Inventory management program. Before digging into strategies, techniques, and processes, let’s take a look at some of the inventory management basics for beginners: namely, the terminology and formulas you’ll need. Inventory management terms Barcode scanner Physical devices used to check-in and check-out stock items at in-house fulfillment centers and third-party warehouses.
This is a detailed guide to getting started. We make the assumption that you’re starting from scratch, with only a vague system for tracking your inventory. You may not have part numbers, named locations, or the most basic attributes of a simple inventory system. (You may not have any inventory system in place at all!) Even if you never use our software, we hope that you’ll find this basic inventory guide helpful for setting up a system that gets the job done.
Get right to the point below, or scroll down for a thorough explanation. The following are the key elements to a well organized inventory tracking system.
- Create well designed location names and clearly label all locations where items may be stored.
- Use well organized, consistent, and unique descriptions of your items, starting with nouns.
- Keep item identifiers (part numbers, sku’s, etc.) short, consistently formatted, unique, and avoid common pitfalls.
- Decide if you will need to use units of measure, and if so, make sure they are formatted consistently and used properly.
- Make sure you have a good starting count of all your items, their locations, and any other relevant inventory data
- Use an inventory tracking software like Clearly Inventory. Spreadsheets or written lists do not work well in the long term.
- Create solid inventory management policies and train your people to follow them.
Welcome to “Sweet Little Devils Cookies and Candies”. In this basic inventory guide, we will use this small, fictional business to explore the process of setting up an inventory system. This process works in the physical world, and in our software. Here’s a recent aerial photo of the business:
Sweet Little Devils makes and sells cookies, candies, coffee drinks, and other cafe items. Some items are made from scratch, while others are bought and sold. They also ship direct to customers, who order products from their web site, www.sweetlittledevils.com. Unbeknownst to them, their actions are used in this basic inventory guide to show the world how to set up an effective inventory system.
The Elements of a Pretty Good Inventory System
We like our Clearly Inventory software. We think it’s easy to use, and we know that it will help you become more productive. But no matter how good we think it is, it will fail to help you if you don’t do some very basic things.
The purpose of this section of the Getting Started Guide is to walk you through the absolute basic attributes of a pretty good inventory management system. And to instruct you in detail about how to implement our recommendations.
We say “Pretty Good” because there are no perfect ways to create the above elements, but there are lots of bad ways. You may be able to improve on our recommendations or your enterprise may have to do things differently but if you follow our recommendations you’ll wind up with a pretty good system.
The Critical Elements of a Pretty Good Inventory System
- Well Organized Location Names
- Location Labels that are easy to read, and unambiguous
- Unique, Short, and Unmistakable Item Numbers
- Units of Measure
- A Good Starting Count
- Software that tracks all inventory activity
- Good Policies
- Most Important: People who know and follow good policies
Before we get into each of the above elements in more detail, let’s take a moment to explain why these elements are so important.
Well Organized Location Names & Location Labels that are easy to read, and unambiguous
If an item can be stored somewhere, that ‘somewhere’ must have a name, and it should be labeled with that name. If it doesn’t, time will be wasted looking for things. People will stock things in the wrong place. Locations will get referred to by more than one name, and your inventory will be in constant drift towards disorganization.
Remember, any open space can potentially store stuff, so label ALL of your storage locations, not just the ones that currently have stock. An open aisle? Name it, label it. An empty corner? Name it, label it. The tiny water heater closet? Name it, label it.
And don’t pick just any name. You must have some logic to your location naming scheme. If you don’t, you’re setting yourself up for frustration in ways that are difficult to anticipate. We’ll give you some advice on a naming scheme later in this guide to inventory basics. No matter what you decide to call your locations, make sure they’re all labeled, and all the names are unique.
Labels that are easy to read help everyone work faster. For example, if the letters on your labels are so small that you have to be two feet away to read them, or if the labels blend in with rack colors, etc… You’ll be slowing down your operations and opening up yourself to mistakes.
Labels that don’t clearly state which location they’re referring to (i.e. shelf labels, with no arrows, and shelves above and below) will cause the same delays and errors as poorly printed labels.
Sign Up and Upload Your Inventory Spreadsheets
We’ll configure your inventory, organize your data, and upload it in just a few hours.
All for Free for a Limited Time Only (No Credit Card Required)
All of your items should have well defined, unique descriptions, for many of the same reasons that apply to locations. Without good descriptions, people may be confused about whether they have stock on an item, or what items needs to be ordered. It can also be hard to search for items in reports, or find similar items in your inventory system. Our opinions about creating good descriptions for your items are thorough and we’ll explain in greater detail later.
Item Numbers, Product Codes, UPC Codes, SKU Numbers, Etc…
Item numbers help uniquely identify items, but one of their greatest benefits is lost on people who haven’t used a software system to track their inventory: they serve as a shorthand, or abbreviated item description. When you are searching your inventory, making transactions, filling orders, filtering or searching reports, item numbers really come in handy. Instead of typing descriptions that can be hundreds of characters long, and hard to distinguish at a glance, most companies can use items numbers of only five or six characters or numbers in length. It makes it easier to use your inventory software, and anything that makes something easier, improves the chances that it will get done. For more tips, refer to our other guides in the Inventory Basics section under Resources.
