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WOS has options to track consumables in the warehouse as inventory. Consumables can be boxes, mailers, or packaging materials that are used in the warehouse but not sold online or considered a product. The main purpose for tracking inventory for consumables is to be able to quickly ascertain stock quantities, to more easily identify when more need to be ordered. When inventory is tracked in WOS, the Reorder Point report can indicate when these items need to be restocked when inventory falls below the Reorder Point value.
Because consumables don’t appear on Orders, inventory is not automatically decremented when materials are used. A unique inventory approach is required for tracking these items.
Track by Unit
To track inventory for consumable materials, Puts and Cycle Counts can be utilized to make managing this inventory straightforward.
- Create Locations where the consumables are stored.
- Create Items in WOS for each type of box, mailer, or packaging item.
- Use Put feature in Inventory Management to add inventory for consumables.
- At the end of each day, perform a Cycle Count for the consumable locations/items.
- Doing a Cycle Count makes it easy to validate the inventory back to what is left at the end of the day, rather than having to track when each box is taken or keeping any sort of tally. Doing a Pull would require a little bit of math to count how much inventory is left and identify what value would need to be subtracted from the original quantity.
For most consumable materials, they typically come in packs or bundles. When tracking inventory for these items by units, consider utilizing those bundle configurations as the unit. Counting the inventory at the end of the day would be much quicker than attempting to count partial packs and bundles with individual pieces.
Track by Pallet
When multiple pallets of each box size or material are stored, tracking each individual pallet as a unit of 1 can be effective. Multiple pallets of consumables should be rotated, keeping some easily accessible for the packing team, and storing the rest in an overstock section of the warehouse. This strategy would only track full pallets of consumables, removing the need to keep track of partial pallets.
- Create Location(s) for the consumable overstock area.
- Create Items in WOS for the consumable materials.
- Use Manage Inventory Put function to add inventory for consumable items, adding a quantity of 1 for each pallet.
- When a pallet is brought up from the overstock location, perform a Pull to decrement inventory by 1.
Reorder Point is an Item level Detail. The quantity set in this field indicates when an item should be flagged as needing to be restocked. When inventory for an item falls below the quantity set in the Reorder Point field, it will populate on the report: "Items Below Reorder Point." This can be found under Reports -> Report Links.
Setting a quantity in the Reorder Point field on an item can be done via the Items grid, Item edit page, or an Item csv upload.
- Items grid actions are listed at the bottom right of the grid, this can be an effective method to set the Reorder Point for multiple items at a time.
- Item edit page allows edits to be made to Item Details on an individual level.
- A CSV upload can be performed from the Import/Export Records page. For more information on how to do this, view our Exporting and Importing Records article.