3 Key Benefits of Horizon Warehouse Execution System (WES)
When it comes to effectively running your warehouse, distribution center, or order fulfillment operation, it’s difficult to overstate just how important it is to choose the right warehouse execution system (WES).
A high-quality WES empowers facilities to meet their operational goals by intelligently coordinating the flow of product, labor, and equipment throughout the facility in real time. The end result is that a distribution center is capable of becoming a profit center instead of a loss center for the business.
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But what denotes a high-quality, modern WES over legacy systems that have failed to evolve? Typically, we tell our clients to look for three key qualities:
- It should be configurable to your unique needs
- It should be modular
- It should enter the field in a “ready-to-run” state
The Horizon WES exemplifies all three of these essential qualities.
Below, we discuss the Horizon WES in greater detail so that you can better understand exactly what it is, how it works, and why you should consider it if you are looking for a new warehouse execution system for your operation.
What is the Horizon WES?
The Horizon WES was created by New Dawn, a division of Conveyco Technologies. Like other warehouse execution systems, it merges many of the capabilities of a WES and WMS under a single software in order to more intelligently facilitate a range of applications, including:
- Order management
- Automation management
- Shipping automation
What makes it different?
1. Configurability & Modularity
In most WES systems, the controls portion of the WES offers the same basic functionality to all customers and users of the system. This base module can typically be expected to fulfill 80-90 percent of the functionality ultimately required by the typical operation; bringing it up to 100 percent is done through custom change orders.
Horizon was founded on the principle that before you started selling systems, a good deal of ground work needs to be done to make the base truly configurable.
To accomplish this, New Dawn started with a team of engineers with an average of 20+ years in the order fulfillment and material handling industry. This team utilized their experience to develop a base WES package which makes the majority of features most customers ask for configurable. When required, this functionality can be swapped in, rather than addressed through change orders.
The extent of this configurability is a real point of differentiation between Horizon and other warehouse execution systems.
The last thing a customer wants to see is their conference room full of software developers writing code in the field. When this happens, it’s clear that the code has gone to production with minimal to no testing, adding to deployment time and increasing the likelihood that something will go wrong.
Horizon, on the other hand, reaches the field in a ready-to-run state. This is primarily due to two underlying reasons: First, the extremely high percentage of configurable base code makes the core of the system incredibly stable; and second, full-system emulation prior to go-live ensures that the system is properly stress tested and configured before we even consider deploying it in your operation.
Before any WES is pushed live, it should undergo stress testing to ensure that it is capable of handling the throughput that will be expected of it. This is why the Horizon WES is designed to communicate with emulators, which test the system beyond its expected maximum specifications, prior to installation. If the system can continue to perform in these circumstances, then we can feel confident that it will perform well in typical operating conditions.
Additionally, the built-in emulators can be leveraged by the client after the system has gone live, in order to test different scenarios such as:
- SKU proliferation
- Increasing capacity
- Changing delivery schedules and timelines
- System modifications
The output from these emulations can then be used by the client to inform key decisions and adjust business strategy as necessary.
3. Cost Effectiveness
The Horizon WES is incredibly cost effective for all of its capabilities. This is driven by the two points discussed above.
Because the system is truly configurable and modular, custom change orders (and the additional expense associated with fulfilling them) are much less likely to be needed. And because the system reaches the operation fully tested and ready for action, more time can be spent on training users—rather than writing last minute code changes.
The result is a highly configurable, highly modular, highly cost effective system tailored to the unique requirements of each individual operation.
Choosing the Right System for Your Needs
Ultimately, only you will be able to decide which warehouse execution system is best suited to fulfilling the needs of your operation. If you’re unsure of how to grade your options, our best advice is to look for an option that is configurable, modular, and which will be deployed in a ready-to-run state, while also falling within your budget.
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