Archive for warehouse control system

Warehouse Automation Global Market Update

ARC Advisory Group released its updated Warehouse Automation & Control (WAC) market study last week. This research is an evaluation of the market with detailed analysis of the 2017 base year and a five-year forecast through 2022. I would like to take this opportunity to communicate some of the prominent themes I observed during the research process. 2017 – A Stellar Year The market’s growth in 2017 was substantially greater than I had expected. In fact, I […]

Read More →

Intelligent Forklifts Will Reshape Warehouse Control

Traditionally, we said that warehouses were operated in either a manual, semi-automated, or highly automated fashion. In a manual warehouse, pickers used carts, forklifts and other “dumb” forms of carriage to go to picking locations, gather the inventory, and deliver those goods to the shipping dock. However, forklifts are becoming intelligent. With the right kind of control system, a warehouse using forklifts becomes semi-automated. Modern intelligent forklifts include diagnostics that allow the equipment to signal […]

Read More →

Retailer Takes New Approach to Optimizing Direct-to-Consumer Warehouse Operations

A few months ago, I talked to a specialty retailer that operates both stores and a direct-to-consumer channel. Five years ago the company decided to bring its direct-to-consumer operation in-house and it built a 500,000 square foot distribution center (DC). The retailer implemented VARGO’s COFE warehouse control system (WCS) to increase warehouse efficiencies at this DC and to help decrease its overall cost of the project. COFE (Continuous Order Fulfillment Enterprise) was designed with an […]

Read More →

IKEA Overcomes Warehouse Control Systems ‘Islands of Automation’

A few months ago, a client asked me to help him put together a short list of best-of-breed warehouse control system (WCS) vendors.  Here is the problem he faced: his company uses a warehouse management system (WMS) that worked well when it was initially implemented.  Over time, the company added various material handling systems, each with its own interface and “island” of control logic.  The company now wants to upgrade its WMS, but all of […]

Read More →

Why Architecture Matters in a Warehouse Management Solution

When it comes to IT architecture, you might hear acronyms like SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) or BPM (Business Process Management).  But I’ve often believed the most applicable acronym was MEGO – My Eyes Glaze Over!  However, if you are contemplating buying a Warehouse Management System (WMS), the sad truth is that architecture does matter.  So, here’s my (perhaps ambitious) attempt to tell you why it matters and what to look for, without causing your eyes […]

Read More →