Integrate WMS and WES for Seamless Fulfillment Coordination
January 20, 2022
Warehouse automation software has become essential for coordinating activities in modern distribution and fulfillment (D&F) operations. Among those considered indispensable include warehouse management systems (WMS) and warehouse execution systems (WES). But while the practice of integrating a WMS with a WES is viewed as the most optimum method to receive and fulfill orders, typically these systems are not designed to work together. As a result, they often produce sub-par results and introduce long-term integration complexities.
The primary functions of a WMS are to establish effective inventory management processes, allocate goods for order fulfillment, and ensure an accurate picture of inventory on hand. WES has become as essential in its ability to orchestrate all automated processes within the four walls to meet the escalating demands of e-commerce. When WMS and WES are integrated, D&F operations can potentially leverage their capabilities to produce maximum benefits.
With a WMS in place, WES assumes responsibility of fulfillment execution:
- Processing incoming orders
- Providing real-time resource allocation
- Evaluating distribution center (DC) demands and priorities
- Making decisions with the goal of fulfilling orders as efficiently as possible
- Balancing activities across work zones based on available labor, material handling equipment (MHE) and automation systems
- Avoiding bottlenecks and maximizing resource utilization
Challenges with multi-vendor software implementation
Selecting separate software vendors for WMS and WES often presents integration difficulties and limitations in functionality. If these systems aren’t designed to complement each other, not only are they unable to deliver an end-to-end view of inventory and order fulfillment activities, but they also can present a variety of multi-vendor software challenges:
- Complexity of supporting two separate systems
- Multiple sign-ons required to access each system
- Additional training requirements to learn and interact with each user interface (UI)
In addition, an incomplete integration can impede early detection of issues in both systems or the ability to prevent disruptions. Separate sets of key performance indicators (KPIs) can make it difficult to gauge overall DC performance. And as an organization’s business rules change, poor WMS and WES integration can introduce unexpected constraints and an inability to scale and adapt.
Multi-vendor WMS and WES software integrations can also cause redundancies and/or an overlap of features and functionalities. This often puts operations in the undesirable position of choosing which software will perform which task while adding unnecessary operational and information technology (IT) complexities.
Single-software platform simplicity
At Honeywell Intelligrated, we’re integrating WMS and WES within the Momentum software platform, allowing our customers to exploit the interaction of these two key systems to their maximum benefits. This unified software approach resolves the challenges of multi-vendor integration to drive more efficient order fulfillment workflows and add value to DC operations.
- Single-software sign-on and UI — simplifies interactivity with the UI, removes the need to switch between two separate platforms, and shortens the learning curve and training of new end users
- Minimizes support complexities — reduces IT and operational support complexities, provides modular configuration of key functionalities, and enhances the coordination between systems
- End-to-end visibility and workflow integration — provides a holistic view of operations from order receipt and release to picking, packing and shipping; enables tracking and tracing of product flow to improve inventory and order accuracies
- Economies of scale — lowers the total cost of ownership (TCO) of software and helps to keep system costs and complexities to a minimum
- Common KPIs, performance alerts and system optimization — gives organizations the abilities to set, track and report on KPIs from a single-software interface; allows operations managers to receive and view alerts on issues that impact performance, detect and prevent disruptions before they occur, and optimize workflows and fulfillment priorities in real time
Let us help you streamline your software strategy
The path to e-commerce success is paved with a robust and flexible warehouse automation software strategy. Honeywell Intelligrated’s Momentum platform allows you to simplify your software infrastructure and achieve the benefits of a seamless integration of WMS and WES. Read our On The Move article, The Software Path to Fulfillment Success, to learn how we can help you to leverage these key systems, drive significant performance gains, and achieve operational efficiencies.
To subscribe to our blog and receive exclusive communications and updates from Honeywell Intelligrated, click here.