A location represents a physical space within a warehouse that an item of stock can be held in, like a shelf or a bin.
Using locations with Brightpearl means it is possible to monitor how many items of a particular product are stored in a particular location at any one time. This makes picking inventory to fulfil shipments more efficient by indicating exactly where in the warehouse the picker needs to go to find the item.
When printing picking lists in Brightpearl the items are automatically printed in location order so that the picker can take the most efficient route around the warehouse to pick all the items and take them back to the packing area. Note that if locations are not in use, picking lists display the items in SKU order.
There are 3 levels of location management in Brightpearl:
- No location management
- Standard location managemen
- Multiple concurrent location management
No location management
This is the default state of a Brightpearl account. Locations are not displayed at any point and do not require any management. It may be worth noting from a database point of view that all items are actually recorded in the system default location of 0.0.0.0. If locations are activated at a later date then ALL existing inventory will be displayed as in this location.
With standard locations you will see the "Warehouse locations" option added at Settings > Products/Inventory. This is where each location is created (per warehouse).
Each product record will display a "default location" field (per warehouse) which is used to specify where all inventory for that item is stored.
With standard locations the inventory of a product can only ever be stored in a single location (i.e. it is not possible to record 3 on shelf A and 7 on shelf B, all 10 must be on either shelf A or B).
When you ship or receive inventory it will automatically be removed or added into the default location set on the product record. Shipped items are always removed using the FIFO method.
Multiple concurrent locations
With standard locations you will see the "Warehouse locations" option added at Settings > Products/Inventory. This is where each location is created (per warehouse). When inventory is received into stock on a purchase order or added as a correction it must be received into one of the pre-defined locations. Each product record can be assigned a default location.
Each delivery of goods you receive from a supplier may be assigned to a different location, so you may end up having the same product spread across multiple locations at the same time. For example, you normally store item A in location 188.8.131.52 but it's full, so you place the rest of the items in location 184.108.40.206. The packing notes will tell the warehouse operator which location to pick the item from.
If you are using multiple concurrent locations your products can be placed in several different locations at any one time.
Hint: If you are switching on multiple concurrent locations and you already have inventory it can be easier to first switch on Standard Locations, then update your product default locations, before switching to multiple concurrent. Since using standard locations will move all your inventory as soon as the product is assigned its default location. Multiple concurrent requires you to move every item.
When you ship items they are always removed from inventory using the FIFO method, so the location depends on which items are your oldest. When you receive inventory on a purchase the location the default location is used but you have the opportunity to change it if required.
Switch on warehouse locations at Settings > Products/Inventory > Inventory settings.
The Brightpearl Location model is flexible and does not assume any particular physical layout, but is designed to support the common 'Aisle, Bay, Shelf, Bin' configuration of warehouses. They cannot be modified once created and can only be deleted if no inventory has ever been stored in the Location, so you should exercise caution.
Locations can be defined using up to four tiers, typically:
Each location is described as "AAAA.BBBB.CCCC.DDDD" - with the full stop being the separator. Aisle/bay/shelf/bin names can only be numbers and upper-case letters, up to 16 characters long. You can have some locations with just one tier, and others with more.
Each warehouse has its own set of locations, and you are allowed the same location code in multiple warehouses, so both warehouse A and warehouse B may have location 01.01.01.01.
A location can contain any products at any time (there are no limits for volume or quantity, and you can have a mix of items in a location). As you receive inventory into your warehouse, you choose which location it goes into. One month's delivery of Item X may go into location 01.02.03.04, and the next month's may go into 03.4.D.5.
When Goods-out notes are created, they automatically select which location the inventory will be allocated from, selecting the oldest inventory first (First In First Out). Note that this may not feel like the most efficient method in some circumstances, since the packing note may tell the warehouse manager to fetch items from a location at the back of the warehouse when he can see that there are items right next to the packing desk. It ensures that cost of sale is managed accurately. We may in the future define other methods for location allocation, such as "emptiest bin first", or "closest bin first".
If you do not require multiple bin locations the system will use 0.0.0.0 which is hidden and used for everything.
Inventory is moved in and out of a Location through the Goods-In Note, Goods-Out Note, Internal Transfer and External Transfer resources.
Which location is my inventory in?
You can see where in the warehouse your inventory has been placed using the Inventory detail report. Brightpearl uses a FIFO mechanism to remove the oldest items first as goods-out notes are shipped.