Skip to main content

Do You Really Need a Separate WMS? The case for Warehouse Control Systems (WCS) with Microsoft Dynamics AX

by Bridget McCrea
Contributing Writer,
October 13 2014

Anyone who is keeping tabs on Microsoft's inroads in the warehouse management space can see that the vendor is making progress with its Dynamics AX offering. So much so, in fact, that some customers may no longer need to consider laying a more robust, best-of-breed warehouse management system (WMS) on top of their ERPs. (Others will continue to need more WMS sophisticated tools, of course.)

Dynamics AX 2012 users are well positioned to combine their ERP software's new warehousing functionalities with a WCS. Thanks to Microsoft's warehousing efforts for Dynamics AX 2012, companies can now examine the option of pairing a WCS with their ERP solutions without the need for a best-of-breed WMS. "When you are using the Dynamics model with a WCS, the two actually blend well together and allow firms to skip the big, expensive WMS," says Chris Castaldi, director of business development for W&H Systems in Carlstadt, N.J.

Defined by Gartner as software that orchestrates product movements within automated warehouses, WCS has historically been viewed as middleware that sits between the WMS business application and a firm's material handling equipment. At its core, a WCS translates business-oriented instructions into meaningful material-handling automation forms, and communicates directly with the automated equipment (conveyor belts, carousels, scales, etc.) to execute the instructions.  

More companies are taking an interest in WCS. For its 2014 WMS and WCS Implementations & Best Practices Survey, Modern Materials Handling, found that 47 percent of shippers currently use a WMS, 29 percent rely on another order fulfillment software application, and 14 percent use a WCS. Of those firms that already use some level of automation within their warehouses, 49 percent currently run WMS and 32 ...

FREE Membership Required to View Full Content:

Joining gives you free, unlimited access to news, analysis, white papers, case studies, product brochures, and more. You can also receive periodic email newsletters with the latest relevant articles and content updates.
Learn more about us here

About Bridget McCrea

Bridget McCrea covers business and technology topics for various publications. She can be reached at

More about Bridget McCrea