Sunday, 29 December 2013

Tracking Inventory : Addressing Locations

Warehouses are big, identifying and tracking items would be very difficult if you do not have any addressing strategy, think about delivering post to Mr. Bean in a city of New York. You obviously will not go searching street by street, asking people if they are bean, right ? But given that you know the post is addressed to

Mr. Bean,
401, Building Reva,
Hamilton Street, 32nd Avenue,
New York

Is it not easy this time.

Similarly to find items in warehouses, warehouse locations should be appropriately marked and items  should have identifiers. All the locations are marked with stickers near those locations.


As you can see aisles are clearly marked in the above diagram.

Usually warehouses are marked with some sort of division similar to how areas and streets are marked in the cities, which let you figure out the bin (or lowest level of location).

Take an example, Warehouse of a company XXX is divided into different areas lets call them A, B, C, D, E etc. Each area has multiple floors. Each floor has multiple aisles as shows in the above picture -- they are number as 1, 2, 3, etc. Each aisle has cross-aisle (slot) location as well numbered as 1,2 etc. Each such location has multiple shelves identified as A,B,C,D etc.

Take a look at one such aisle layout

Shelf organization in one such slot


With this organization, you can easily come up with an addressing mechanism. For the example organization, you can represent a location in Dth area, 3rd floor, 101st aisle, 54th slot, A shelf, 4th bin as

D-3-101-54-A-04

Another example :













We will discuss more about how SKU's are identified in our next article.

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