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WMS, WCS, and WES – these acronyms stand for the most important systems used in warehouses. Without them, modern logistics would not be the same. In this article, we unveil what each of these three is and what role they play in a warehouse. Interested? We encourage you to read on!

WMS, WCS, and WES Defined

To begin with, let’s explain what WMS, WCS, and WES are.


WMS stands for warehouse management system. It is often referred to as the “brain” of the warehouse. This is a kind of software used to optimize and manage operations within a warehouse. It encompasses a wide range of features, and is used for optimizing every workflow step in the given facility.


WCS stands for warehouse control system. It’s a type of software used to handle automated material handling equipment systems within a given warehouse. It is used to modify and optimize aspects such as routing, equipment control, and goods movement in real-time. One could say it’s a level below the WMS, but in fact, a WCS usually works with a warehouse management system.


WES stands for warehouse execution system. Like WCS, it is focused on optimization and real-time handling of particular tasks. However, it doesn’t deal with automated material handling equipment, but rather with:

  • fulfillment,
  • inventory management,
  • task allocation to human operators.

The Three Systems in a Warehouse

Having this brief overlook in the systems, it becomes clear that the main difference between a WCS and a WES is the areas these two systems cover. But what about the WMS?

The warehouse management system uses data and features integrated directly from the WES and WCS to improve and optimize the processes even further. What is more, it is a WMS that truly enables data analysis and making data-driven decisions and predictions. These three systems are like a team within a company: the WCS and WES are experts in delivery, while the WMS acts as an expert and a manager.

Integrating the WMS, WCS, and WES – Is It a Must?

Seeing how each of these three systems works separately, you know that integrating them will be beneficial for your warehouse. But the question is: do you really need to jump at it immediately? Well, yes and no.

If you’re running a smaller warehouse or one with limited automation, it’s possible that investing in and integrating all these three systems won’t make a major difference. However, the larger your facility and the more complex the processes, the more likely you are to benefit from combining WMS, WCS, and WES. These three systems working together create the highest level of automation, digitalization and innovation. So, if you need or want your warehouse to be cutting-edge and top-notch, you ought to invest in WMS, WCS, and WES.

The Takeaway

We hope that we’ve explained to you the differences between WMS, WCS, and WES. You’re ready to pick the systems that will suit your warehouse best – so go and make the choice!

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