In order to achieve a smooth WMS implementation, the product master should be prepared to cover all the requirements and business flows. Different industries require different product configurations. I will try to explain basics of preparing a product master to be used by a warehouse management system. There are 2 options to import your product master: manual import by excel or automated import from marketplaces, your website or your ERP system. No matter which one you are going to use, I suggest preparing your product master in an excel file. This will provide you an overview of all your products and their attributes. The main data which should be included in the excel are:
All the product master starts with product code or SKU.
Your WMS system should allow you to define multiple barcodes(UPC) for the same product. If you have multiple barcodes for the same product(Vendors may print a different barcode than yours or different pack types of the product may have different barcode such as each, box, case)
Define all different pack types in your inventory. The same product may have multiple pack types such as box, case, each. It is better to gather the number of SKUs in each pack type.
Define a product group if necessary. Usually, product groups are used to distinguish different product types in your warehouse such as large and small items. The groups may be cold, dry and frozen in a food warehouse.
Assign all the products to a vendor to manage inbound and return processes effectively.
In a warehouse, there may be different type of products such as purchased, raw material, kit, bundle and manufactured. For instance, if there is a kit building process in your warehouse, the better way to manage the process is defining the item type as kit. By defining a kit item the system allows you to enter components of the kit.
ABC classification is used to determine fast moving and slow moving items. Fast moving items are received and shipped more than the others. By defining the abc class of the product, you inform your inventory management system about the transaction potential of the product. Today, advanced warehouse management systems like Logiwa WMS, can optimize the putaway location of the fast movers to achieve more productivity in the warehouse.
Lot Batch Tracking
You should indicate if the product requires lot batch tracking during the receiving or shipment process.
Serial Number Tracking
Serial numbers are used in electronics and some specific industries to track individual inventory of a product. You should indicate if the product is serial tracked or not.
Expiration date tracking is used especially in food industry to track the shelve life of the product. You should indicate if the product is expiration date tracked or not
The dimension of the product and pack types are used to calculate shipment rate, putaway location of the product. The dimension of the product, in high transactional warehouses, are also used to suggest a proper package type to the packer.
As you can imagine, we may continue adding more attributes into our product master. But above attributes and information usually will be enough for a small and medium warehouse. Before we start the implementation process, we usually ask our clients to provide a product master data to have an overview of the process. And we configure Logiwa WMS according to these parameters.
Would you like to learn more about Logiwa WMS implementation?
Meet one of our industry experts to see our product’s free live demo.