Numina Group Blog

Six Key Features of a Top-Tier WES-WCS

September 6, 2023

In the quest to improve order fulfillment throughput, voice-picking technology has become one of the hottest productivity tools on the warehouse floor. However, complex order fulfillment automation goes beyond just adding voice technology to the operations.

It requires a software platform to manage order release balancing to optimize the entire pick, pack, and ship order fulfillment operation. This is the domain of a Top-Tier Warehouse Control and Execution System (WES-WCS)

A WES-WCS system is a software platform that bridges the ERP and the WMS systems to optimize order flow, supervision, and execution of material handling equipment and warehouse automation technologies.

However, a top-tier WES-WCS platform offers more, including advanced order release logic to create and execute advanced picking strategies and automated packing and shipping to create a unified continuous order fulfillment process. It manages and balances order picking across each channel so e-commerce and retail orders can be simultaneously processed within the same DC.

The WES-WCS platform complements your business software by acting as the command center to manage order movement and execute order-picking supervision. A top-tier WES-WCS system includes the functionality to control AGVs, autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), and ASRS tote shuttles in goods-to-person automated storage and picking applications while guiding operators for more efficient pick, pack, and ship work tasks.

Advanced WES-WCS System Capabilities to Look For

Many WES-WCS systems are available today, but vary significantly in functionality and cost. Top-tier WES-WCS solutions, such as Numina Group’s RDS™ WES-WCS platform, deliver unparalleled functionality, flexibility, and scalability and take advantage of the latest advances in warehouse automation technologies. 

If you are considering investing in a new WES-WCS solution, look for the advanced capabilities listed in the following paragraphs. 

1. Order Release Optimization

A top-tier WES-WCS solution should provide a powerful and flexible order release management module to increase picking productivity across the distribution operation.

Numina’s RDS WES-WCS platform includes a sophisticated order release module that goes far beyond traditional wave, batch, or continuous order release methods by using intelligence automation (IA) software to optimize order fulfillment productivity.

The RDS Order Release module uses algorithms to select orders based on several variables to more efficiently balance work modeled on historic picking performance and real-time metrics of the DCs zones picking performance.

RDS considers picking tasks and travels in each zone to synchronize the batch wave picking completion time across the DC. Batch wave picking plans generated by the order release software provide many benefits, such as:

  • Elimination of Repetitive Steps: RDS enables batch picking along the most efficient pick to reduce excess walking and repetitive visits to the storage bin.
  • Significant Reduction in Labor Costs: Batch picking rates are 2X faster than discrete picking rates.
  • Higher Productivity: More orders are completed/hour at a lower labor cost/hour.

2. Cartonization Logic 

Relying on employees to manually choose shipping cartons during order packing is time-consuming, costly, error-prone, and often results in unexpected shipping charges.

The RDS WES-WCS platform offers 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.

Blog: Save Money with Advanced Cartonization Software

RDS Cartonization uses a bin packing algorithm to ensure that order items fit into the selected carton size and more closely achieve 100% fill ratios when presented with SKUs and matching carton sizes. 

RDS Cartonization software can be deployed before order release, at the start of the picking process, and after picking and packing are complete to verify the actual shipping carton dimensions and weight.

3. High-Efficiency Picking with Victory Voice™ Technology

A top-tier WES-WCS platform should also include superior voice technology capabilities to direct lean, paperless picking operations and warehouse work tasks to direct and validate pick, pack, and ship operations.

RDS Victory Voice™ combines the convenience of voice-directed instruction, wireless headsets, and hands-free barcode scanners for fast, paperless order picking and task validation.

Victory Voice can improve processes for many tasks, including:

  • Picking automation – batch, discrete cart picking, and pick to conveyor
  • Voice + hands-free 2D barcode scanning for SKU, aerial, and lot code capture.
  • Kitting for assembly and manufacturing.
  • Warehouse receiving, replenishment, and inspection.

