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First, position yourself in the first area/room/zone that you want to start labeling, and stand in front of where you want to start your sections. Then write or create your label. Remember, you want to include the FULL LOCATION name on the label. (If you’re using the paper strips, pen & tape, write the location name on the paper strip, make your arrows, and then cover it up with the clear tape.)
Tips on Applying Labels:
Before you apply your label, make sure that the surface is clean. If you have any doubts about whether or not the label will stick over the long-term, cover the label with clear packing tape. If you are trying to apply a label to a wire rack, use the duct tape on one side of the wire, so that the sticky side of the label, and the sticky side of the duct tape stick together with the wires in between. If your label maker can’t print arrows, or it’s too difficult, print a sheet of arrows using a word processor and then cut and tape the arrows on either side of your labels. If you’re applying a lot of labels, use the roller we describe under "Labeling Supplies" above. It’s great for firmly pressing labels and getting rid of air bubbles. If you do this with your fingers, they will get sore, and chances are that you’ll go through more than a few labels when you try to smooth them out and deform them by mistake.
Your labels should start with the zone abbreviation (if you use zones), the section letter (if you use sections), and then descend from 1 - 10 or a -z from the highest point to the floor. If you have two locations side-by-side on a shelf, consider ending one with “L” and “R” (for "left" and "right").
. You’re building a list of your locations that will ultimately get transferred to a spreadsheet and then uploaded into Clearly Inventory. etc. carts. If you have a laptop. or other items in your facility that move. but you may find it easier to just write them down and enter them at once. “RACK B”. "C" (fig. . consider naming them with the descriptive term for the item. Since these can move. 10) Arrow points remove any doubt about which location the label is referring to Zone Abbreviation “S” For the Storage Zone Section “C” “Vertical” or “Shelf” Location Number Labeling Locations That Move If you have racks on wheels. Repeat the above process until every location is labeled and you have a written list of all of your locations. 10) Let's take a closer look at our "BEST" example from the above illustration.. followed by a serial number or letter. you can enter the location names directly into excel as you go. using the “zone” or “section” naming conventions doesn’t make sense for moveable storage spaces. For instance if you have mobile cooling racks for baked goods. you might call them “RACK A”. Make a list of the locations as you go Write down the location name of the label you just applied on the notebook paper using the pencil we told you to keep with you.Close-up of a Shelving Unit in Sec. we have: Close-up of Bottom Shelf Label. "BEST" (fig.
using a comma in your item number might make it look like a quantity or price.Once you’ve completed your labeling and have a written list of all of your locations. Do not load item numbers with meaning . DO NOT use a manufacturer's serial number or part number for your part number. For example.8 characters will suffice for most organizations. For example. Chocolate” you might create the number “SAU101” .. quantities). You'll upload it into Clearly Inventory a little later. Symbols such as "<". or" transaction details". 4 . Things to consider when creating your unit of measure labels: . and L. Just trust us on this. manufacturer. Avoid loading inventory item descriptions with more information than absolutely necessary. Do not use characters that might confuse people or software..do not try to use the item number to describe your product. and they will greatly increase the number of possible item numbers you can have while keeping the overall item number length as short as possible. Using a "/" can result in Excel formatting your part number as a date. “Sauce. But before we do that. Information such as vendor names. expiration dates.I. Save the sheet. This will only make your numbers longer. or the manufacturer changes their number it becomes meaningless to your organization. Avoid using letters that can be confused with numbers. Consider using a few letters. never start an item number with a zero. if you were creating an item number for “Sauce. country of origin.but not so short that they could be mistaken for other numbers (i. Using a few letters from the beginning of your item description at the beginning of your part numbers will make it much easier to look up items in pick lists. The main culprits are O. These numbers are often too long and cryptic. areas where it can be used more effectively. and so on belongs in the "item details". we need to get our descriptions and units of measure ironed out. Try to keep your item numbers simple and alpha-numeric where possible. Good Item Numbers will Make Your Life Much Easier! Tips on Creating Item Number Schemes Unless you are forced to do so by something out of your control. if you switch suppliers. ">". and more complicated. Caramel” “SAU102” etc. Keep item numbers short .e. and "*" can have unintended consequences when moving data between Clearly Inventory and your spreadsheet program. Letters will help further distinguish your item numbers from other numbers. Save this information for the item description. you’ll need to get the location list into a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel or Google Docs Spreadsheet. Plus.
