Category Archives: PathGuide Partners

WES and WCS Are Good, But They’re No WMS

The three types of warehouse software (WMS, WES and WCS) are starting to overlap in functionality, at least that’s the thesis of an article I read earlier this month in DC Velocity. Titled “Blurred Lines: WMS vs. WCS vs. WES,” it argues that these three warehouse systems have developed to a point where many of their major functions overlap and it’s difficult for buyers to decide exactly what they need.

While WCS and WES have certainly come a long way in the past few years, a high-quality WMS is still the best option to track and control the movement and storage of materials within the warehouse.

A high-quality WMS will provide benefits in the following areas:

  • Order accuracy
  • Worker efficiency
  • Overall speed of orders
  • Reporting and KPIs
  • Individual employee metrics
  • Warehouse organization

While a WES will provide some functionality in voice picking, mobile scanner integration, inventory management and labor management, it was not designed to perform as a WMS and should not be used as a replacement. If you need a WMS, buy a WMS. Don’t expect a WCS or WES to deliver functionality that it was not designed for.

This sounds simple in theory, but it gets more complicated in practice because not every company shopping for software knows what it needs. Before researching a new warehouse system, companies evaluate current systems to identify both strengths and weaknesses. Next, they should identify what areas they want to improve. Finally, they should make a list of the functions that will help them achieve those goals. By approaching the buying process with a clear understanding of what each type of software can deliver, they can see the marketing pitch for what it is and stay focused on getting a solution that will best fit their needs.

About the Author: Eric Allais, president and CEO of PathGuide Technologies, Inc., has over 30 years of experience in marketing, product management and sector analysis in the automated data collection industry, including warehouse management practices in wholesale distribution. Contact him at eric@pathguide.com.

Dr.’s Gerry Faust and David Allais to Keynote PathGuide’s 2016 Latitude User Conference

It is my great pleasure to announce that Gerry Faust, Ph.D. and David Allais, Ph.D. will deliver the two keynote addresses at the 2016 Latitude User Conference in May.

Faust is a highly accomplished business consultant and motivational speaker who has been empowering and entertaining audiences for 30 years. His speeches help people understand the power and challenges of an organization’s culture, identify its key aspects and understand the role each person plays in its formation. He is hilariously funny, extremely smart, and his speeches deliver real business value. Past clients have said that Faust “provides stimulating ideas with practical approaches,” is a “consummate presenter,” and a “guy who truly cares about helping businesses succeed.”

His program will explain the true purpose for organizations and outline the four roles that managers and leaders must embrace to achieve short and long term success. In a presentation tailored to the needs of the warehouse and distribution industries, Gerry Faust will discuss the biggest reason why more organizations never solve their problems, and the key role teamwork plays in achieving organizational goals.

Allais is an internationally recognized expert and inventor in the fields of bar coding, automatic identification and data capture. As former president and CEO of Washington-based Intermec, Inc. (now part of Honeywell), he built the company from a small start-up into the leading manufacturer of bar code scanning and printing equipment. Leaving Intermec after 19 years, Allais founded PathGuide Technologies, a Washington-based developer of warehouse management systems for distributors.

PathGuide is thrilled to have Faust and Allais as our keynote speakers. Mark your calendars for May 22-24, this is one conference you won’t want to miss!

Faust’s keynote is scheduled Monday, May 23 at 8:45 a.m. and Allais’s keynote is scheduled for Tuesday, May 24 at 8:30 a.m.

PathGuide Finishes 2015 Strong with Four New Customers!

PathGuide wrapped up a great 2015 by adding four new customers in December. Here’s an introduction to some of the new distributor companies that will be deploying Latitude WMS across their operations in the coming months.

  • Centinela Feed & Pet Supplies  Centinela is a family-owned feed and pet store chain with fifteen locations across southern California. It offers pet supplies and related services such as dog training, grooming and vaccination. It has a long and colorful history in Torrance and Los Angeles; in fact, one of its older stores was a historical landmark In Barnes City before the area became a part of L.A.
  • Engineered Specialty Products Located in Kennesaw, Georgia, ESP Inc. provides its customers with high-quality gauges, thermometers, instruments and other sensors. We’re happy to be working with another growing industrial products distributor.
  • Coastal Farm and Ranch  Coastal Farm and Ranch’s distribution center serves 15 stores in the Pacific Northwest from its home base in Albany, Oregon. Part of the Mid-States Group, the company specializes in outdoor products, workwear, livestock feed, tools and gear for farm and ranch communities.
  • Devil Mountain Nursery One of our more unique customers, Devil Mountain Nursery is a plant wholesaler in San Ramon, CA. It offers a wide variety of materials to local landscapers and gardeners, including drought-resistant plant species. We’re looking forward to helping the company with some of the unique challenges involved in tracking and shipping live plants.

