Bins

November 2, 2016 in Inventory Control

Purpose

This function is used to add, change or delete ‘Bins’. Inventory ‘Bins’ are used in conjunction with Stock Locations to define ‘storage’ positions in a physical warehouse. Bins are essentially an aisle/bay/shelf position, or can be used that way if appropriate.

You can create as many ‘Bins’ as you need within each Stock Location you have in the system. It should be noted that you do not need to establish ‘Bins’ with this function if you are planning on using ‘Optional Bin Tracking’ in a given Stock Location. Please refer to Bin Tracking Options for more details on the tracking options available.

You should try to use the ‘Bin’ code in a logical way, creating the codes in a pattern to reflect the physical layout of your warehouse. This will allow the system to re-sequence order picking paperwork so that the items appear in bin sequence. Doing so will greatly increase the productivity of your warehouse picking staff as they will be able to walk through your warehouse in picking an order in the sequence the items will be found in.

A simple example is below. Imagine you have a warehouse with 3 aisles of shelving, and 40 bays long, with four shelf positions from floor to ceiling. You could allocate the 1st character of your Bin code to the aisle as follows:

  • A – Aisle one
  • B – Aisle two
  • C – Aisle three

The next two characters of your Bin code could be the ‘bay’ position (marked on the floor usually). That could be 01, 02, 03, 04 etc up to 40.

Finally the last two characters of your Bin code would be the “shelf” postion. That could be L1, L2, L3 and L4 for the bins on the left side, and R1, R2, R3 and R4 for those on the right (assuming two sided shelving was installed).

Based on this, you could have Bin codes that look like this:

  • A05L4 – 1st Aisle (A), 5 Bay in (05), top Shelf left side (L4)
  • C40R1 – 3rd Aisle (C), last Bay (40), bottom Shelf on the right (R1)

A variation on this theme (and there are many possible variations) is to have an “Aisle” code that tells you which side the bin is on. For example:

  • A – Aisle one – left side
  • B – Aisle one – right side
  • C – Aisle two – left side
  • D – Aisle two – right side
  • E – Aisle three – left side
  • F – Aisle three – right side

Aisle codes as above would assume your picking staff walk down one side of an Aisle, and back up the other. If that’s not practical/desired, then something like this might work better:

  • AL – Aisle one – left side
  • AR – Aisle one – right side
  • BL – Aisle two – left side
  • BR – Aisle two – right side
  • CL – Aisle three – left side
  • CR – Aisle three – right side

As you can see, you need to give some thought into the approach that suits your warehouse. Keep in mind also that if you end up with a signifcant number of Bin codes to create, you may be better off uploading them into the system rather than creating them individually with this function.

Some things to note about the Bin codes you use.

  1. They can be up to 10 characters in length. The length is variable per code, so just be careful that your consistent or your sort sequence might not work as expected.
  2. Bin codes sort in “alphabetical” sequence, not numeric. So it’s a good idea to create a sample of the sort of Bins codes you think will work for your warehouse, and then input some of them into a spreadsheet and do a few sample ‘sorts’ to ensure you get the sequence you are looking for.

Data Input

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Step 1 – Location Code

Location Code

Enter the Stock Location you want to enter or adjust ‘Bins’ for. This is a mandatory entry and the location must exist on the system already.
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Step 2 – Bin Code

Bin Code

Enter a ‘Bin Code’ to work on. This is a mandatory input. Bin codes can be up to ten characters long. A ‘new’ Bin can be created or an existing ‘Bin’ can be adjusted or deleted if already present on the system
For details on the use of “codes”, see The Role of “Codes” in Online Advantage
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Step 3 – Product

Product Code

Enter an existing Product code. This is an optional entry for this function. If there is no Product entered against the ‘Bin’, then the system will allow any Product to be stored in this ‘Bin’.

A Product can be entered here to signify that this ‘Bin’ can only be used by this specific Product. Therefore if you want this ‘Bin’ to be reserved for a particular Product then select the Product at this prompt so that no other Product can be recieved into this ‘Bin’ location.
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