In Setting Up Stocker WMS – Part 1 we looked at the first step in the installing the warehouse software which was to create a representation of your warehouse within the WMS.
The next step is to create your supporting databases. These databases hold the following details with the order in which they are listed being the recommended order to create these databases:
- Hauliers or Carriers
There are two versions of Stocker WMS. For the Owner Version (where the Warehouse Management System is used to manage your own stock or stock of a single customer) it is not necessary to enter your customer details first. However, for the Third Party System, each product is associated with an owning customer. So for the Third Party version of Stocker you must enter customer details before you can create a product record. Customer details comprise basic information such as name, address and contact details.
The product record for both versions of Stocker have an optional entry for the usual supplier of a product. A warning is issued if an order is raised against a different supplier. If you want to make use of this feature suppliers must be entered before products. As for customers, supplier details comprise basic information such as name, address and contact details.
Currently the use of carrier/haulier details is entirely optional an used as documentation when raising orders. Again, details comprise basic information such as name, address and contact details.
After creating the warehouse, defining your product database is the next most time-consuming procedure. The product record is also, perhaps, the most important element of the whole system. It is used to define all the features and restrictions to be applied to products, for example:
- A product’s preferred storage zones and subareas
- The selection mechanism to be employed e.g. FIFO, LIFO or product rotation number.
- Whether use by (sell by, BBE) dates apply.
- Whether product mixing in locations is allowed.
- Maximum level at which a product can be stored (usually referring to pallet racking) perhaps for safety reasons, or in cold stores where it may be slightly warmer higher in the chamber.
- Any dedicated picking location for the product.
- The standard pallet quantity for this product. However, note, standard pallet quantities are not mandatory.
- Whether a product utilises part pallet picking
Some of the entries on the product record interact directly with similar entries on a location record. These entries are compared to determine if a product can be stored in a location. For example:
- The maximum level entry is tested against the level given to a location.
- Product mixing is tested. A product can only be stored in a location if product mixing is allowed for both product and location.
- Sell by (use by, BBE) mixing is tested. A product can only be stored in a location if sell by mixing is allowed for both product and location.
Therefore, if you allow mixing on a product but find it will not be placed in a particular location when expected, check the corresponding mixing on the location is also set.
Addresses can be added to Goods Out/Warehouse Shipment orders to provide an alternative delivery address. This is alternative to the address present on the customer master record. For example the address on a customer record may identify the customer’s head office. The address book may then hold separate addresses for the various branches to which you may deliver to that customer.
The address database can be initially created during installation. However, new addresses can be dynamically added when raising new orders with the address being recorded against the order and stored in the address book for future use.