These businesses show the breadth of PathGuide’s continuing growth and have one thing in common: a commitment to quality customer service. We look forward to helping each one of these operations achieve their fullest potential in 2016!

PathGuide’s Latitude WMS Travels the Globe

PathGuide recently discussed its business growth in Canada, but did you know that the sales boundaries for the Latitude warehouse management system stretch to other parts of the globe?

As an example, Latitude has been deployed in Panama since 2009.  It was selected for use by Rodelag S.A., a well-known retail chain with more than 500 employees that services the entire country. Rodelag has been a trusted name in Panama since 1950 when two prominent families, the Romeros and the La Guardias, joined forces to bring a Sears-like department store to the Chiriqui Province.  Today, Rodelag offers everything from motorbikes to clothing in branch storefronts found in small towns such as Chitre as well as in the capital of Panama City.

Panama is experiencing explosive economic growth.  Over the past decade, it has been one of the fastest growing economies worldwide, and dominates the growth of its neighbors in Central America.  Average annual growth was 7.2 percent between 2001 and 2013, more than double the regional average.  It’s estimated that its growth in 2015 will remain a respectable 6.2 percent.

Panama’s economic climate has enticed other retailers to enter the market.  So how does an older, stable company like Rodelag continue to remain relevant to its customers in such a fast-growing environment?  By adding technologies such as PathGuide’s Latitude Warehouse Management Software.  Latitude helped it re-engineer its warehouse and distribution operations, facilitating better customer service and more efficient inventory management.  The customer service element is particularly important in Panama, which does not have a long history of retail customer loyalty; for generations, residents have routinely shopped more than one retailer to compare prices.  A WMS such as Latitude helps Rodelag ensure that the most needed items are in stock at its facilities, engendering customer satisfaction and repeat sales.

PathGuide Announces 2016 Latitude User Conference

Popular event introduces the new features to PathGuide’s Latitude WMS, with hands-on training from power users and experts

PathGuide Technologies today announced the opening of early registration for its popular Latitude user conference, to be held May 22-24, 2016 at the Catamaran Resort Hotel in San Diego, CA. This event offers educational panels, one-on-one training sessions and panel presentations from knowledgeable Latitude users. Designed for new Latitude users, warehouse managers, C-level executives, IT professionals and prospective clients, the conference also gives attendees a chance to provide feedback to PathGuide’s management team.

PathGuide engineers will demonstrate additional features now available in Latitude, including inbound logistics and proof of delivery.

“We offer hands-on training, education, networking opportunities and critical insight from Latitude experts so that attendees will come away with tools, techniques and strategies they can immediately use to advance their distribution operations,” said Eric Allais, CEO of PathGuide. “Prospective clients will get a “behind the scenes” look at what the Latitude WMS and best warehouse practices can do for their businesses.”

The conference agenda will appeal to all attendees, regardless of the level of user experience. Conference participants can count on hands-on training, panel discussions and training sessions to cover areas such as:

  • Understanding inbound transportation
  • How to drive better performance using metrics
  • Tips and tricks for the advanced Latitude user
  • Route shipping
  • e-Commerce fulfillment
  • Cut item management
  • Creating and editing custom labels
  • Cycle count planning

Early registration discounts, as well as discounts for large groups and companies, are available prior to April 22, 2016. More information and registration options can be found here.

About PathGuide Technologies PathGuide Technologies, Inc., a privately held company founded in 1989, is a leading provider of warehouse management solutions for industrial distributors and regional retailers across the United States, Canada and abroad. PathGuide’s software and services help suppliers increase productivity and order accuracy, improve customer service, lower labor costs and ultimately driving greater profitability. To learn how distributors of all sizes can benefit from improved warehouse management, visit www.pathguide.com.