A key component of Invata’s warehouse management system, FastTrak® receiving software enables goods to be received into a warehouse so that they can be added to inventory and used to satisfy order demand.
In doing so, FastTrak receiving software (a key application of our warehouse execution software) manages all aspects of the receiving process, while providing a comprehensive, real-time accounting of the status of all items in the system at any point in time, including purchase orders that are pending, in-progress, received, confirmed, and released to inventory.
The primary driver of an Invata warehouse automation system’s inbound processing capabilities, FastTrak receiving software enables goods to be received into a warehouse in a variety of methods including planned receipts, unplanned receipts, and customer returns receipts.
Depending on the manner of receipt, goods can be received using a variety of paperless technologies, including:
- In-motion scanning
- Light-directed receiving (i.e. Put-to-Light)
- Radio Frequency (RF) device receiving
- Receipt-specific screens
Methods of Receiving
Planned Receipt of Goods:
For planned receipts associated with specific purchase orders generated by the host ERP, FastTrak receiving software utilizes advanced shipment notifications or ASNs to access the details of incoming shipments from vendors or manufacturing locations in advance of the actual delivery. An advanced shipment notification lists the number of items that are being shipped along with a serial number for each case and the details of the SKUs and quantities enclosed in the case.
The use of an ASN greatly enhances productivity on the receiving dock by eliminating the need for data entry.
FastTrak receiving software will utilize ASN information to enable automatic receipt of goods against the ASN (and associated purchase order) and, subsequently, enable a variety of transactional activities to be selected for processing incoming items.
FastTrak transactional activities include:
- Confirming receipt of goods against an ASN and releasing the goods received against an ASN for assignment to inventory.
- Suspending or un-suspending a PO for processing.
- Placing received goods on hold or releasing goods from a hold status.
- Flagging goods for assignment to a dynamic pick line. Recalling goods in a PO.
- Flagging a PO for reworking and inspection. Printing ASN case labels for received goods.
- Splitting or combining cases.
- Printing inbound pallet sheets.
- Build pallets for storage of received items.
- Put-away pallets of received items.
- View and edit comments for goods being received.
- Search for PO, case, or SKU of received goods.
- Generate an audit trail for receipts.
As goods are received into the system FastTrak assigns them a disposition code which can:
- Assign the items to a variety of storage options based on put-away algorithms unique to each clients operations.
- Assign goods to inspection.
- Flag goods as damaged.
- Assign goods to be reworked (combine/split case, take special precautions with fragile items, etc.).
- Assign non-stock items to cross docking.
As FastTrak receives goods into the system, it updates the host ERP via the FastTrak host interface.
Unplanned Receipt of Goods:
Unplanned receipts are goods to be received that are not known to the host ERP and cannot be accounted for against existing purchase orders. Unplanned receipts can be entered manually into the FastTrak item master based on the items actually received. Operators can receive items for which no record exists through a series of prompts on FastTrak RF devices or workstation screens.
Once received, FastTrak then enables transactional activities for processing the goods such as printing receipts, printing in-house carton labels, and printing in-house pallet sheets. FastTrak receiving software also manages pallet building via RF device.
As receipts are accepted into the system, FastTrak updates the host ERP of their status via the FastTrak host interface.
Customer Returns Receipts of Goods:
Customer returns are generally not known to FastTrak prior to their arrival, but can be processed through FastTrak receiving software and either returned to inventory or to damaged inventory, depending on the reasons for the return.
Returns are typically accompanied by paperwork specifying an order number, which FastTrak uses to retrieve the customer number, business unit, and SKU information, if available. If retrieved, FastTrak receiving software then validates the ship date to verify that the return falls within the allotted (FastTrak-configurable) number of days for returns to that business unit. If past, a supervisory password is required for processing. FastTrak also prompts for a reason for return code, which accompanies the record.
Once returning SKUs are scanned via the UPC (or manually entered), FastTrak receiving software can print a customer returns receipt and product price tickets, if needed. Once customer returns receiving is complete, goods can be released for put-away and the host ERP is updated. Returns can be completed with overages or shortages as actual counts are reported to the host for inventory purposes.
Track and Trace in Receiving Software
FastTrak receiving software automatically associates purchase order information with goods being received for track and trace auditing purposes. As items are entered into inventory FastTrak retains their PO association while in storage and through packing. This includes country of origin (COO), which is determined for the PO from the ASN download, and lot, serial number, and expiration date which are entered during receiving inspection if available.
FastTrak receiving software automatically transfers the COO, lot, serial number, and expiration date to outbound items when they are picked for shipping.
Automated Functions Controlled by FastTrak Receiving Software:
- Light-directed zone consolidation
- In-motion label application, weighing, dimensioning, and sortation
- Automated truck unloading
FastTrak ReceivingSoftware Benefits:
- Receive goods as planned receipts, unplanned receipts, and customer return receipts.
- Receive multiple orders at the same time in any sequence.
- Receive goods using in-motion scanning, light-directed receiving (i.e. Put-to-Light), Radio Frequency (RF) device, and workstation screens.
- Print identification labels for items, cartons, or pallet (PID) as items are received.
- Split/combine cases of incoming goods.
- Cross-dock items to picking locations or directly to shipping. Immediately put product away without staging.
- Utilize bar code scanning or lookup to identify items as they are received.
- Collect and track product weights and dimensions.
- Algorithmically direct receipts to inspection and quality control.
- Algorithmically direct put-away of received goods to storage.
- Generate comprehensive audit trails for any PO receipt, case, or SKU.
For a detailed demonstration of the actual process of receiving goods into a warehouse via FastTrak receiving software screen captures, view our Receiving Software Process page.
To learn more about what Invata receiving software can do to improve your omni-channel fulfillment operation, contact us, and we’ll be happy to share more about our deep experience of employing receiving software and warehouse automation technologies to enhance operational productivity.