Warehouse Management System Bin Location Management

Posted by Gerry Poe

warehouse management system

Is 6 digits the longest you can have as a location number for ERP Warehouse Management System (WMS) Bin Location IDs?  Warehouse bin location IDs are small but powerful.

Let’s take a closer look at possibilities:

Your location matrix, based on your warehouse layout, can be created with logical references, extending the value of a six-digit limitation into a six-to-“nth” location IDs.

Preference/Zone Row/Assign Shelf/Static Vertical/Height Lateral/Width Bin/ID
0-9 0-9 0-9 0-9 0-9 0-9
a-z a-z a-z a-z a-z a-z
Direction: N/S/E/W Location Specific Upward (V) Laterally (L) ID
0 2 3 4 5 6
E 2 4 5 6 9
A 2 B 3 F 5
W 5 2 V 2 3
N 2 7 3 L 9
 X  Y  Z  A  B  C

Engineered matrix location schemas are not difficult nor time consuming, but do require planning and thoughtful execution and maintenance. Barcoded signage is an important adoption consideration when discussing multiple bins for materials management. If you know where items are, you can count them.

Reasons to use multi-bins:

  • Physical inventory
  • Cycle counting
  • Stock takes
  • Picking packing sequence/routing
  • Job issues
  • Job receipts
  • Receiving and Inspection
  • Lot/Serial tracking
  • Product Life-cycle management (PLM)
  • Autonomy for all stock items

ERP Software  has many digits for bin location IDs (4.611686e+80th). This may not help you today, but may give some future planning tools and help in you start bin tracking.

Have you considered a matrix design to structurally layout your bins?

This adds to the total location id (Warehouse (AA) + bin location (AABBCC), because this is part of the stock-code-warehouse locations, but the facts are it is only 6 digits. 123456 - row/bin/shelf basics - numerically this is 6 to the 62nd (0-9, a-z, A-Z X 6 digits) or something like 1.7594524e+48th bins.

The hang-up enterprise gets caught up in is the bin-logical-reference, instead of using the logic of a placement matrix. Readability is helpful, but not necessarily beneficial or efficient use of data. Larger data fields means more storage, complexity and management. 

ERP Software, bar-code software, label printers and scanners, and warehouse people care about efficiencies when a systematized location schema enables learning and understanding. Once it's designed and implemented, the location IDs work for you.

If you have Warehouse Management System questions or need assistance designing your warehouse bin-location-matrix, we are here to help.


If this is of interest, you might want to review these articles:

COLLECT® Advanced Fulfillment Software Buyer's Checklist

Successful Selection and Implementation of WMS for Manufacturing and Distribution

Warehouse Slotting – When is it time to reslot 


Tags: Warehouse Management, ERP System, WMS, Inventory Control

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