Ea.Workstation S . instead of using both “pc” and “ea” (for piece and each) decide on one only. We need to find something more flexible. and EA. and make many of your lists easier to read. you must remain consistent with their spelling and appearance. Setting up a consistent style for your units of measure is a good habit. You don’t want to use ea. The only problem is that I don't want to specify the OS. when you want to say “each”. It will make your software and reports look clean and clear.Windows 2000 Server 2KAS .. we are inventorying all of our systems. Try to incorporate both the singular and plural forms of the unit of measure into one term.Laptop W . consider one unit of measure called “crate(s)” that can apply to any quantity.Windows 95 So my current system would be WDLWXP213. No matter what Units of Measure you use.Server Manufacturer: DL .Dell GW .” instead of “LB” or “Lb” or “ea.” instead of EA.Windows 2000 Advanced Server NT4 .Windows NT 4 W98 .Generic HP .Hewlett-Packard Operating System: LNX .Tips on Creating Units of Measure Unless it will confuse the meaning of the unit of measure.Gateway AO . Pick one abbreviation and apply it consistently.Windows XP 2KP . that works with any system. as it could be changed.Linux WXP . I thought of the following: System type: L . For example. For example. Currently. Try to avoid using multiple units with the same meaning. the 213 being a random number we assign the system. consider keeping all of your abbreviations lower case. or how you apply them.Windows 2000 Professional 2KS . instead of having “crate” and “crates” as units. ea(s). EA. “lb. For example.AOpen GN . Perhaps IDing by processor might work? Something like this: . and want to come up with a good naming system. The “default unit of measure” should be the units in which you usually purchase or stock an item.Windows 98 W95 . ea.
Don't put too much info in the naming tag. I managed to learn what type of PC it was by knowing other machines in the same hex number range. then maintaining higher stocking levels to ensure availability ties up your cash. But. x) So my workstation would look like this: P38661 Added to the current form. you still need to assure them that you have what they want in stock. XN)|Speed (in MHz)|NumOfCPUs(1. This situation is part of why about 75% of shopping carts are abandoned before checkout. PPC for portable. Higher inventory levels also increase the risk that a product line enhancement will render your stock obsolete. P4. And all of this is in a global database as well. who was a good salesman. so all I needed was a computer or a phone so that I could call up helpdesk. Most inventory management software is complex because it tries to do everything for you. P3." He was referring to the fact that it is hard to convince customers to buy something that they can't see or that they have to wait for. Servers is named on a different scheme.. to forecasting your inventory needs using statistical . and I'd be all set. Manage Your Inventory in Excel My late stepfather. criticisms? Where I worked this summer it was pretty easy. if you resell items that you must acquire from a supplier. 4. This simple sounding goal has resulted in some of the most complex (and expensive) business software in existence. my system would be WDLP38661xxx. Anyone with decent knowledge could look at that code and know what the system is. Most customers want instant gratification. OTOH. Other abbreviations for printers and such.Type(P2. from accurately tracking quantity-on-hand. Is that too long. comments. So I knew if the PC was a P3 850 or 950 anyhow plus all the other relevant info. that is my main advice. perhaps? Too confusing? I want this to be easy to use . so the shipment can go out immediately. It was made up like this: XXYYYZZZ XX = abbrevation for the plant the PC is located (multi-national company) YY = DPC for desktop PC. if I'm at the computer. The secret to success becomes maintaining the minimum stocking level necessary to meet your sales.no keys or legends to refer to. used to tell me "you can't sell what you don't have. 2. However. ZZZ = incremental hexadecimal number This will not give you the advantage of knowing the exact PC type from the ID. Any ideas. which is a mindset that e-commerce has had to battle from day one. I know because I've worked on some of it. Once you do get customers used to the idea of waiting for a shipment. 3. I could just take I quick look at the label on it and see all the info on site. There's just no way to give customers instant gratification if their orders have to be shipped to them.
