MISys Manufacturing Bin Tracking

Although the MISys Manufacturing System supports an unlimited number of warehouse locations, special requirements are imposed by manufacturers who store the same inventory item at several physical locations.

For some manufacturers, these physical locations consist of inventory bins; for others, they may be containers, bales, barrels, or bolts. Regardless of their size or shape, they all contain the same item. Yet it is important to know 1) how many bins, containers, bales, barrels, or bolts exist and 2) what quantity of the inventoried item is available in each container. This is the task handled adeptly by the MISys Bin Tracking System.

Typical Applications
Acme Filter Corporation makes furnace filters consisting of a number of component parts including Grade 2 Cellulose Fiber which is supplied in 3x4-foot bales and delivered by railcar. Because the fiber is inventoried and used by the pound, the bales are weighed on delivery - however, no two bales weigh the same. In the production process, fiber can be removed from any available bale, but the quantity of fiber remaining in each bale must be carefully tracked and instantly known to production managers.

World Wide Weaving Company weaves cotton and polyester fabrics on 56-inch looms. Production workers periodically off-load the looms onto 4-inch cardboard tubes, wrapping somewhere between 100 and 150 yards of fabric on each. As a bolt is placed on the shelf, the quantity of material contained therein is recorded on a paper tag and in WWW's computer system. Later, when a particular number of yards of fabric are sold, factory workers will select certain whole bolts, and cut and re-roll partial bolts to complete the order. 

Transnational Lubricants purchases several grades of lubricating oils and blends them for special applications in the machine tool industry. The raw materials are purchased and inventoried by the gallon, but are delivered and stored in 50-gallon barrels. Likewise, Transnational's finished product, once blended, is inventoried and shipped in 55-gallon drums. In the production process, factory workers follow strict blending orders, but are free to use raw oils from any available barrel. Depending on the size of the order, the contents of entire and partial barrels are consumed. If a barrel is emptied, the barrel is retired and recycled to the supplier. Partial barrels are relabeled with their approximate remaining quantity.

In each of these applications, it is critical to know the exact quantity represented by each container even though the entire inventory consists of several, sometimes hundreds, of individual containers.

Most inventory control systems track the entire quantity in stock, but are incapable of determining the breakdown based on bins, boxes, containers, bales, barrels, or bolts. That's where the MISys Bin Tracking System steps in.

An extra-cost option for the MISys Manufacturing System, Bin Tracking creates what is in effect an unlimited number of sub-locations for each inventory location. These sub-locations are referred to as Bin locations.

When Bin Tracking is enabled in the MISys Setup notebook, the Location Master notebook takes on additional capabilities with the addition of a Bin tab. This tab has a dual purpose: 1) the creation of new Bins and 2) instant inquiry into the inventory status of existing Bins.

A new Bin may be unassigned, or pre-assigned to a specific Item. Once assigned, it cannot be used to contain any other Item unless it is first emptied and re-assigned. An unassigned Bin is automatically assigned the moment it is used in an inventory transaction.

Bin-sensitive Transactions
With Bin Tracking enabled, some subtle (and other not so subtle) changes occur in many MISys functions.

For example, most stock transfer windows which require the entry of a Location number now have an additional Bin number field. The Receive on Purchase Order function requires the entry of a corresponding Bin number.

Consistent with Sage Accpac accounting, Bin number fields feature a Finder button for quick lookup of the correct Bin number. These fields also feature an Accpac-style New button, allowing Bin numbers to be created on the fly.

In some transactions, such as Manufacturing Order transactions, the corresponding Bin number is not immediately known, and it would be bothersome to stop and ask for a Bin number for every inventory transaction during a complex back-flushing operation. For this reason, MISys offers special "deferred" and "automatic" assign modes.

Deferred Bin Assignment
In the deferred bin assignment mode, MISys records bin-sensitive inventory transactions in an Assignment Log. The log shows all bin-sensitive transactions for which Bin assignments have not been made, allowing the user to record corresponding Bin numbers at a convenient time - after the transaction actually occurs. As the assignments are made, the transactions disappear from the log.

Automatic Bin Assignment
In the automatic mode, MISys assigns Bin numbers to bin-sensitive inventory transactions based on a priority number which can be optionally assigned to each Bin. This priority number indicates the order in which the Bins should be used. When a Bin is empty, MISys automatically switches to the next Bin in sequence.

Bin History Logging
Every Bin-related transaction is automatically logged in the MISys Master Transaction Log. A perpetual history of Bin transactions will be maintained until the log is selectively purged. 

Bin Tracking Reports
An array of Bin tracking reports is provided to help analyze Bin activity, identify active Bins, and print bar-coded Bin labels. (The MISys Bar-coding System is required.)