It’s Not all about that Bass…It’s all about the Software


While ‘All About that Bass’ was one of the biggest ear worms of last summer, when it comes to supply chain automation, there is a different new tune being sung.  It turns out that it isn’t all about that bass, but all about the Software.

This isn’t just a supply chain story either. Willy C. Smith, in a recent Harvard Business Review post, ‘Does Hardware Even Matter Anymore?‘, sums it up: “In more and more businesses, physical objects are no longer the primary basis for innovation and differentiation. They come second to innovations in computer code.”

In the supply chain arena, the topic of the increasing role of software was front and center (and covered here before…and with a music reference as well), at ProMat 2015.

In a presentation given on behalf of MHI’s Integrated Systems and Controls Council, Software is becoming an increasingly critical component of any company’s order fulfillment success strategy. Software is the glue that binds together and integrates the process, people and equipment with best practices to create an optimized solution.

You can listen to the presentation and see the slides below.

In the presentation, given by myself and Jerry Koch of Intelligrated, we discussed the various warehouse execution software systems (warehouse management, warehouse control, etc.), that work in conjunction with the many automation equipment solutions and people to create an automation solution. The key with this software is that it needs to be more than WMS and WCS, more of a software solution that combines WMS and WCS to create a Warehouse Execution System (WES). This allows for a higher level of communication between systems and for the advancement from traditional wave picking to a waveless picking approach.

Having an understanding of the roles the software plays and how to combine them with the equipment will create the best solution for your operation and to increase your labor efficiency, productivity, system accuracy and overall throughput. Hopefully this is music to your ears.



About John Clark

John is responsible for Marketing and Business Development at the North American headquarters of viastore systems in Grand Rapids, MI.

He has over 20 years of broad hands-on experience in all aspects of marketing and communication, including writing, content marketing, advertising, design, trade show and event planning, public/media relations, website, lead generation and management.

Prior to viastore, he has held marketing management positions at TGW Systems and Dematic, both global material handling automation companies.

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