you'll know how to minimize the inventory you keep on hand while making sure you have the items in stock when your customers ask for them. and most of them are very simple. this article shows you how to use an Excel worksheet to figure out how many items you need to order. You only need a few cell formulas. When I'm done. The spreadsheet I'll show you how to build looks like this when you are done: . using reorder point assumes that your inventory data is updated daily and that you are ready to place an order on any given day. or whenever). paying for this level of sophistication is overkill. like QuickBooks. Everything you'll learn helps you answer one critical question: How many items do I need to order? Inventory Management Worksheet As the title suggests. can help you track your inventory levels. They don't help you much in determining what those figures should be. The approach I'm going to show you assumes that you set aside time to place orders on a regular schedule (weekly.analysis of your historic sales patterns. Some small business accounting packages. but for ordering. Also. they often expect you to supply a reorder point and reorder quantity. monthly. For many small business owners. My guess is that most small business owners don't have time to deal with updating QuickBooks and managing inventory every day.
you'll be able to calculate an order quantity. When you are done. but once you figure it out.Completed inventory worksheet Calculating how many items to order is a simple matter of comparing how many items you'll have at the end of the current ordering period (Qty Available) versus how many items you need to have to make it through the next period (Min Stock Level). you can just copy its worksheet and tweak the values for the next product. You'll want to make sure those figures are up-to-date before you sit down to place orders. Setting up the Basics Keep in mind that you need to create a separate worksheet for each product you want to manage. Figuring out how many items you have available is fairly easy if your accounting software tracks current inventory quantity. once you set up the first product. Determining how many items you need to have is a little trickier. However. I'll show you how to set up each section of the worksheet. In the rest of the article. . and all you'll have to do is provide your current quantity on order and quantity on hand. it usually doesn't change very often.
which is one component of your safety quantity formula. Enter the Ordering Rules section label. you can quickly identify what fields to change when you create a new product worksheet. anyway). It may take a while for your order to arrive. This figure is called your "lead time sales. your lead time is 2 weeks. These figures will let you calculate a sales variation. You'll notice that some of the cells in my worksheet are blue. your sales could be much higher than you anticipated (you can hope so. Calculating Minimum Stocking Level As I described earlier. enter the number of periods you have to wait for an order to arrive. but it can be helpful if you manage some products on one schedule and others on a different schedule. the formula to determine how many items you need to order goes like this: [Order Qty] = [Min Stock Level] . This is just for your reference. This is where the Sales Forecast section of the worksheet comes in. You can plan for that possibility by adding a fudge factor called "safety quantity. you first have to estimate your maximum and average sales. Put the product name or identifier in B3. the Ordering Period label. enter how often you place orders. so you have to have enough items to handle the sales while you are waiting for it. what is a minimum stocking level? It is the number of items you need to keep on hand in order to avoid running out before you can get more items. Always round up. The Ordering Rules section has values that almost never change.[Qty Available] So." I'll show you how to calculate a safety quantity later in the article. If you use a similar coloring scheme. Estimating a Sales Forecast In order to figure out your lead time sales and a safety quantity. In the Order Lead Time data cell (C7). and Order Lead Time label as shown in the example.Start by entering the worksheet title in A1 and the Product label in A3. For example. if you order once per week and it takes 10 days for an order to arrive. In the Ordering Period data cell (C6). . so the order you just placed may not be sufficient to carry you through the next ordering period. but that doesn't usually change every ordering period. Those cells are for input that you'll need to change for each product." Also.
