Tag Archives: WMS training

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.

Six Implementation Questions Customers Always Ask

Purchasing a WMS is a business investment that PathGuide customers take very seriously. Any warehouse upgrade involves a number of necessary changes to work processes, and a WMS is no exception. Customers can sometimes become intimidated if they get too caught up worrying about the implementation and assuming that these changes will be difficult.

But that’s simply not the case. With the proper training and staff buy-in, a WMS install doesn’t need to be an arduous process. To address some of the most common concerns, here is a list of popular questions from new WMS customers, and how we answer them:

  • How long is this going to take? It can take anywhere from four to nine months, depending on the warehouse’s specifics and how well the company has prepared for a rollout. An internal champion who works closely with us for troubleshooting and scheduled employee training can help a new customer go live much more quickly.
  • How will Latitude interface with our business system? Will we have to change anything? Probably not. Latitude integrates with all major ERP systems including SAP, Oracle, Epicor, Microsoft Dynamics, and Infor.
  • How do we set up a RF network in our warehouse? How many access points will we need? What about better servers or higher network speeds? A PathGuide engineer will visit a new customer’s warehouse and do a complete walkthrough to determine exactly how the customer operates and what its needs are. They will handle technical problems like this.
  • How does training take place? We usually bring customer representatives to our Seattle office and let them practice with Latitude in our mock “warehouse” training room. We’ll also send PathGuide engineers to conduct on-site trainings, and we encourage customers to follow up with their own hands-on training.
  • Can we get Latitude to do _______? The answer is almost always yes. Latitude is highly customizable and we can usually modify it to fit the customer’s exact needs.
  • Can we get documentation or checklists for all of this? Of course! We want to make the tools in Latitude WMS as easy to use and accessible as possible.

Implementation can seem intimidating if you look at it in its entirety, but it isn’t as difficult as most people believe at first. That’s why it’s our job to break the process down into manageable chunks and help our customers get through the implementation one step at a time. This personal touch helps our customers feels more secure and leads to a smoother rollout – and that’s better for everyone.

Register early for the Latitude User Conference 2014!

Seattle Waterfront Ferris WheelRegistration is now open for the Latitude User Conference.

Join us in sunny Seattle from September 21-23! Get updates, training, tips, tricks, and join other Latitude WMS users for networking events (like a dinner cruise on Seattle’s stunning waterfront).

When PathGuide customers get together, great ideas are exchanged and important bonds are formed. Learn, network, share, and most importantly, renew your vision for what you and your business can accomplish.

Why Register Early?

When you register early, you save big bucks on the cost of each attendee. Register more attendees and save even more per registration.

What Do You Get at the LUC?

Your registration includes:

  • Session of one-on-one consulting, tailored specifically to your company
  • Access to all group training courses and educational sessions
  • Catered breakfast & lunch
  • Evening receptions
  • Client Appreciation Dinner Cruise

PathGuide is looking forward to seeing all of you in September at the Latitude User Conference!

 

Get Ready for the 2011 Latitude User Conference

 

PathGuide Technologies couldn’t be more excited about our upcoming Latitude User Conference, to be held in Las Vegas at the Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa.

That’s right – we said Resort and Spa. What? You think that warehouse workers don’t need pedicures? We do. Probably more than most people. Continue reading

What kind of support does my WMS have?

Implementing a WMS system in a warehouse is obviously not a small undertaking. That’s why choosing the correct vendor to supply your WMS solution is as important as choosing the right dealership to buy your car from.

First, you need to find a vendor who has a long history in the business and a list of successful clients from a wide range of industries. Finding a vendor with experience not only ensures that you will be purchasing a WMS system that incorporates years of feedback from a variety of clientele, but also provides assurance that the company will remain in business in the years to come. In a fragile economy, a vendor’s longevity isn’t an issue that can be overlooked. Continue reading