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The A-Z of Warehouse Jargon

Image credit: Mark Hunter via Flickr 

When it comes to warehousing and storage, the industry has a great deal of jargon and terms that can be confusing. Most of us know the basic ones – shelving, mezzanine floors, and lockers, but we thought we would cover some of the lesser known terms. Have a look:

Advanced Shipment Notification (ASN): This is a notification sent to a client with details about a shipment and includes info such as SKU numbers, quantity, locker or carton/container number.

Blanket Order: This refers to orders that are for a particular quantity over a particular amount of time. However, specific dates for shipments are not specified.

Cantilever rack: The shelving supports on a cantilever racking system are connected to vertical supports at the rear. This is ideal for stock that is long and takes up a lot of space horizontally.

Direct Store Delivery: This refers to deliveries that are made direct to retailers – this is often seen in the grocery industry. This method bypasses third-party delivery companies.

Effective Lead Time: This is related to lead time, except various other factors that may affect lead time are taken into account, such as internal processing.

First-In First-Out (FIFO): This refers to a method of picking and packing – items that are packed first are taken out first. This method is used with stock that has an expiry date – older items are picked first.

Gravity Conveyer: This is a type of automated conveyance system that utilises gravity to move stock.

Honeycombing: This occurs in high-density storage when stock does not perfectly fit into the pallet storage system. While this happens frequently in warehousing, calling in a shelving, racking and lockers specialist such as Krost can help to set-up better systems that will utilise more available space effectively.

Inner Pack: This refers to storage within storage – you may have a smaller carton of stock within a larger crate.

Just-in-Time (JIT): This may refer to both shipping an order in the nick of time, or it can refer to a manufacturing process where excess material wasted and time incurred during the process is reduced.

Last In First Out (LIFO): Similarly to FIFO, this is a means of picking and packing stock.

Mezzanine Floor: This is one our specialities. We build an extra level of storage between floors to make the utmost of the space available in a warehouse – both vertically and horizontally.

Negative Inventory: This occurs when the software of an inventory system lists the amount of stock available as less than nil.

Order Cost: All industries have a cost that is simply the cost of doing business, and this is one of them in the warehousing industry. This is the cost incurred simply when an item is ordered. This can include various facets – labour and time covering most of them.

Pro-former Invoice: This is an invoice created for a client that is not binding, but will give the client an accurate quote on costs.
Queue Time: This is the time that an order waits before it is processed and shipped.

Random Location Storage: This occurs when stock is stored in random locations within a warehouse, and is less accurate than other means of storage, such as fixed storage systems.

Seasonality: Many businesses understand seasonality – it occurs when demand for an item will rise and dip depending on the time of the year. Christmas is a great example of this – Christmas related stock will not have a high demand until the end of the year.

Tilt-tray Sorter: This is a conveyance system that sorts stock using a tilting system.

Unit Measure: This will vary from warehouse to warehouse and item to item. EA, for example, will count each item as a unit, whereas CA will count each case as one unit.

Variable Lead Time: This refers to a lead time that will vary from one order to the next, depending on a number of factors such as stock levels and workload.

Warehouse Management System (WMS): This is the software that a warehouse utilises to manage the tracking of their stock.

Zone Picking: The warehouse will be divided up into zones and employees will be required to pick only from their specific zone.

If you’re looking for racking, shelving, mezzanine floors and lockers for sale in Cape Town, Durban or anywhere else in South Africa, contact us today to help you make the most of your warehouse space.