Numina Group Blog

How a Warehouse Execution System Enriches Your ERP and WMS Systems

Picture of Dan Hanrahan

Dan Hanrahan

November 28, 2023

The good news is that 2024 looks positive for growth in B2C E-commerce and B-to-B order fulfillment operations. This increases the pressure on warehousing and logistic executives to identify and implement additional ways to reduce labor costs while increasing productivity to improve warehouse order fulfillment practices.

Lowering labor while managing order volume growth requires a combination of improved warehouse processes, magnified with the right blend of warehouse automation technologies, in either new or existing distribution center operations.

Unsurprisingly, according to a 2023 survey of over 1,000 supply chain professionals, 85% of respondents plan to evaluate and deploy some form of warehouse automation within the next 12 months. ¹

Blog: Automate an Existing DC or Open a New Satellite Warehouse?

So, “Where do companies start?” and “What and How” do businesses determine which process improvement and what level of automation investment yields the highest reductions in labor and most significant improvements in warehouse productivity?

What to Deploy?

A company first needs to develop an warehouse automation roadmap that defines and rates the improvement initiatives based on the highest-yielding savings, along with an assessment document on the strengths and weaknesses within their existing business software.

Start at the top by analyzing the ERP, the lifeblood of the business, especially when the ERP is used to manage the warehouse receiving, put-away, and inventory and returns management duties.

ERP software modules can represent millions in long-term investment costs when the software has been customized and tailored to meet specific industry business needs.

By connecting a warehouse execution system (WES) that contains the software modules to orchestrate the automation layer, the ERP-WMS functionality can be expanded and adapted to operate with modern intralogistics automation technologies.

The WES connects and executes the business rules, real-time control decisions, and data flow across several warehouse automation technologies, for example, the DC’s order fulfillment operation’s pick, pack, and ship processes.

A WES can, the majority of the time, fill the software gap within the warehouse to accelerate the performance of the vast majority of ERPs.

A top-tier WES should have a scalable architecture and pre-developed automation control modules, including order release optimization, cartonization, pick by voice, goods to person (G2P), AMRs, print-and-apply labeling, and control of conveyors and sorters.

Orchestrating these technologies and using a WES software platform to unite and “turbo-charged” the ERP can be the most prudent and cost-effective decision when embarking on an automation initiative.

The WES adds advanced order release execution, order prioritization logic, rules-based pick, pack, and ship order fulfillment logic, and a proven track record in warehouse operations in orchestrating multiple automation technologies.

Even when a company has a tier 1 WMS, the WES may be a wise choice to fill the automation software missing in the WMS for managing and controlling multiple warehouse automation technologies as outlined above.

The addition of a WES eliminates the missing software functionality, reduces software development time, and lowers the risk and expense of customizing software to create advanced wave or waveless order release logic to manage a multitude of advanced warehouse automation technologies.

Whitepaper: Comprehensive Guide to the Latest Lean Processes,
Warehouse Technologies and Software Today

It is faster, safer, and better to invest in a WES proven in manufacturing and warehouse automation applications when a project requires optimized product storage, picking, packing, and shipping automation to streamline material movement and unify picking processes across multiple zones and SKU movement categories in an order fulfillment operation.

Where a WES Benefits Distribution Operations Most!

A WES automation initiative is proven to reduce costs and boost performance, especially in warehouse operations that have:

  1. Order-picking operations that lack wave, batch, and synchronization across zones in existing order-picking processes.
  2. Receiving and put-away logic that lacks zone-based execution rules.
  3. Bottlenecks in picking, packing, or shipping order flow.
  4. Excessive overtime and reliance on temporary workers.
  5. Missed same-day parcel and LTL shipment deadlines.

Partnering with a proven warehouse automation integrator with the right software and application expertise is the fastest path to obtaining increased efficiency, throughput, and DC profitability.

Blog: The Crucial Role of Systems Integrators in Warehouse Automation

A WES system with a multi-agent connector architecture and a complete family of software application control modules lowers the risks and delays associated with in-house custom software development such as replacing the existing ERP-WMS system.

The Role of Warehouse Execution Systems

The warehouse execution system (WES) is the automation application layer “order fulfillment brain” that performs order release, picking, packing, and delivery rules. It’s the software bridge connecting the ERP and warehouse automation technologies, including Voice Picking, Pick to Light, AMRs, Goods to Person, SLAM-Scan-Label Auto Manifest Pack, and Ship with Conveyor-Sorting Automation.

The WES bridges the software gaps of existing ERPs and WMS systems by optimizing order release and synchronizing order picking across multiple warehouse zones following advanced order fulfillment picking and packing rules. A top-tier WES operates in real-time to facilitate the numerous material handling technologies required for a warehouse improvement initiative.

