AutoAllocation Rules and Pickslip Release Strategies

The Auto Reserve function uses various picking strategy settings in the WMS setup to attempt to automatically reserve stock from the most optimal location. The following picking strategies can be selected:

Rule 1 - Packs from Bulk then Pickface
  • This rule will first reserve full packs from bulk and then the balance from pick face. e.g.
  • If we have a requirement of 550Kg a pack size in 250Kg and a bulk pallet of 750 and some stock in pickface.
  • The system will reserve 500 (2 Packs) from bulk and 50 from pick face
Rule -2 Smallest Absolute Variance
  • This rule will reserve from Bulk only and will select the pallet with the closest quantity to the requirement.
  • This rule will not break bulk pallets but may over or under allocate on a specific line. e.g.If we have the following pallets available in bulk

Rule 3 - Exact from Pickface
  • This rule will simply reserve all the requirement from the pickface locations only.
  • This rule will not over reserve it will only reserve if there is stock in the pickface, else nothing will be reserved.
Rule 4 - Pickface (if configured) then Bulk
  • This rule will first try and reserve from pickface, provided one has been configured. If configured the system will also over reserve if this is allowed.
  • If over reserving is not allowed or there is no pickface location set up, the system will reserve the stock from bulk in FIFO order.
  • Prior to version 4.0.13 there had to be enough stock in pickface to fulfil the whole order.
  • If not, the entire reservation was done from bulk. After 4.0.13 the system will reserve as much as possible from Pickface and then reserve the remaining quantity from bulk.
Rule 5 - Bulk/Pickface Optimized
  • This rule will perform the following in order and is designed to use up old stock first, then take from bulk without breaking pallets and finally from pickface but not depleting the pickface fully.
  • Reserve from any bulk pallets that will expire in the next 3 months
  • Reserve any full pallets where the quantity <= the requirement, this will be a loop that will continue until there are no pallet with a quantity <= requirement or the requirement is satisfied.
  • Reserve the remaining requirement from pickface provided the quantity required is within 40% of the minimum of the pickface, if not get from bulk.
  • The system will always exclude expired stock and if a stock items has an expiry of 0000-00-00 it will NEVER be reserved
Rule 6 - Reserve from Pickface, if cannot, then reserve from bulk
  • This rule will first reserve all quantities from pickface unless the requirement is more than the minimum pickface replenishment level for that stockcode.(No over-reservation in pickface will be allowed.)
  • If the requirement is more than the minimum level, no reservation from pickface and everything reserved from a bulk location within the same warehouse.
  • If there is no pickface setup for the product in the main warehouse, reserve from bulk within the main warehouse, provided there is sufficient stock in the bulk location.
  • If there is no pickface setup and there is insufficient stock in bulk in the main warehouse, the software will not reserve the line and manual reservation will be required.
  • Where the Auto-allocation rule does not automatically reserve stock, the user will be required to enter each unreserved line and manually reserve the stock by selecting which pallet and bin to use.
  • The Auto-allocation rule selects oldest pallets first by default.
Rule 7 - (used for JOBS ONLY)
  • Each line will be divided by the SYSPRO pan size. Full pan sizes will be reserved in the supplying warehouse (as configured in the Pickface Management).
  • The balance will be reserved in the pickface warehouse.
  • All job allocation lines will be auto allocated. As from version 4.0.15, if the SYSPRO pack size of an item is set to 999999.99, the line will not be autoreserved and will be highlighted in purple. The Operator will then need to manually reserve these; this is intended to cater for items where the packsize varies from time to time.
Rule 8 - Voice picking/Carton Cubing
  • This Rule is used when running in a voice Environment. It also performs warehouse splitting.
  • This rule can only be applied in an environment where the sales orders are loaded per warehouse (This will not work if a Sales Order has more than one warehouse).
  • This Rule affects the autoallocate process as well as the pickslip creation (confirmation) stage.

Autoallocate:

The system checks the packsize (SYSPRO Pan Size).

  • a) Multiples of packsize – will be allocated from Pickface Source warehouse. The Pickface will be allocated first and then the bulk
  • b) Less than the packsize – Allocated form the warehouse on the Sales Order warehouse. Reserving will take place in bulk bins first and then pickface bins (to clear any bulk bins first)

Confirm:

At Confirmation is where the carton cubing logic comes into effect. A pickslip will be created for each sales order number and the system will add to the pickslip header.

1.Packsizes:

  • a.Create a new carton for every packsize
  • b.Write the new carton number to each reservation line in the reservation table

2.Less than Packsize:

  • a.Sort lines by wearer and then by SKU
  • b.Open a Large Carton
  • c.Allocated SKU to that carton
  • d.Allocate next SKU to carton
  • e.When the carton is full, open a new carton and load the SKUs
  • f.Once all SKUs have been loaded for the wearer, reduce the size of the last carton to the smallest size carton or bag that can still fit all of the wearer’s SKUs.

3.Multi Wearer Cartons:

a.In the case where a wearer’s SKUs can fit into a bag, the software wull not allocate a bag, but will sideline the requirement until the whole order has been processed. All bag allocations will then be grouped and reallocated into large cartons. These cartons will contain bags for multiple wearers.

b.This will affect the process at the induction station. 1 carton label will be produced, but instead of just one PackingSlip, a packing slip for each wearer is produced. Each packing slip will be attached to the bag inside the carton for that wearer.

