UPS rolls out new WES offering

Company officials said that this new WES, which was developed by UPS and Softeon, a provider of supply chain technology services, is geared towards enabling faster intake and fulfillment for customers, notably those with fluctuating order patterns, are able to get products on time.

Company officials said that this new WES, which was developed by UPS and Softeon, a provider of supply chain technology services, is geared towards enabling faster intake and fulfillment for customers, notably those with fluctuating order patterns, are able to get products on time.

Atlanta-based global transportation and logistics bellwether UPS said this week its UPS Supply Chain Solutions group has rolled out a new Warehouse Execution System (WES) offering, entitled Smart Warehouse Technology, with a focus on augmenting distribution center efficiency.

Company officials said that this new WES, which was developed by UPS and Softeon, a provider of supply chain technology services, is geared towards enabling faster intake and fulfillment for customers, notably those with fluctuating order patterns, are able to get products on time. And they added that this new WES enables UPS to define specific customer requirements so that the highest priority orders are worked first and without manual intervention that results in more than 50% gains in productivity for some customers. UPS and Softeon began developing WES functionality early in 2019 and deployed first in June 2019.

Bobby Clements, VP of Strategy and Marketing, UPS Global Logistics & Distribution said in an interview that the key factors driving this offering include the tight warehouse labor market coupled with increasing demand for faster, more accurate order taking and fulfillment processes.

“Our customers need continuous improvement of operations to meet rising ecommerce pressures for speedier delivery, and WES helps to balance flow of inventory movements within the four walls, identify problems before they arise, better manage volume and velocity spikes through flexible user-defined business rules,” said Clements.

When asked what the biggest benefits of this WES are for UPS customers, Clements said that it goes back to how labor shortages and manual operations are driving up costs for customers.

“Smart Warehouse technologies augment our labor force to improve productivity and efficiency by decreasing error rates, providing cost effective and accurate fulfillment services,” he said. “That makes customers’ supply chains a competitive advantage.”

In terms of what this new offering provides that represents an upgrade from previous WES iterations, Clements observed that this new WES is an execution system developed to enhance Softeon’s warehouse management system, allowing improved workload planning and dynamic management of critical warehouse activities.

“The biggest competitive advantage is efficient productivity,” he said. “The Smart Warehouse technology improves productivity and reduces error rates in our operations, providing value for our customers, and driving growth for UPS.”

UPS said that this new WES is part of its ongoing efforts to modernize warehouse operations by leveraging autonomous capabilities. Some examples include how UPS is deploying Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) in several of its facilities and is also piloting AMR from Locus Robotics, which receive instruction from the WES to pick up and transport goods for order consolidation and pack out by UPS employees. UPS said that the system dynamically dispatches order fulfillment activity and continuously balances inventory flow, which allows UPS engineers and operators to efficiently synchronize the use of labor and equipment.

“WES enables UPS to better leverage our global warehouse network and integrated technology to help our customers reduce capital, improve service and speed to end customers,” said Philippe Gilbert, president of Supply Chain Solutions. “We also can create more custom and turnkey outsourced fulfillment services to meet our customers’ unique supply chain needs.”

About the Author

Jeff Berman's avatar
Jeff Berman
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review and is a contributor to Robotics 24/7. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis.
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About the Author

Jeff Berman's avatar
Jeff Berman
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review and is a contributor to Robotics 24/7. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis.
Follow Robotics 24/7 on Facebook

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