What is Putaway?
Putaway refers to the process of placing received goods or products into their designated storage locations within the warehouse. After goods have been successfully received, inspected, and recorded through processes like gate entry and Goods Receipt Note (GRN), the putaway process ensures that these items are stored in the appropriate locations until they are needed for order fulfillment or other purposes.
Types of Putaway
There are two types of putaway:
- Bin Putaway: Bin putaway constitutes a specialized method within the putaway process, entailing the placement of bins into assigned storage locations within a warehouse. The utilization of bins allows businesses to enhance inventory management and streamline warehouse operations. Adhering to effective bin putaway practices enhances accurate inventory tracking, diminishes picking errors, and elevates overall warehouse efficiency.
- Item Putaway: Item putaway involves the systematic storage of individual items in their assigned locations within a warehouse, which may include existing bins, shelves, or racks. The precise recording of each item's location enables businesses to uphold inventory visibility and enhance warehouse operations. Adhering to effective item putaway practices results in streamlined inventory management, decreased search time, and an overall improvement in warehouse efficiency.
Key aspects of the putaway process include:
- Location Assignment: Determining the optimal storage location for each item based on factors such as SKU (Stock Keeping Unit), size, weight, and storage conditions. Omniful recommends the storage locations to the picker where the item should be kept ideally.
- Inventory Management: Updating the warehouse management system (WMS) or inventory management software to reflect the new location of the received items. This ensures accurate and real-time inventory records. In the Omniful system, SKUs or items become available for selling once they are putaway. One cannot place an order for an item which is not putaway at a location.
- Organization: Arranging items in a logical and organized manner within the designated storage area. This may involve grouping similar items together or following a specific storage strategy.
When is Putaway required?
- New Inventory Arrival: After receiving new inventory or products from suppliers, putaway becomes crucial for assigning them specific storage locations within the warehouse. This step, typically performed after Goods Received Note (GRN), ensures efficient organization and retrieval when needed.
- Returns and Exchanges: In cases of customer returns or exchanges, putaway is required to seamlessly reintegrate the returned or exchanged items into the warehouse inventory. This ensures accurate tracking and availability for future orders.
- Cancelled Items: In the event of item cancellations before order fulfillment, putaway practices play a role in appropriately handling and updating the inventory status. This contributes to maintaining accurate and up-to-date warehouse records.
Efficient putaway practices contribute to overall warehouse productivity by optimizing storage space, minimizing picking times, and ensuring accurate inventory information. It is a crucial step in the larger warehouse management process that impacts the efficiency of subsequent operations, including order fulfillment and shipping.
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