This article is intended to clarify the logic that Infoplus uses to allocate inventory for fulfillment purposes. This page also details the numerous settings that can be uniquely configured to give our users unlimited control over their fulfillment operations. To get the best Infoplus experience it is important to ensure each of these settings are properly configured in your instance of Infoplus. Feel free to open a thread in our forum if you have any specific questions or recommendations for us.


Topic Overview:

  • Understanding Allocation Considerations
    • Configuring Locations for Desired Allocation
    • Configuring Items for Desired Allocation
    • Configuring Fulfillment Plans for Desired Allocation



Understanding Allocation Considerations


Depending on the allocation rules for each item on an order, Infoplus will consider the following fields to properly determine what inventory is allocated. This article will touch on each of the following:

  • Location Behavior Type (forward locations are considered before standard locations)
  • Location Cost (lowest costs first, blank being the best)
  • Location Priority (highest priority first, blank being the worst)
  • Field Allocation & Sort (only applicable for weak or strict allocation)
  • Receipt Distribution Date
  • Receipt Received Date
  • Receipt PO Number
  • Location Sort (Address or Custom Field)
  • Receipt Ids


The inventory receipt fields are captured at the time of receipt. If your inventory receipt data needs corrected, you can edit item receipt records.



Allocation Formula: Fulfillment Plan Filters + Location Settings + Item Settings = Allocation Results


Tweaking any part of this formula allow our users to create custom allocation procedures based on item attributes, lines of business, order attributes and much more.



Configuring Fulfillment Plans for Desired Allocation


This section will detail the Fullfilment Plan fields that influence allocation and explain how they all interact with one another. Our users can create as many of these plans as necessary to accommodate different workflows.


The filters on fulfillment plans are the very first determining factors for allocation.  Before allocation ever occurs, allocation will be limited to the location smart filter that is set on each plan (if there is one set). Likewise, if you are running fulfillment plans on an automated basis, you can limit what orders get considered for allocation via the order smart filter field. 


Order Smart Filters are only applicable with scheduled and manual fulfillment plan runs (via scheduled plan or action menu of fulfillment plan table). This will only attempt to fulfill orders that meet this criteria.


Location Smart Filters are used to include or exclude specific locations from the fulfillment plan. Location smart filters also dictate the sort in which allocation occurs, so be sure to save your smart filter sorted how you want allocation to occur (ie sorted on a pick sequence field). 


Worth the Mention:


  • Pick Sort Rule allows users to sort picks by either location or sku. If you choose location, the system will by default sort the pick by your location address, ie (location A-01-003 is picked before B-01-044, C-01 etc.) However, you can use a custom field to assign a value to each location and create custom pick patterns. 
  • Location Sort If location is chosen as the pick sort, you can choose to sort by address, ie (location A-01-003 is picked before B-01-044, C-01 etc.) or as previously mentioned, users can create a custom field to assign a value to each location to create custom pick patterns that can be sorted on.


Note that Pick Sort & Location Sort are NOT considered for allocation. These rules get applied after allocation to determine how work is sorted for picking purposes.




Configuring Locations for Desired Allocation


Next up, we visit topics from the Location settings page and explore behavior types, priority codes and location costs.


Location Behavior Types are used to tell Infoplus what your physical warehouse setup looks like. (ie which locations are your forward pick locations, your pallet racking, case picking etc.) Each behavior type serves a specific purpose in determining how orders are allocated and fulfilled. The rule of thumb is that forward locations are considered before any other location type. 

  • Standard is the default behavior type. This can be used for locations that don't fit into any other behavior type and does not prohibit any of our picking methodologies. 
  • Forward Each & Forward Case are designated for your easy to pick locations. These locations should contain your "high velocity" items and are typically associated with a Pick Face Assignment to help manage replenishments.
  • Pallet type option is recommended for locations that will always have full pallets. Partial pallet / case picking is not allowed for these locations.
  • Case This option is recommend for locations that will always have cases in them. Each / Inner Pack picking is not allowed for this behavior type. 
  • Non-pickable locations will not be considered for allocation. This is the recommend option for QC & Damaged type locations. 
  • LPN stands for 'License Plate Number' and is used for temporary purposes. Inventory is temporarily located in an LPN position congruent with it's item receipt id until is physically located into a put away location. (ie receipt id 157 would have been on LPN000157). LPN locations are automatically removed from the system when no longer in use. 


Priority Codes are numeric values used to influence how Infoplus treats a location. The higher the number, the higher the priority. When allocating inventory for orders, if the same inventory is available in multiple locations, the priority code indicates which location to pull from. 


Location Costs are a recommended alternative to priority codes. Just as it sounds, a cost can be assigned to each location. Infoplus will always look for the lowest cost available when considering what locations to allocate from. This is very useful for hard to reach or less than desirable locations as you can simply assign a cost them and avoid them whenever possible. 


Worth the Mention:

  • Custom Fields can also be used to sort allocation. With this, users can create custom pick patterns that make sense for their unique space and racking setup. Typically we recommend using a sequential number sequence that can be sorted on. 
  • Location level item mixing can be controlled with the true/false item mixing field. Having this field set to false will not allow users to put more than one item in the location at a time. 




Configuring Items for Desired Allocation


This section of the article is going to focus specifically on the mixing and allocation settings for unique item records. Lot & Item Mixing Rules determine if each item can be stored in a location with, A: other inventory (by receipt), and B: other items (by SKU). The Allocation Rules are applied for the item settings of each order line to determine inventory allocation.  

  • Labor Optimized is recommended for clients who do not need to abide by FIFO or FEFO rules. Labor optimization will consider all aspects of this article to determine the best allocation. 
  • Weak is useful for users who want to keep FIFO/FILO standards in their non forward locations but be able to mix product in a labor optimized manner in forward locations. 
  • Strict is suggested to only be used when you need the tightest level of control over lot tracking. 


Allocation Field & Sort options are used to tell Infoplus what fields to key off of when Weak or Strict allocation is selected. For example, if you wanted to allocate inventory based on expiration date rather than the receipt date, you can set the allocation field to expiration date and set the sort to ascending (oldest to newest). The allocation field options are:

  • Distribution Date
  • Received Date (FIFO)
  • Expiration Date (FEFO) 
  • Order Date 
  • Prod Lot 
  • Product ID Tag
  • Revision


The table below shows how the allocation logic is determined (in order of bulleted point) for each allocation rule.


Labor Optimized

Weak

Strict

• Location Behavior Type 

• Location Cost 

• Location Priority

• Receipt Distribution date

• Receipt Received date

• Receipt PO Number

• Location Address (or custom field pick sequence) 

• Receipt Id

• Location Behavior Type

• Location Cost

• Location Priority

• Allocation Field & Sort

• Receipt Distribution Date

• Receipt Received Date

• Receipt PO No

• Location Address (or custom field pick sequence)

• Receipt Id

• Allocation Field & Sort

• Received Distribution Date

• Receipt Received Date

• Receipt PO No

• Location Behavior Type

• Location Cost

• Location Priority 

• Location Address (or custom field pick sequence)

• Receipt Id



Worth the Mention:


You can also drive fulfillment off of Product ID Tags by setting up a Product ID Tag scheme. This is useful if you want to allocate and pick orders based on unique product ID values assigned at receipt. (typically a unique pallet/drum/barrel/crate etc identifier)





 Feel free to open a thread in our forum if you have any specific questions or recommendations for us.