Putaway refers to the movement of inbound receipts to the locations in which they are located. As part of the put away process.

The RF-assisted putaway and RF-directed putaway both leveraged the application’s ability to choose the appropriate location.

  • Planning assigned for the individual product codes
  • Driven by the lots which are empty locations and available at the time of product receipt.

Serial number tracking: The shipment is tracked by the operator via the system.

Labor management:

Using RF-assisted and RF directed putaway.

The main difference between RF-assisted and RF-directed putaway is that a directed putaway must be either completed as defined or abandoned. With RF-assisted putaway, the application suggests the best location, but allows the putaway driver to choose a different location if no other pallets have been assigned to the location. RF putaway allows warehouse operations to update inventory records to accurately reflect the physical movement of the license plate number.

However, we also recognize the importance of pre-receipt and the receiving process. Receiving the wrong products or putting products in incorrect locations can result in errors just as easily as picking the wrong item.

 Common examples

Common examples of RF-assisted and RF-directed putaway include the following:

  •  Forklift operators are required to find alternate locations for pallets that have been assigned to a location where the product does not fit. 
  •  Forklift operators are required to use certain reason codes when aborting a putaway task to indicate the nature of the problem. Inventory control corrects problems as they are identified. 
  •  Random pallets are moved to the Quality Control (QC) area for inspection rather than the application-assigned location. 

The putaway strategy via scenario putaway depends on attribution SKUs, location storage, and classification ABC.

Putaway Accuracy

The ability of the receiving staff to accurately put received items away into stock locations correctly, including the proper recording of the transaction, is critical to all subsequent inventory transactions. If a putaway is done incorrectly, it is very difficult to find an item or verify that an incorrect part number or quantity has been used. An incorrect putaway also impacts the materials planning staff, which now has incorrect information about how much stock is on hand.

The basic putaway issue can be quantified with the putaway accuracy measurement. To calculate it, divide the total number of putaway transactions during the measurement period into the number of items for which an accurate putaway transaction was recorded. The formula is:

Putaway accuracy=Number of accurate putaway transactions/Total number of putaway transactions

From a practical perspective, it is usually easier to determine the number of incorrect putaways than the number of correct ones, so the numerator can be modified to be the total number of putaway transactions, less the number of putaway errors. This percentage is most easily calculated by periodically testing a sample of all inventory items. This measurement should be clearly posted for the warehouse staff to read, thereby driving home the importance of a correct putaway. One should also include it in the performance reviews of the warehouse staff, for the same reason.

Putaway Cycle Time

The accuracy of a putaway, as noted in the last measurement, is certainly important, but can take so long that it impacts the ability of a company to turn around items for shipment to customers or delivery to the shop floor. Consequently, one must also track the average putaway cycle time to ensure that this is being done in as short a period as possible. It is best to report the putaway cycle time and putaway accuracy measurements together in order to obtain an overall picture of the putaway function.

To measure putaway cycle time, subtract the arrival time of each receipt from its putaway time, summarize this information for all receipts during the measurement period, and divide it by the total number of receipts in the period. Given the large number of receiving transactions for all but the smallest warehouses, this  measurement is best calculated via the materials management database. Also, since the measurement is based on the time of receipt and putaway (i.e., the number of minutes and seconds elapsed between these two events), the only way to obtain accurate transaction stamping is to use online, real-time data entry, which calls for the use of portable terminals linked to the materials management database. If this data collection system is not available, the measurement should not be used. One more problem is the likely presence at the end of each measurement period of receipts that have not yet been put away. If one ignores these transactions for purposes of calculating the measurement, the average putaway cycle time will almost certainly be too low, since the items causing putaway problems are not being included. A better approach is either to delay the calculation until the unfinished transactions are completed or to revise the calculation a month later when the next periodic measurement is made.