team 90381 640Technologies, such as mobile devices and social platforms have dramatically changed consumer behavior in recent years, both providing companies the opportunity to engage with consumers in new ways and forcing them to adapt to an ever changing digital-driven future.

Organizations are realizing that in order to thrive in a world where technology is accelerating customer demands, they must structure their business to center around the most critical part of their operation: the customer.

warehouse 1026496 640

Warehouse Control System vs Warehouse Execution System: Is there a difference and, if so, where does it lie?

A Warehouse Management System (WMS) is the foundation of a warehousing or distribution operation. With it, your business is primed for new levels of automation and efficiency. Sitting alongside is a Warehouse Control System (WCS). The WCS links the WMS to material handling systems while managing and maximizing their performance. Now, all that’s left is to add a Warehouse Execution System (WES) and the trifecta is complete. And you’re in luck – some WCS vendors are giving them away FREE with the purchase of every WCS!

Today the term Warehouse Execution System, or WES, is showing up more and more. But is this anything new or just a lot of hype? Is a Warehouse Execution System just flashy name for a Warehouse Control System; or is it a step above? The not-so-simple answer is: It depends.

staircase 600468 640In 2016, the supply chain industry continues to find its footing between providing on-shelf product availability in the most economic and cost effective way while also meeting the demands of running a modern supply chain business sustainably and responsibly. This balancing act has forward thinking executives taking a cue from corporate social responsibility (CSR) and re-aligning business strategy around a purpose in order to improve overall processes.

arrow 394145 640There is so little margin for error in the market place that companies are increasingly turning to improvement methods like Lean to help them lower costs and reduce lead times throughout their supply chain. In the eagerness to achieve these gains, however, they often rush into the effort without laying the right foundation, and the initiative crumbles within a year or two.

With proper attention, however, you can build a foundation for Lean efforts that will consistently deliver the results you need. There are three elements to this foundation: leadership, alignment, and metrics. But just because we can name them separately doesn’t mean you can treat them separately. Think of them more like the interwoven strands of a braid than three legs on a stool.

recycling 313939 640Small decisions can have large impact

Whether you are actually selling coffee to customers or just using it in your corporate offices, your purchasing process can be a great barometer for how sustainable your supply chain really is. Does every dollar you spend to supply your business have the maximum positive impact? What do you communicate to the world and to your internal stakeholders about the impact you have with each dollar spent? Something as small as a cup of coffee can carry much larger implications.

 

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