Qc Software Wcs Profiled by Manufacturing Journalist Tr Cutler

By: Thomas Cutler

Manufacturing journalist Thomas R. Cutler contributed to the current issue of AccountingSoftware411.com; the feature titled, "Questions the CFO will Ask Before Endorsing the Warehouse Control System" details the decision-making process often conducted by mid-sized and large distributors and manufacturers.

According to Cutler, "The WCS (warehouse control system) is designed to manage activities within the four walls of a facility just like an MES (manufacturing execution system) for manufacturing. Large companies with many distribution centers will tend to have a dedicated WCS for many reasons. Although wide area networks have become more efficient, the fact remains that networks do get dropped periodically. When that happens, the network is not available to "talk" to the host system. No picking gets done. With a WCS, on site, the order fulfillment process which includes picking, replenishment, and shipping can continue."

The first question the CFO of a distribution company will ask in deciding to purchase any new software, particularly something as plant floor specific as a Warehouse Control System is: "What's the ROI?" The questions continue beyond an acceptable return on investment.

Total Cost of Ownership must also be considered including the Initial Cost (purchase cost of WCS, new hardware computers, terminals, printers, and all other related costs.) The reoccurring costs such as a maintenance contract, modifications, and upgrades will also be considered by a CFO prior to giving the blessing to purchase. Other questions may include the need for additional people resources that are required when the distributor or large manufacturer install an order management system.

Scalability, which is often expressed by a CEO in a negative outlook: "When will we outgrow it?" An operations manager will express the improvements with the new WCS system; the CFO will inquire about the life expectancy of this technology. The CFO wants to know the tax implications and know whether the company can "write it out" or depreciate it?

If a large company the CFO will want to know the cost to install at multiple sites as well as the stability, financial status and size of the WCS company. This is quickly addressed by establishing referrals and a strong industry reputation. Depending on the organization's objectives, source code availability may also be a CFO concern.

According to Rich Hite, President of QC Software (www.qcsoftware.com), suggests, "The most important aspects of WCS for major distributors include dependability, modular functionality, configurable flexibility, and reliability. WCS is more dependable because...it uses standardized modules that are field proven, versus customized software. Many of the WCS modules have been running for over more than six years." Hite also noted, "WCS Modular functionality is important because additional functionality can be added as required. The system can grow as the customers needs grow. You don't lose your initial investment when new functionality is needed. We've seen this growth in clients ranging from Tommy Hilfiger to Under Armour to Arbonne."

WMS systems are designed to manage information; they are planning systems versus execution systems, yet it is fair to say that the WCS is the MES for the warehouse because it directs the tasks.
The solutions provided by QC Software (www.qcsoftware.com) enables companies to streamline their warehouse operations with the lowest total cost of ownership in the industry ensuring increased corporate profitability.

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