Appolis, Inc.

Inventory Tracking – How not to lose your inventory?

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So you may ask “What in the world is this guy thinking – how am I going to lose my inventory in my warehouse?”

If you are like many distributors or manufacturing around the world – you have inventory locations something like the ones below:


Tote Cart Pallet


These locations (tote, cart or pallet) may be temporary, staging or located in another location (nested) – they all have one thing in common; they are not fixed to any one position which makes it almost impossible to track with a paper based system. These locations are in many cases continuously traveling around your facility – with limited visibility into any transactions that relate to them.

One effective use for these types of locations is to track Order Picking in process. From the picking in process, to QA Auditing through final shipment staging – these locations contain inventory that is very important to track. “How many times has someone within your organization had to search throughout the warehouse/manufacturing environment for inventory that was in process and had no real idea where to start?”

One benefit of Warehouse Automation Solutions is the concept of ‘License Plate’ control. In very simple terms a ‘License Plate’ is a moveable location that contains a subset or collection of items. These items can be a mixture of different inventory.

License Plates provide the benefit of tracking activities at this higher level location, while tracking and presenting everything that occurs in relation to the License Plate. For example, as items are picked the items are moved both physically and virtually (within the database) to the License Plate which is tied to the user’s WIP (work in process) bin. Once the user has completed their required transactions, the License Plate is then scanned into another location for continuous tracking. This provides system users real-time tracking and activity control at this movement location level, while minimizing the required scans. This efficiency saves you time and drives improved accuracy!

Inventory Tracking at the License Plate level will eliminate the need for extended searches through your facility looking for lost inventory, orders or received goods. Saving this “lost” time saves your organization money!

By Jim Willems, President, Appolis Inc

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