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Glossary of terms

alphanumeric

An alphanumeric character is either a letter of the alphabet or a digit. An alphanumeric code is one which consists of any combination of letters and numbers, up to a maximum number of characters.

blind receiving

An unexpected delivery arrives at the warehouse for which there is no existing pre-advice receipt on Sont-IAI. When you receive this kind of delivery, it is known as Blind Receiving on Sont-IAI.

consignments

A way of organizing customer orders into groups. Usually, one consignment contains all the customer orders going into one truck load of goods.

You can print out shipping documents for each consignment, but not until all the customer orders within the consignment are complete.

consolidation

A type of move task created when you choose to consolidate a number of customer orders into one group. Consolidation allows you to keep the move tasks together as they are moved around the warehouse, and finally, to a ship dock.

damaged stock

A reason code used to indicate that there is less stock in this location than there should be, because some of it is damaged. This creates an automatic stock check task for someone to go and double check the quantity of stock in that location.

database

A collection of records which are stored on the computer disk. The database stores the information in the easiest and most efficient form for the computer to manage. When you want to see the records stored in the database, you search for them using Sont-IAI. It finds the records and displays them to you in a different form, which you can easily interpret.

daemon

A daemon is a process that runs behind the scenes and completes the tasks you create for Sont-IAI. For example, a daemon completes the allocation of inventory to an order, completes move tasks, merges records from another system, and purges old records.

default to order

After you allocate inventory, it defaults to the current customer order status: Released or on Hold.

disowned

Every task has its own process ID. These IDs are cycled and then reused. When Sont-IAI comes across a task with a status of "Pending", "Launched", or "Terminate" that has been there for some time, it cannot risk updating another process with the same ID. In this case, it ignores these tasks and sets their status to "Disowned".

The "Pending" and "Launched" tasks may still go on and be completed at a later date. Tasks with a status of "Terminate" are halted.

download

A process that transfers information (or data) from another computer system into Sont-IAI. The other computer system is known as the host system.

dropping pool

An area within the warehouse where post pallet quantities required for customer orders are sorted onto pallets, into cages, etc. Also known as marshaling area, or a "pick-to-delivery" process.

drop zone

The area in the warehouse which contains the dropping pool and its associated locations. This includes the in-stage, out-stage and the locations for individual customers.

dynamic pick face

This type of pick face is not tied to one location within the warehouse. It moves around, depending on the type of SKU and which locations are free at the time when the pick face is created. Before creating a dynamic pick face, Sont-IAI checks the size of the SKU to make sure it is creating the pick face in a location suitable for it.

Sont-IAI controls when and for how long the pick face exists, according to how much demand there is from customer orders for the SKU. If there is no demand for the SKU, then the pick face is not replenished. When it becomes empty, a different SKU can be put into it.

Sont-IAI creates the pick face in whichever zone of the warehouse you select for the SKU.

error

This task is suspended and cannot be finished until the problem is dealt with.

It usually happens when inventory is not present in its correct location, because of a stock adjustment or some kind of error within the database.

extract

The opposite process to downloading information into Sont-IAI. Information is transferred from Sont-IAI and stored in another computer system, via an upload process.

hold

This is the status of a move task, customer order or goods receipt. It means it is suspended and cannot be completed until its status is changed to "Released".

Also used for a QC Status of "Hold". In this case, the inventory cannot be moved, or allocated to customer orders until its status is changed to "Released". Commonly used to hold inventory in the receiving area of the warehouse until you complete a quantity or quality check.

Host System

Another computer system which Sont-IAI interfaces with. Sont-IAI downloads information from the host system, and the host system can extract information from Sont-IAI.

inlocked

A location status of "InLocked" means that you cannot put inventory into this location, but you can take inventory out.

in progress

Sont-IAI is in the process of doing a task, but it has not finished - the status of an "In Progress" task is automatically updated when the task is registered as complete.

location

Different types of areas around the warehouse, which have unique location names or codes. They are the smallest area you can specify within the warehouse and are the places which inventory is moved to, from, or stored within.

location zone

Your warehouse can be split into a number of location zones, and each zone into two further sub-zones.

A common use for location zones is to divide your warehouse into a number of areas (perhaps storage areas, staging areas, receiving areas and shipping areas), then divide those zones into a number of sub-zones, and each of these sub-zones into still smaller sub-zones.

Each of the smallest sub-zones has within it a number of unique locations. It is these locations that Sont-IAI uses to identify specific places where inventory is moved to, from, or stored within.

locked

A location status of "Locked" means you cannot put any inventory into this location, or take any inventory out.

It is also a status that you can apply to inventory - when inventory is "Locked" you cannot move it, or allocate it to customer orders until you change the status to "UnLocked".

mixed pallets

You may wish to receive goods of a different SKU onto the same pallet. These are called mixed pallets, because you are mixing SKUs.

