BlogWhy Use Warehouse Control Software?

Why Use Warehouse Control Software?

By Gary Stokes
January 17th, 2023

We’re getting closer to the big reveal of version 2.0 of the Revolution Street WXS (Warehouse eXcellence System) at ProMat in March. If you haven’t already made plans to attend, it’s a good time to get started. We will soon be rolling out an online appointment scheduler for you to let us know when you’d like to stop by our booth. We promise it will be worth your while.

Between now and ProMat, we’ll use this space to ponder questions about warehouse software in general, and Revolution Street WXS in particular. Today’s post examines, at a very high level, why a software application that acts as a broker between the WMS (Warehouse Management System) software and the PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) and MHE (Material Handling Equipment) makes sense (and money) for most warehouses. For purposes of this discussion, we’ll sometimes refer to the system as a WCS, with the caveat that Revolution Street WXS is a specialized version of a WCS that includes more functionality than you typically receive with a WCS.

Take a look at this very basic network diagram of a warehouse that uses a WMS, but no WCS. Take note of a few key points:

  • The host system (WMS) and the PLC are not communicating.
  • There is one HMI device, mounted on the main control panel.
  • The system takes very limited advantage of the “smarts” available in modern MHE systems.
  • As a result, the operation will have to rely more on human intervention and will be subject to throughput limitations and higher than desired error rates.

Now look at a basic network diagram of a modern system, utilizing the power of the Revolution Street WXS.

  • The WMS and WXS are now working together to optimize efficiencies and take full advantage of “smarts” throughout the system.
  • Multiple users on multiple devices can access the system via their web browser, customized to their particular roles and needs.
  • The WXS enables users to control the system efficiently, quickly, and easily adapt the system to changing business needs, view information about the performance of the system, track MHE assets and their maintenance, troubleshoot more effectively, and more.
  • The bottom line is a higher-performing warehouse operation that generates a substantially higher return on investment for the owners.

So, maybe a better question is, “Why would you operate without a WCS?”

To see it all in action, you can reach us here. And be sure to visit us at ProMat in March, where we will display an emulated version of our WXS and have our team on-site to answer all your questions.