Victory Voice requires zero voice training and does not capture or record the operator’s voice biometrics. It’s easy and intuitive, so operators are productive in as little as 15 minutes. Its speed and performance are superior to Alexa, Google, and Siri due to the combination of its finite state logic and voice recognition.

4. Robotic Order Picking 

Today’s advanced WES-WCS platforms must be capable of incorporating autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) into the order fulfillment workflow. RDS WES-WCS includes capabilities to create optimized picking workflows that synchronize work between AMRs and employees.

RDS planning capabilities create the optimal picking path that capitalizes on the combination of AMRs working with employees, simultaneously directing the AMRs and employees’ movements to the closest pick zones, eliminating walking and manual cart pushing to increase productivity.

  • RDS WES-WCS keeps the AMRs operating at 90% utilization rates and reduces the number of AMRs needed by directing the automated order start, pick-up, and drop-off at pack stations.
  • RDS simultaneously supports manual pushcarts and the AMR Batchbot batch picking solution.
  • RDS Voice technology, integrated with AMRs and workers’ movements, combines pick-by-voice with hands-free barcode scan validation to yield single-touch 99.9% accurate picking and 2X productivity gain.

5. Automated Put Walls

Advanced WES-WCS platforms should also include automated put walls management. RDS WES-WCS includes modules for pick-to-light and put-to-light systems ideal for high-volume fulfillment operations to increase the volume of orders being picked per hour without increasing labor costs.

The RDS Put-to-Light Order Consolidation solution cost-effectively streamlines batch order zone picking throughout the DC and automates the sorting of the SKUs to individual orders.

RDS Put-to-Light seamlessly directs workers’ picking activities via intelligent indicator displays that can be mounted onto virtually any shelving or rack storage system.

Video Demonstration:

6. Automating Packing and Shipping  

Warehouse managers have long known that pack-and-ship operations represent one of the warehouse’s most labor-intensive and costly areas, yet they have struggled to automate this area without investing in costly, customized technology.

RDS WES-WCS has solved this challenge Pakt™, its all-in-one post-pick, end-of-line pack-and-ship solution that automates and eliminates manual packing and manifesting tasks such as tote-based picking, order packing, keystrokes, hand weighing, & hand applying shipping labels and packing slip documentation.

As a component of the RDS WES-WCS platform, Pakt enables companies to extend their productivity gains by automating picking operations into pack-and-ship operations.

Note: Pakt yields a 5X pack & ship productivity gains and a 70% reduction in labor costs.

Top-Tier WES-WCS Delivers the Perfect Order Fulfillment Practice

When a WES-WCS platform with these capabilities is deployed, an organization can achieve smooth, continuous order fulfillment throughput that is not bogged down by bottlenecks in the distribution operation.

The components of a top-tier WES-WCS, as described above, make it possible for operations to achieve the four principles of perfect order fulfillment practices: 

  • Complete order-fill accuracy
  • On-time delivery
  • Damage free
  • Correct documentation

Omni-channel and e-commerce DCs with a mix of high-volume case pick and low-count SKU orders reap higher profitability and customer satisfaction with technologies that provide all four components of perfect order practices.

Video: Warehouse Automation Design for Perfect Order Practices

Supply chain and operation management executives are well served to investigate the benefits of the accumulative productivity gains by investing in a top-tier WES-SCS to automate the entire pick, pack, and ship process.

A top-tier WES-WCS platform that offers advanced order release planning, cartonization, advanced voice technology, AMRs, put walls, and pack-and-ship automation productivity will yield much higher productivity and labor savings than a voice-only solution and result in an ROI in 12 to 18 months at many DC operations.


While there are many ways to automate a warehouse environment, it can be challenging to determine the best combination of software and warehouse automation equipment for your operations.  

The Numina Group can help you navigate the complexities of choosing the right technologies. Contact us today to learn more about our warehouse automation design, integration and implementation services. 

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