4 Best Practices in the Inventory Management through LPNs

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This best practices that you implement in your supply chain is to Keep Track of Stock Movements through LPN (License Plate Number). You can make it a rule in your in your DC (Distribution Center) that any product which may be just one unit or two units or three units whatever it is any product, group of products, any set of products that you’re moving always gets an LPN. 

  1. LPN could be even called as a case number, it should be always applied to the products, even if it is one product or two product that moves together in the DC. 
  2. The second rule is you should always scan this LPN into a location, it could be a dock door location, it could be receiving, staging location in the dock-door or it could be some problem location or it could be an exceptional hospital Lane.It always helps you to find the product and improves visibility by providing details on what the product is, where it is located in your huge facility. This will help you to exactly locate the product, where the product is and what that product is by looking up in the system by having an LPN.
  3. You can also generate an aging report which tells the details of SKU’s that are staying at your DC for a long time. It may have not moved for the last 90 days or 180 days or 360 days.
  4. If you are buying product from small vendors and they’re all shipping parcels which comes in boxes. These parcels may not have a label or the label would have been damaged or sometimes it does not have a packing slip. If nobody knows where it came from and why it is there and if there is no way to track it back to an ASN or track it back to some kind of a vendor or a customer order or purchase order that misplaced it’s it just sometimes gets tricky. When you run into this kind of scenario you can apply an LPN and then scan it to a location. It will now be visible in your system and when somebody comes asking for that specific SKU you can easily track the location and content of the SKU. Supposedly if a vendor calls you and asks if you have received this particular SKU, you can directly track it and confirm with your vendor on this and you can send it to a customer and the vendor and you will earn after you ship it to a client / customer asking for this particular SKU. 

When you apply an LPN into every single product or every group of products in a normal scenario everything will be fine because you’re receiving a PO, packing slip with the shipment, based on the packing slip every detail can be extracted like, from which vendor it came from. After receiving that specific shipment, then verifying the shipment the vendor gets paid and you have the product going in it’s reserve or active location. 

lpn-in-warehouse

We have heard horror stories where this 3PL shipped some product on behalf of another customer and the products showed up and nobody looked at it and nobody knew the product was there and after some time it’s like completely damaged and everybody found it after six months. It cannot be sold anymore and we have heard more horror stories like that, you know this is something to think about when assigning LPN and make that a thumb rule for operations in your DC for any product that comes assign an LPN. Hopefully this best practices in inventory management is helpful, please check out other best practices we have in our YouTube channel and share your thoughts, share your comments and we would love to hear your feedback below in the comments section.

Originally published at Smartgladiator.com on Jun 18, 2019.


Puga Sankara is the co-founder of Smart Gladiator LLC. Smart Gladiator designs, builds, and delivers market-leading mobile technology for retailers, distributors, and 3PL service providers. So far, Smart Gladiator Wearables have been used to ship, receive, and scan more than 50 million boxes. Users love them for the lightweight, easy-to-use soft overlay keyboard and video chatting ability, data collection ability etc. Puga is a supply chain technology professional with more than 17 years of experience in deploying capabilities in the logistics and supply chain domain. His prior roles involved managing complicated mission-critical programs driving revenue numbers, rolling out a multitude of capabilities involving more than a dozen systems, and managing a team of 30 to 50 personnel across multiple disciplines and departments in large corporations such as Hewlett Packard. He has deployed WMS for more than 30 distribution centers in his role as a senior manager with Manhattan Associates. He has also performed process analysis walk-throughs for more than 50 distribution centers for WMS process design and performance analysis review, optimizing processes for better productivity and visibility through the supply chain. Size of these DCs varied from 150,000 to 1.2 million SQFT. Puga Sankara has an MBA from Georgia Tech. He can be reached at [email protected] or visit the company at www.smartgladiator.com. Also follow him at www.pugasankara.com.

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