The top-tier WES typically can use a standard Web-based API or an ERP-specific interface for exchanging order details, including item master cube-weigh, and inventory and storage locations to manage advanced order picking automation within the facility.

In addition to real-time order execution, the WES can check available allocated or on-hand inventory before prioritized orders are released and include alerts to the warehouse supervisor in inventory visibility screens to warn when a storage location requires replenishment prior to releasing orders.

Alternatively, if the ERP cannot execute timely forward pick location replenishment, the WES can execute real-time min-max replenishment duties.

The WES manages and synchronizes the movement of material handling technologies, including automated storage and retrieval, pick-by-voice, pick-to-light, G2P automation, scan-weigh-dimension systems, print-and-apply labeling, conveyor controls, sortation, mobile robots, and sorting systems.

Key Features of a Top-Tier WES System

  • Order release optimization, managed by a flexible order release management module to increase picking productivity across the entire operation.
  • Advanced cartonization logic that automatically selects the most efficient carton size to reduce unused carton space, reduce void fill costs, and ensure the order is packed to take advantage of the lowest possible shipping rates.
  • Configurable rules engine, ability to define product movement and order picking trips and lane of staging execution rules based on SKU type, size/cube, and other database attributes obtained from the ERP.
  • Easy-to-learn pick-by-voice technology, designed to manage, execute, and measure faster, uniform operator work using lean voice and display directed instructions, wireless headsets, and hands-free barcode scan validation in place of paper and hand-held RF terminals
  • Directs robotic batch order picking AMRs united with people, performing zone-based pick-to-carton order fulfillment that can provide a 100% boost in current basic order fulfillment picking applications.
  • Automated put walls for pick-to-light and put-to-light systems, ideal for high-volume fulfillment operations to consolidate unit picking across multiple zones.
  • Automated packing and shipping to eliminate manual packing and manifesting workstations with auto tapers, packing slip document print and insert, auto scan-weigh-dim with print and apply of shipping and retail compliance labels.

The WES prevents bottlenecks from occurring and creates an efficient, balanced order flow. It is also wise to engage the services of an experienced and independent warehouse systems integrator to scope your needs and assess your options

Reaping the Benefits of a WES Solution: Customer Case Studies

The companies in the following case studies have transformed their warehouse operations and earned a rapid ROI by adding Numina’s RDS™ WES platform and warehouse automation technologies. In each case, Numina worked closely with the company to review and improve existing processes. These solutions included:

  • Implementing and integrating RDS WES to their existing WMS and ERP.
  • Turnkey implementation of advanced warehouse technologies that yield the highest levels of efficiency.

As a result of improving operational flow and implementing a tailored WES solution:

  • United Medco doubled productivity and reduced labor by 60% after implementing the RDS WES Solution. Get the case study.
  • Schumacher Electric tripled throughput & achieved a 12-month ROI after optimizing its warehouse order flow and implementing Numina’s WES system. Get the case study.
  • Green Rabbit, a cold chain 3PL, doubled their DC shipments  with Numina’s RDS end-to-end warehouse execution solution. Watch the case study video.
  • Northshore Care Supply has doubled productivity and reduced staff downtime by implementing the RDS warehouse execution system with mobile robots. Watch the case study video.


There are compelling savings and operational productivity improvements achieved by a distribution warehouse operation when adding a scalable WES platform that can orchestrate leaner, more efficient order release and order fulfillment practices to existing ERP or WMS. A Top-Tier WES added to new or existing warehouses has a proven track record of achieving higher performance and faster ROI.

By extending their ERP/WMS and uniting it with Numina Group’s Real-time Distribution Software, RDS WES-WCS platform, Numina Group’s customers have obtained:

  • Labor cost reduction from 25% to 70%.
  • Productivity increases of 30 to 50% or more!
  • Order fulfillment accuracy rates to 99.9%.
  • Overall profitability increased by 30% or more.
  • Quick ROI, typically within 14-to-18 months.

Learn More

About the Numina Group

The Numina Group is a top-tier designer and integrator of warehouse automation solutions, offering decades of experience in warehouse design, warehouse software, material handling equipment, systems integration, and implementation services for mid-to-large-sized enterprises.

Our team has designed and successfully implemented over 1,000 warehouse automation projects in diverse warehouse environments throughout North America.

Contact us to schedule a complimentary on-site warehouse assessment today.

Warehouse Execution System Diagram | WES | Numina Group

Learn More:

Learn More

Set up a Complimentary Consultation

Skip to content