The Warehouse is an optional module of the VMS that will need to be activated for you by a Customer Success Representative. This module will allow you to efficiently track, inventory, and prekit your products and orders. In this article you will find the best practices for the initial setup of your warehouse, which will ensure optimization while remaining as organized as possible.
Prior to setting up Warehouse, please ensure you are already following proper warehouse prekitting practices, which can be reviewed here.
First, your Product Catalog should be as neat as it can be made. This includes inactivating unused products and maintaining accurate product attributes, such as case quantities, product families, and even containers. A neat product catalog will make the warehouse setup go more smoothly and ensures you spend as little time as possible sorting and detailing inventory records, so it pays to spend a little time on this stage.
Second, you will need to set up your Area Zones. From Settings > Warehouse > Area Zones, you will be able to select the blue buttons Areas or Zones, and then the green New Area or New Zone.
For a new Area, you will fill out the information as needed, giving each a name, description, and an identifying internal code, as well as designating its warehouse (if you have more than one) or type. The optional details are for your use in organization.
One example for Area organization would be the intended destination for the products, such as Office Snacks versus Hospital Premade Food.
For a new Zone, you will need to give it a name, assigned warehouse, and designate it as refrigerated/cold/frozen. It is also helpful to assign Zones by Product Type. Other optional fields provide additional information.
When your Areas and Zones have been created, you will need to return to the Area Zones page. Clicking the green New Area Zone button brings up a simple menu: enter an identifying code for the Area Zone, and then the Area and Zone comprising it.
As an example, one Area could be Drinks, and two Zones under that could be Bottles and Cans, providing an easy way to separate your Drinks inventory by Container.
Next, Area Zones need inventory records. This can be done in bulk, or by individual product.
For the latter, you can navigate to Settings > Warehouse > Products, filter for the product and click its name, which will bring up the Product Details page. On the right, you will see a section headed with the blue button Add Inventory, where you can select the Area Zone to which the product should go, and then save your changes.
For the initial setup, it will likely be quicker and easier to set up the Inventory Records in bulk from the Area Zones page, where each created Area Zone will have a blue button on the far right. Clicking it will bring up a page where you can add all the products within a particular Product Type. Sometimes this is as simple as Area Zone being Cookies, and adding the Product Type Cookies, but other times it may need paring down. If, for example, you need all Can Drinks in a single Area Zone, but adding the Type Drinks adds both cans and bottles, you can go to Warehouse > Audit, click the green New Audit at the top right, select the appropriate Area Zone from the dropdown, and click Audit.
You can see above that on the left you are able to check the products that do not fit the category (Container is or is not Bottle), and then delete them using the Options dropdown > Delete Selected Inventories. Now your Inventory Records for your Area Zones can be tailored.
From Settings > Warehouse > Suppliers, you can create your suppliers by clicking New Supplier at the top right. Required fields are marked with an asterisk, and on the right you will be able to mark helpful information such as the minimum cases/amounts for an order, the default forecast factor, days to pay from order received, and the ordering schedule, which can be seen in the image below on the right.
Filling out the Order Schedule correctly is important because the difference between your Order day and Receive day will affect your product forecasted to cover those days, ensuring gapless product stock. The Order Schedule can be edited after the fact, as well.
Suppliers will need to be associated with presentations, which will be covered next.
From Settings > Warehouse > Presentations, you can click the New Presentation button at the top right, which will bring you to the Presentation Creation page. A Presentation represents how you buy a product from your supplier(s). For example, a case of 24, a pallet of 200, etc. Select the appropriate product, designate its units per case, box, or pallet, and fill in any additional information.
If your products are set up correctly, then presentations can be made in bulk using case quantities.
Assigning Presentations to Suppliers
Back in the Suppliers page, clicking on each supplier will show their associated presentations on the right side (blank upon initial setup). Clicking Add Presentation will bring up a page where you can choose the appropriate presentation, its associated cost, required deposit (if applicable), and the Supplier's identifying code for the product. Sometimes it can be easier to add these associated presentations by taking the last invoice received and going down the line adding the presentations to the supplier.
This can also be done in reverse from the Presentations page by clicking Add Supplier. The process is the same.
In your VMS, navigate to the Warehouse tab > Inventory, and then click the Edit icon on the right of a product. For each product, you will see its Inventory Details on the right side, which lists the default Area Zone to which product is added upon being received, and the default from which product is subtracted when prekitting.
Every product with multiple inventory records must have the Prekit and Receive defaults set in order to track inventory correctly.
Finally, you must perform an audit to input your initial inventory into the VMS. After navigating to Warehouse > Audit, you can click New Audit, select the Area Zone you'd like to start with, and begin inputting numbers. When finished, you may go to Options > Save Audit.
Please note that while this article should set you up for success in using your Warehouse, it does not cover all situations and setups. To receive a tailored training regarding Warehouse or to ask more specific questions, your Customer Success representative will be able to set up a time for a one-on-one training session.