Quick Guide to Software Systems: ERP, WMS, MES

Have you ever heard of these systems, but never understood what they mean? Today at United Barcode Systems we have decided explain one by one (without complex terminology) what are they, what exactly they do and how they can be connected to any of our labeling and coding equipment.

Introduction to management software: Description and functions


Types of management software  


The first thing we need to know is what all these acronyms mean and what they are technically speaking.


ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), MES (Manufacturing Execution System) and WMS (Warehouse Management System) are fundamental software systems for the efficient management of companies in various industries. In other words, programs that can be installed on an electronic device to help manage the tasks involved in day-to-day business activities.


The functions pursued by these systems are:

        • Automate business processes.

        • Increase operational efficiency.

        • Improve strategic decision making.

These systems can be integrated with each other or with other external programs such as UBS LABMAN, a middleware which allows key information to be sent to our coding teams from the databases that these programs store. But we will talk about that at the end of the article, now let's go to ERP.

What is an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)?

Now that we know what a management software is, let's get to know the largest group of them, the ERP:



Functions of an ERP  


ERP is a comprehensive business management software that enables an organization to manage and automate a wide range of business processes, such as accounting, human resource management, inventory, sales, purchasing, production, etc.


ERP systems typically integrate data and processes into a single centralized database, allowing different departments to share information and collaborate more efficiently.


But for practical terms, what does ERP do? Well, let's say you have a sales order. The ERP automatically records that order, updates the inventory to reflect the product sold, and then passes the information to accounting so they know that revenue has been generated. Plus, if someone needs information about that order, it's all in one place, accessible to all the departments that need it.




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What is a MES (Manufacturing Execution System)?



Function of a MES   


One level below ERP is the MES system. An information system used in manufacturing environments to manage and control the execution of production processes in real time.


These are like the master conductor behind the curtain. The MES goes into action coordinating machines, workers and materials so that everything is in place at the right time. From scheduling machines to making sure quality standards are met, the MES handles it all.


MES systems are often integrated with production equipment, process control systems and business management systems (such as ERP) to gather real-time data on production status, machine performance, product quality, etc.


MES help optimize production by providing real-time visibility into operations, coordinating production activities, improving quality and reducing cycle times.

What is a WMS (Warehouse Management System)?


Functions of a WMS.  


At the same step of the pyramid we find the WMS. The WMS is a warehouse management system designed to control and optimize operations within a warehouse or distribution center.


It is basically the brain behind the entire organization of a warehouse. It's like having someone very organized who keeps everything in its place.


When we say that the WMS takes care of everything, we mean it. From receiving products to finding them a place in the warehouse, keeping track of where each item is, and then preparing them for shipment when they are sold.


WMS systems help manage and optimize functions such as goods receiving, product location and storage, order picking, inventory management, product tracking, and so on.


WMS can be integrated with ERP systems to provide a complete view of the supply chain, from production to distribution.

What is a DBMS (Database Management System)?

DBMS is software used to manage and operate databases. It is not specifically a business automation system, but an underlying technology used by many management systems.


A DBMS provides functionality to create, access, update and manage databases efficiently and securely. It is a giant warehouse where all data is stored in an organized and secure manner.


Examples of DBMS include MySQL, Oracle Database, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, etc.

How to integrate a management software with a labeling and coding system?

United Barcode Systems manufactures labeling and coding machinery capable of connecting to any business automation system thanks to UBS LABMAN technology, our real-time data management and UBS equipment management software.



UBS LABMAN as middleware between management systems and our labeling and coding equipment.  


This technology allows to communicate with any software system available in the market and collect the information required by the printing system, that is to say that UBS LABMAN performs the function of what is commonly known as middleware, a software where two applications communicate with each other.


How are these integrations carried out?

Well, there are two ways in which we perform the integrations:

      • Via Web Service

        The client that owns an ERP publishes what is a Web Service, a technology of protocols and standards used to exchange data between apps. When LABMAN needs any of these data, it establishes a connection with this Web Service and in the same communication it answers with all the necessary data to be integrated in the printed label later.

      • Using SQL

        The client has a SQL database where it stores all the data in columns. It would be enough to give write permission to LABMAN for accessing these columns, filter them by data, retrieve them and send them to print on the label.

In case you do not want to use LABMAN, you can also integrate our equipment directly with your software programs through the communication protocol that our engineers will provide you with once you have purchased your UBS solution.




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