Units of Measure
Units of Measure, things like “pcs” “ea” “lbs” “bags” etc… give meaning to quantities. These units belong in their own separate place, outside of descriptions and the numeric quantity fields. Using well created and consistent units of measure will make stock levels, shipping quantities, and ordering quantities, easier to understand.
A Good Starting Count
Loading data into a new inventory software program is an excellent time to get a good count of your stock levels. Once you have labeled your locations, cleaned up your descriptions, created item numbers, and consistent units of measure, getting a good stock level count will be easier, faster, and better organized.
A Software System that Tracks all Inventory Activity
If you’re reading this, you probably realize that keeping your inventory data with pen and paper, or on a spreadsheet, just won’t cut it. Good inventory software will make it easier for you to to track your inventory and allow many users access to it. It also provides insight to your inventory activity, and helps keep an accurate historical record of what’s happened.
Creating Policies and Training People about the Entire Inventory System
The people who work with your stock and use your inventory system are the most critical element in establishing a pretty good inventory management system. You must make sure that these people know what to do with items that are received, removed, reserved for future use, required for production. They also must know who is responsible for making certain transactions, etc… In some cases this may only be one or two people, but there’s nothing wrong with writing down your policies and making sure they are followed. You may want to share this basic inventory guide with them to reinforce the point. If you or the people you work with aren’t consistent in the way inventory is handled, it won’t matter what software you use, you will only experience frustration and failure.-->
Applies To: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3
This topic applies to features in the Warehouse management module. It does not apply to features in the Inventory management module.
This topic explains how to set up the parameters that are used to create a warehouse location, such as location types, location formats, dock management profiles, location profiles, and warehouse zones.
Warehouse locations correspond to the specific places where inventory can be stored in a particular warehouse. You must create warehouse locations so that you can perform and track inbound and outbound warehouse transactions using Microsoft Dynamics AX.
Before you create a warehouse location, you must define the following:
Location type ─ The type of warehouse location. For example, you can create a location type for all staging locations.
Location format ─ The naming convention for a location. You can specify how many segments the name should include, and the length of each segment. You can also specify the separator that is used to separate segments.
Dock management profile ─ The settings which help you control inventory items for multiple orders, shipments, loads, or waves at the docks when inbound items are received or outbound items are loaded.
Location profile ─ The settings which specify whether a particular warehouse location is license plate controlled, whether it can be cycle counted, and whether it allows for mixing of inventory batches.
Warehouse zone ─ A defined area in a warehouse to which you allocate specific inventory items.
In addition to creating a location using the Locations form, you can create multiple warehouse locations using the Location setup wizard. Locations can be assigned as fixed or permanent locations for specific inventory items.
The following table shows the prerequisites that must be in place before you start.
Set up one or more warehouses in Microsoft Dynamics AX. For more information, see Create warehouses.
Create a location type
You must set up two mandatory location types for staging and shipping. After you create these location types, you must select them as the default staging and final shipping location types in the Warehouse management parameters form.
Click Warehouse management > Setup > Warehouse setup > Location types.
Create a new location type.
Enter a unique identifier and description for the location type.
Create a location format
Use the Location formats form to create a format for the ID that is used to identify a specific warehouse location. A location format can contain multiple segments. For example, you can create a format with two segments and use a period as the separator, such as 0000.0000. The first segment indicates the bulk location and the second segment indicates the aisle.
Click Warehouse management > Setup > Warehouse setup > Location formats.
Create a new location format.
Enter a unique ID and name for the location format.
On the Details FastTab, click New to create a new line.
In the Segment description field, enter a description for a segment in the location format.
Enter the length of the segment and the separator that is used between segments.
For each segment that you want to add, click New to add a new line, and then add a description for the segment, a separator, and the length of the segment. You can preview the completed location format in the Example field.
Create a dock management profile
You set up a dock management profile and assign it to a location profile to manage the mixing of inventory at specific warehouse locations.
Click Warehouse management > Setup > Warehouse setup > Dock management profiles.
Create a new dock management profile.
Enter a unique ID and description for the dock management profile.
In the Inventory types that should not be mixed field, select the type of source document that determines the types of inventory that should not be mixed. For example, if you select Order number in this field, only the inventory from a specified order is stored at the location.
Optional: Select the Assume empty location for new wave check box to indicate that there is no inventory stored at a location.
Create a location profile
You must specify attributes for a warehouse location to determine how a warehouse location is used in an inbound or outbound transaction. For example, you can specify if a location allows negative inventory or cycle counting. You can use location profiles to define the dimensions of a location.
Click Warehouse management > Setup > Warehouse setup > Location profiles.
Create a new location profile.
Enter a unique ID and name for the location profile.
On the General FastTab, in the Location format and Location type fields, select a location format and location type.
In the Dock management profile ID field, select a dock management profile. The dock management profile contains information about the inventory types that cannot be mixed at a particular warehouse location.