Rule 9 - MHE

This Auto Allocation Rule caters for picking with different Material Handling Equipment (MHE) within the warehouse. At a high level, the following 3 steps are involved in the reservation of stock:

  1. Reserve from single SKU Tracking IDs.
  2. Reserve from Multi SKU Tracking IDs
  3. Remainder from Single SKU Tracking IDs with current reservations
Rule 10 - Not in Use
Rule 11 - FIFO Lot/Expiry Date
  1. Identify all Tracking IDs for the Sales Order Lines Stockcode and Warehouse.
  2. Sort the Tracking IDs by the Lot Expiry date
  3. Reserve from these Tracking IDs in DATE order (results from sort – “oldest” first).

The picking strategies are set in WAREHOUSE SETTINGS under PICKING_SALES_ALLOCATION > AUTO_RESERVATION_RULE

Rule 12 - Consolidated Sequencing
  • Rule 12 facilitates that a Picking Slip can be split, so that it can be picked by different operators in different locations within the main warehouse at the same time. This is done using the Area definition against the bin locations to split the picking.
  • Before the Picking Operators pick, they specify the Area in which they are working, on their scanner. When assigning a pick, a Picking Area Instruction Document is created. This is used to identify the details of the picking slip for the specific area that the operator is working in.
  • This is called consolidated sequencing the operator in each area can take several smaller work tasks, spanning multiple orders and pick them simultaneously in their area.
  • Look at the quantity to be reserved on the sales order line and check the following:
  1. If the quantity is less than or equal the percentage defined in RULE_12_PERCENT, PICKING_SALES_ALLOCATION of the Maximum Level of the pickface bin of the stockcode, create a full reservation against that pickface Bin. (This might create an over-reservation in pickface but this is allowed provided there is enough stock in the entire warehouse.). Note if (2) below has already been performed thus this is not the first iteration, the system should ignore the 40% logic and reserve what it can.
  2. If the quantity is greater than the percentage defined in RULE_12_PERCENT, PICKING_SALES_ALLOCATION of the Maximum Level of the pickface bin of the stockcode, Reserve from the pallet with the closest quantity available to the remaining requirement. I.e. try satisfy the order from one bulk location if possible.(If there are equal available quantities, take the oldest pallet based on SYSPRO’s LotExpiryDate (if available), otherwise reserve in Pallet Number order.) NOTE the rule must search for pallets with quantity available greater or equal to the required quantity first and then if there is no pallet look for pallets with a quantity less than the required but still closest to the required quantity.This is done to cater for the following scenario, qty required = 5, pallet A’s qty available = 7, pallet B’s qty available = 4. The variance between pallet B and the required qty is the smallest but it will be better to reserve from pallet A which can satisfy the entire line.
  3. Once the first pallet has been reserved in point (1), re-calculate the requirement and then re-run point (1) and (2) on the revised amount until the entire requirement is satisfied.Where there is not enough stock in the entire warehouse, reserve what can be reserved.

Rule 13
  • This is called “Area Sequenced Picking”. This rule is used when there is no Pickface configured but a Bulk Replenishment structure is required in the Warehouse. A pickface is not used in this environment because of the quick rate that SKUs are rotated as well as a high number of different SKUs which would make the management of pickfaces too time consuming and would hold up releasing and picking.
  • Rule 13 utilizes an Area based structure in the warehouse, which does not isolate stockcodes to specific Bins (as with a pickface), but rather dedicates them to an area within the warehouse.
  • The Picking Slips are split based on the idea that each area would be picked by different Material handling equipment and thus be picked by different people at different rates. Allowing each area to pick independently and concurrently will assist in the full order being ready sooner. (this is configured by the following SYSTEM settings SPLIT_PICKS_BY_AREA_SALES_ORDERS and SPLIT_PICKS_BY_AREA_SCT in the PICKING_SALES_ALLOCATION System.)
  • This allows Pickers, Forklifts and ManUps to operate independently but still pick for the same sales order. Picking slips are linked by an MSN number . Using this rule thus requires consolidation at checkout if 1 invoice per sales order is to be generated. e.g using a Carton Label for identification and the scanner Checkout Putaway application to ensure the Picking Slip is consolidated back as a single unit. However, the system can easily be setup such that the user can invoice each picking separately – meaning that an order can leave if 1 area is outstanding.
  • In order to use this rule, Areas must be configured for each bin. Each area must have a sequence number (this will determine “priority” of the Area ie. Where stock will be first reserved from IF there is stock in more than 1 area). Additionally, an area can be flagged as a full pallet area, which will force the software to reserve pallets with qtys that are multiples of the PalletQty setup against the WH in SYSPRO first before breaking pallets. Only after all full pallets are reserved will the software pass through the areas again to reserve remainder qtys. If the full pallet area flag is not applied, FIFO will be applied by this rule.
  • For lines loaded in an alternate UOM, this rule will reserve qtys in factors of the alt uom only.
Custom rule
  • The custom rule is a VB scripting plug-in that allows a DAATSCOPE WMS client to develop a completely customized set of inventory reservation logic and to drop this code into the DATASCOPE framework. Complex sites typically build a custom rule to reserve stock to specifically optimize the picking process in their distribution center. This rule allows you to "go to town" with an advanced logic including carton cubing and optimized picking flows by warehouse, warehouse area or even product groupings.