When a Warehouse Management System (WMS) integrates with a Pick to Light (PTL) system via REST API, it essentially creates a real-time communication loop between the software and hardware elements of warehouse operations. A new order logged into the WMS initiates an API call to the PTL system, prompting light modules to illuminate at specific SKU locations. Warehouse pickers, guided by these illuminated light modules, then retrieve the items in real-time and confirm the pick by pressing a button on the module. This action triggers another API call back to the WMS to update the inventory and order status.
Pick to Light Use Cases for Pick to Light and WMS Integration using REST APIs
Integration of Pick to Light systems with Warehouse Management Systems through REST APIs plays a pivotal role in streamlining operations, enhancing real-time visibility, and improving overall efficiency in modern warehousing environments.
- Single Order Picking: In single order picking, the Warehouse Management System (WMS) processes an individual order and makes a REST API call to the Pick to Light (PTL) system. This activates the corresponding light modules for the SKUs in that order. Pickers pick the items and confirm via the light module, triggering another API call that updates the WMS with the new inventory and order status.
- Batch Picking: For batch picking, the WMS groups multiple orders with similar SKUs into one batch. It then initiates an API call to the PTL system, illuminating light modules for all SKUs in that batch. After pickers have picked, sorted, and packed the items, a subsequent API call updates the WMS and adjusts inventory levels.
- Zone Picking: In large warehouses divided into zones, the WMS allocates specific zones to pickers. An API call activates the PTL system in that zone. As pickers confirm each pick, subsequent API calls keep the WMS and PTL system synchronized, ensuring efficient zone-based picking.
- Wave Picking: The WMS organizes orders into waves based on criteria like shipping schedules or order priorities. An API call to the PTL system displays these waves, guiding pickers during the fulfillment process. Once completed, another API call updates the WMS.
- Inventory Reconciliation: Inventory reconciliation ensures that the WMS’s recorded inventory aligns with the physical stock. The PTL system plays an integral role by updating the WMS in real-time through API calls each time a picker confirms an item. If discrepancies arise, the PTL system triggers a unique light pattern, prompting an API call for initiating quick reconciliation workflows in the WMS.
- Path Planning: The WMS can enhance picker efficiency through optimized path planning algorithms. An API call from the WMS communicates this optimal path to the PTL system, which then illuminates the light modules in a sequence that guides the picker along the most efficient route. This is crucial in batch, zone, and wave picking scenarios, where minimizing travel time can lead to significant efficiency gains.
- Replenishment: When inventory reaches a low point, the WMS triggers an API call to the PTL system, activating a unique light pattern for replenishment. Confirmation from the picker triggers another API call, updating the inventory status in the WMS.
- Sortation and Consolidation: After picking, another API call from the WMS assists the PTL system in guiding pickers for sorting items into designated bins or conveyors. This information then returns to the WMS for final tracking and shipping.
- Quality Control: Advanced setups integrate PTL systems into quality control workflows. An API call from the WMS activates specific light modules for random quality checks. The quality control data then returns to the WMS via another API call.
- Exception Handling: When exceptions like out-of-stock or damaged items occur, the PTL system activates a unique light pattern, prompting an API call to the WMS for immediate resolution.
- Real-Time Inventory Management: Pickers confirm each pick via the light module, and an API call instantly updates the WMS inventory levels. This real-time inventory management is crucial for keeping an accurate snapshot of stock levels at all times.
- Performance Metrics and Key Process Indicators (KPIs): The PTL system logs key metrics like pick speed and accuracy, transmitting this data to the WMS through REST API calls for performance analytics and future optimization.
WMS Providers with REST APIs and Pick-to-Light Integration
Selecting a WMS that offers REST API support and Pick-to-Light integration involves evaluating specific warehouse needs, including the complexity of operations, volume of throughput, and specific features required for optimal warehouse functioning. The following is a list of the top 10 WMS packages:
- Oracle Warehouse Management Cloud: This WMS offers native Pick-to-Light integration. Its REST API support allows seamless bidirectional communication for order fulfillment and inventory management.
- SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM): Known for its robust RESTful APIs, SAP EWM facilitates Pick-to-Light integrations and offers extensive functionality like basic order picking, zone picking, batch processing, and kitting.
- Manhattan Associates: Offers robust REST API capabilities and has native support for Pick-to-Light systems, focusing on maximizing throughput and optimizing execution.
- JDA Software (Blue Yonder): This WMS offers REST API support and integrates effectively with PTL systems. It provides comprehensive functionalities like real-time inventory tracking and task interleaving.
- HighJump (Körber): Provides REST APIs and a range of Pick-to-Light system integrations. Its functionalities include labor management and dynamic slotting.
- NetSuite by Oracle: With REST API support, NetSuite’s WMS offers functionalities like order management and limited Pick-to-Light integration, tailored for SMEs.
- Infor CloudSuite WMS: This WMS offers REST API support but focuses more on inventory management and complex order fulfillment rather than native Pick-to-Light support.
- Epicor WMS: Provides REST APIs, but its functionalities like real-time transaction processing might require additional customization for Pick-to-Light integration.
- 3PL Central: This WMS, targeted at third-party logistics providers, offers REST APIs and is increasingly incorporating Pick-to-Light integrations.
- Fishbowl Inventory: This SME-focused WMS provides REST API support and is exploring integration options with Pick-to-Light systems, offering basic functionalities like inventory management and order fulfillment.
Integrating a Pick to Light system using a REST API delivers specific advantages in operational efficiency, real-time visibility, and inventory management. Integrating a wireless Pick to Light system, such as Voodoo Robotics, facilitates quicker setup, scalability, and flexibility in rearranging warehouse layouts, with reduced costs. Coupled with REST API support, it enables seamless real-time integration with top-tier WMS solutions, automating key warehouse processes and enhancing overall performance metrics.
About Voodoo Robotics
Voodoo Robotics is a leading innovator in warehouse picking automation, based in Frisco, Texas. We offer a unique wireless Pick-to-Light system designed and made in the United States, that modernizes warehouse operations by leveraging the latest Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology. Our picking hardware integrates easily with existing Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems allowing distribution centers, warehouses, and third-party logistics (3PLs) to manage operations with little to no integration effort. The website for Voodoo Robotics is voodoorobotics.com.
6170 Research Road, Frisco, Texas 75033