Multiple Bin Tracking - Transform GP into your WMS

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By: Pam Burnham, Director of Product Strategy 

Do you have inventory to track? 

Instead of an investment in an independent Warehouse Management System (WMS), consider the functionality already available in your current Dynamics GP investment. In this article, we want to introduce you to one of the features that can transform your GP environment into an embedded WMS:  Multiple Bin Tracking.  A feature that will allow you to maintain GP as your single system of truth.

We get moans from partners and customers both when we initially bring up this topic. Understandable since it does carry a lot of extra overhead if you do not have the tools in place, such as our PanatrackerGP solution, to support it. But those looking for a WMS solution are looking for this specific function which allows you to know where exactly the inventory is located and how much you have. When you add the ability to record the inventory transactions at the time and point the inventory is handled, it isn’t necessary to use a separate system that requires reconciliation overhead.

General Multiple Bin Configuration Overview

When you enable multiple bin tracking (Panatracker tips on bins), you then enable the ability to set up bin locations under each of your sites. You need at least one bin defined per site. If you have sites that are virtual or you don’t need multiple bin locations configured, you simply set a single bin, we recommend naming the same as the site.  Bin setup in GP is flexible. If you determine later that a site requires more bin locations, there is nothing stopping you from adding more.

The additional bin set up in GP includes the ability to set a default bin. These default bins can be configured on either a Site or Item+Site level. Transactions Impacted Include

  • Purchase Receipts
  • Purchase Returns
  • Sales Order Fulfillment
  • Sales Returns
  • Assembly Receipts
  • Material Issues
  • Manufacturing Receipts
  • Repair Issues

Setting up these defaults can save you the time required to manually select bins when inventory transactions are entered directly into GP. Using a solution like PanatrackerGP will put the ability to capture and enter transactions on the warehouse floor; inventory control has never been easier.

Priority Bin Setup Adds Min and Max Logic

In addition to the bin default assignments, there is also set up for the Priority Bins. The priority bin setup is on the Item + Site level. In addition to defining what bins to configure as priorities for each item, a min and max quantity assignment can be set up. Great tool for restocking reporting. You can set up as many priority bins as you need for each item and site combination. We recommend setting Priority 1 to match the item Sales Order Fulfillment default since this would represent your primary stock bin location.

Obtain Access to Real-Time Available Inventory

Another great advantage of moving to multiple bin tracking in GP is more true reporting on your available quantity.  If you use Sales Order Processing in GP and allocate your inventory, you know that the On Hand – Allocation = Available inventory. But it doesn’t really represent what you truly have in stock at any given point and time. On a site level, it is typically a number between the On Hand and Available at any given point. This is primarily due to delays in the posting of the sales order invoices. So the order may be picked and shipped, but GP is still showing the inventory as On Hand until the invoice (or any other inventory transactions) are posted.

By using a separate fulfillment process on sales orders with multiple bin tracking, the inventory is taken out of available at the bin level … when the inventory is removed for fulfillment and shipping. Bin level quantities end up being true to real-time giving you great inventory management. This is an added bonus to the fact that you also give the order pickers access to see exactly where the inventory is and the respective bin inventory levels.  If using PanatrackerGP, bins with available inventory are automatically defaulted for the user for a ‘guided’ pick process making it even more streamlined.

Add More Tracking Logic with Advanced Bin Management

We feel that GP provides a great foundation for inventory location tracking with the multiple bin infrastructure. We have built on that foundation to take it to a WMS level with our Advanced Bin Management module. This extends the bin infrastructure to support defining a bin type. Bin types include:

  • Stock
  • Overstock
  • Staging
  • License Plate

With bins defined to these categories, we can add more advanced logic. For example, you may not want order pickers to default to an overstock bin if it requires a lift truck to reach the items. If inventory is ‘staged’ for another order, you don’t want those bins available to other order pickers.  The license plate bin is a ‘moveable’ bin that represents grouping inventory to be moved as a single unit. By defining the bin as this type allows us to enable this additional logic for WMS-like inventory control.

More Precise Reconciliation of Physical Counts

Another advantage of multiple-bin setup in GP is set up and managing stock count functions. By having more specific locations to count against. If you count against an item in one general site, you need to complete the count against the entire site before you can reconcile. With bins, inventory transaction activities can be resumed faster since your count is against the Site + Item + specific Bin.

Turn MSDGP To Your Fully Integrated WMS

Multiple bin tracking is a coveted feature of a WMS and already exists within your Dynamics GP environment. Panatrack can guide you in setup and the migration path to using this feature. The PanatrackerGP solution turns multiple bin tracking into an effective tool to streamline your inventory tracking and adding the control you need.

Contact Panatrack for more information or to schedule a demo!

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