation.

Integrating a WES and WMS is a preferred method to receive and fulfill orders. But in most instances, operations select separate vendors for their platforms. These systems are neither designed to complement each other nor add value to warehouse operations. As a result, most operators encounter varying degrees of difficulty connecting these systems to provide a unified, end-to-end view of their distribution center operations and order fulfillment activities.

Read our white paper to learn the challenges of typical WMS/WES integration and explore the value of integrating these essential systems under one unified software platform.