Configure additional settings for the location profile.
The following table lists the fields that you use to configure the additional settings.
Use license plate tracking
Select this check box to use license plate tracking at a location.
Allow negative inventory
Select this check box to allow negative inventory of items at the specified location.
Locations that use license plate tracking cannot have negative inventory for items.
Allow mixed items
Select this check box to allow the storage of mixed items at the specified location.
If you select this check box, you must select the Allow mixed inventory batches check box.
Allow mixed inventory statuses
Select this check box to allow the storage of items with different inventory statuses at the specified location.
Allow mixed inventory batches
Select this check box to allow the storage of batches of mixed inventory items at the specified location.
Allow cycle counting
Select this check box to allow cycle counting at the specified location.
Generate check digit
Select this check box to generate a check digit for the specified location. You can use a check digit to authenticate a location for warehouse mobile device transactions.
Override rules for batch days
Select this check box to override rules for batch days when the specified inventory is located.
On the Dimensions FastTab, set up dimensions for the location profile.
The following table lists the fields that you use to configure dimensions.
Select the storage unit that is used to calculate the volume of inventory at the specified location.
Volume utilization percentage
Enter the fill percentage of the total volume of inventory at the specified location.
Volumetric method used for inventory location
The volumetric method that is used to locate specified inventory based on dimension checks.
Select from the following options:
Usable dimensions ─ All volumetric calculations will use the available (usable) dimensions specified in the location profile.
Use location volume ─ All volumetric calculations will use the fill percentage of the actual dimensions that is specified in the Container utilization percentage field.
On the Dimensions FastTab, enter the actual and usable dimensions for the location.
Create a warehouse zone and zone group
Use the Zones and Zone groups forms to create a warehouse zone and zone group. A zone group is a logical grouping of different warehouse zones. Zones and zone groups are created for reporting.
You must specify a zone when you create a new warehouse location. You can also use zones to create multiple warehouse locations using the Location setup wizard form.
Click Warehouse management > Setup > Warehouse setup > Zone groups.
Create a new zone group.
Enter a unique ID and name for the zone group.
Click Warehouse management > Setup > Warehouse setup > Zones.
Enter a unique ID and name for the zone.
In the Zone group ID field, select the zone group to which you want to assign the zone.
Create a location
Use the Locations form to create a warehouse location. You must create a user location and select it as the default user location in the Warehouse management parameters form. You can filter by warehouses to see the existing warehouse locations.
Click Warehouse management > Setup > Warehouse setup > Locations.
Create a new location.
Counter Strike 1.6 Patch V48 can make your difficult game into easy play as it will remove many bugs in existing counter strike. CS Patch V48 is available to download in this website. This patch is fully compatible with all the operating systems like Windows Xp, Windows 7 or Windows 8. Counter strike 1.6 non steam patch v48 download.
Select the warehouse for which you want to create the location for and enter a unique ID for the location.
In the Check text field, enter the text that you want to use to authenticate the location.
You can also select the Generate check digits for location check box to generate the check digits for the location.
Select a location profile and a warehouse zone for the location.
In the Sort code field, enter the sorting code that is used to sort locations and picking lines.
Optional: Create locations using the Location setup wizard
Use the Location setup wizard form to create multiple warehouse locations. You must specify a location profile, warehouse, and zone to create these locations.
Click Warehouse management > Setup > Warehouse setup > Location setup wizard.
Select a warehouse, location profile, and warehouse zone.
Click Build to create a warehouse location. Repeat this step with a different location profile to create multiple locations for the same warehouse.
Optional: Assign a fixed location to a product or product variant
Use the Fixed locations form to assign a permanent or fixed location to a product. This is useful when you always stock a particular product in the same location. For example, a grocery store might always stock milk in the same location in its refrigerated section. You can assign multiple fixed locations to the same product and multiple products can have the same fixed location assigned to them. Fixed locations can be used by location directives and inventory replenishment to determine the locations to create work for. Fixed locations are also used when you create and release waves for pick and put operations. For more information, see Create a location directive and Set up replenishment.
If you have installed AX 2012 R3 CU8, you can also assign fixed locations to product variants. The Fixed locations form contains a Products tab and a Product variants tab, where you can specify fixed locations for products or product variants. When you specify fixed locations for product variants, you must enter the relevant dimensions for the variant. To ensure that fixed locations are used when work is created, on the location directive you must set up the location directive actions to use them. To make this connection, in the Location directives form, in the Fixed location usage field, you can select Only fixed locations for the product variant.
To specify fixed locations for products or product variants, follow these steps:
Click Warehouse management > Setup > Warehouse setup > Fixed locations.
Create a new record.
In the Item number field, select the item to which you want to assign a fixed location.
Select a warehouse and a site.
In the Location field, select a warehouse location, which is used as the fixed location for the selected item.
Technical information for system administrators
If you don't have access to the pages that are used to complete this task, contact your system administrator and provide the information that is shown in the following table.
Click System administration > Setup > Licensing > License configuration. Expand the Trade license key, and select the Warehouse and Transportation management configuration key.