When you do this, it is still important to record a pack configuration for each SKU on the pallet. Sont-IAI uses the tracking levels linked to the pack configuration to work out the volume for the quantity of SKU.

move task

This moves stock around the warehouse. There are several different types of move task which are automatically created. The type of task created depends on where you wish to move the stock from and where you wish to move to.

not enough

A reason code used to indicate that there is not enough stock in a given location. Sont-IAI requires a reason code when someone goes to pick the stock for an order, but cannot find the required amount. It may not be known why there is not enough stock there.

This creates an automatic stock check task to double check the amount of stock on that location.

outlocked

A location status of "OutLocked" means that you can put inventory into the location, but you cannot take inventory out.

override quantity

A reason code used to indicate that the person picking the stock has, for whatever reason, chosen to pick more or less than the required amount, but it is not because stock is damaged or missing.

pack configuration

This is the way in which inventory is stacked on pallets.

The way inventory is brought into the warehouse can depend on the supplier. For example, one supplier might send a particular type of inventory in crates, which contain ten separate pieces of inventory, and which you can stack ten crates high in a pallet; while another supplier might send the same type of inventory in packs of five, which you can stack twenty high on a pallet. The different ways in which the inventory is packaged and carried around the warehouse are called pack configurations.

If you deal with mixed pallets, it is still important to keep a record of the pack configuration so the volume of each SKU you receive on the pallet can be worked out.

pallet configuration

This is a record of each kind of pallet you use in your warehouse, together with its volume and height - pallet configuration is only used for mixed pallets.

pick

A type of move task created whenever you allocate inventory to a customer order.

pre-advised receiving

An expected delivery arrives at the warehouse for which there is a pre-advice receipt on Sont-IAI.

pre-advice receipt

Generated when expected deliveries are downloaded into Sont-IAI.

The details of a pre-advice receipt may include an order number; supplier name or code; due date for the order; reference; an automatic record of the arrival date when the delivery is received; and any accompanying notes.

putaway

A type of move task created when you receive goods to a receiving area or a staging location.

RDT Radio Data Terminal

a computer terminal linked by radio network to the Sont-IAI. These are normally "hand held" or "truck mounted". These allow instructions to be given in real time to warehouse staff. When used in conjunction with bar code scanners RDTs can help improve accuracy up to 100%. This is because the barcodes on products and locations can be scanned and checked by Sont-IAI in real time errors can then be eliminated.

receiving area

This is an area of the warehouse where incoming goods are placed, prior to being moved into storage. Also known as receiving dock.

relocate

A type of move task created when you move goods from any type of location to any other type of location that is not covered by any of the other move task types.

replenish

A special type of pick task created when you move goods from a storage location to a pick face location.

SKU

Stock Keeping Unit is a descriptive name, or product code, for the type of goods received into the warehouse. It also identifies the type of stock (inventory) found in locations throughout the warehouse and allocated for customer orders.

static pick face

This type of pick face is always used for a particular SKU and is always found in the same location within the warehouse.

stock allocation algorithms

A set of criteria that is used to select the stock (or items of inventory) to allocate to customer orders.

stock check

A type of task that is created when you start a stock check from your workstation, or automatically created when there is a quantity exception.

tracking level

Refers to the levels at which you track items through the warehouse. Tracking levels are specified for pack configuration.

For example - there might be 10 ITEMS per BOX, 10 BOXES per CRATE, 10 CRATES per PALLET - here there are four tracking levels - items, boxes, crates and pallets. Typically the number of tracking levels you have depends on the type of stock you keep in the warehouse.

unit load

Generic term used to indicate what you consider to be one unit of inventory within your warehouse. It can be one pallet of inventory, one cage full of inventory, and so on. The name of the unit load is often used as the highest tracking level for pack configuration.

work group

An arbitrary collection of customer orders. Work groups are used to schedule and prioritize the work you need to do. You can group orders together and put them into a work group, using whatever criteria is the most appropriate.

For example, a work group might consist of all the orders for a particular customer that are due to be shipped on the same date; all the orders you want finished and shipped by a certain time on a certain day; a number of consignments being shipped from the same ship dock.

Each work group has a name or code, which people working in the warehouse can use to find out the work that is waiting for them.

work zone

You can use work zones as another way of dividing your warehouse into zones, but rather than dividing it into physical location (as you do with location zones) , you divide the warehouse into zones where you want particular operators, or groups of operators to work.

When an operator logs on to their radio data terminal (RDT) to do picking or other tasks, they have the options to specify a particular work zone. They will then only receive tasks that fall into that work zone of the warehouse.