Even if you max-out your sales indefinitely. In the Max Sales data cell (C10). the Sales Variance is the difference between your average expected sales and your maximum expected sales. enter the maximum number of items you expect to sell in the coming period. enter this formula: =C12 (C7 + 1) The formula says to take the Sales Variance and multiply it by the Order Lead Time plus one extra period. your minimum stocking level. Then enter the formulas as described below. If you want to include the minus and equal signs on the labels as shown in the example. I colored the sales forecast figures in blue because they are values you might need to change once in a while. In the Lead Time Sales data cell (C16). enter the following formula: . Conceptually. In the Average Sales data cell (C11). you would still have enough items to be covered.Enter the Sales Forecast section title in A9. but not necessarily every ordering period. and the Sales Variation label in B12. in the Min Stock Level data cell (C17). it means your safety quantity is the number of items you would need to cover your maximum sales through the current ordering period and through the order lead time for the next ordering period. and ultimately. Finally. the Average Sales label in B11. and the Max Sales label in B10. enter this formula: =C7 C11 The formula says to multiply your Order Lead Time by your estimated Average Sales. Start by entering the labels as shown in the example worksheet. Calculating Stocking Rules The Stocking Rules section of the worksheet uses your estimated sales figures to calculate a safety quantity. It is the number of items you need to get through the current period's order lead time. enter the following formula: =C10-C11 As you can see. enter the average number of items you expect to sell in the coming period. In the Sales Variance data cell. be sure to start the label with an apostrophe (') so Excel knows you are entering text. not a formula. In the Safety Qty data cell (C15). The Sales Variance is black because it is not something you will ever change: it is calculated from other cells for you.
enter the number of items you currently have in stock. or you may not have enough items to get through a complete order cycle. .=C15 + C16 It says that your Min Stock Level is the product of your Lead Time Sales and your Safety Qty.[Qty Available] You've seen how to calculate the Min Stock Level variable. consistent with the coloring scheme I've used so far. For the purpose of inventory planning. quantity available is the number of items you will have at the end of the current period if you do not place an order now. Note that. first enter the labels as shown in the example. You must start every period with at least your minimum stocking level. In the Average Sales data cell (C22). which is the second variable we need to calculate an order quantity. all of the figures in this section are black because they are all formulas. Entering Your Inventory Status To set up the Inventory Status section. your decision to order now really hinges on where you will be at the beginning of the next period. it is time to recall the order quantity formula: [Order Qty] = [Min Stock Level] . enter this formula: =C11 The formula just copies your average estimated sales into the cell so it is clearer how your quantity available was calculated in the Inventory Status section. Now you'll see how the Inventory Status section calculates Qty Available. enter the number of items you currently have on order from prior ordering periods. In the Qty on Order data cell (C20). Calculating Quantity Available Okay. As you'll see. You should always have at least this many items on hand at the beginning of a period. I colored this cell and the Qty on Order cell red because you will almost always have to update these figures for every ordering period. In the Qty on Hand data cell (C21). This figure should always be 0 if your Order Lead Time is 1 because all orders should arrive before the next ordering period.
Even though the quantity available cell is a calculated value. and subtract your average expected sales for the current period.(C17-C23). In the Order Qty data cell (C26). It basically says to subtract the minimum stocking level from the quantity available. You can optionally adjust your expected sales figures as well. and the worksheet will adjust your minimum stocking level and order quantity accordingly. . otherwise it displays 0. Adding More Product Worksheets Once you create your first worksheet. That tells you how many items you will have at the end of the current ordering period if you don't place an order. enter the following formula: =C20+C21-C22 The formula says to add your quantity on order to your quantity on hand. There you have it! You now have a worksheet that will tell you exactly how many items to order. start by entering the labels as shown in the example. it is easy to create another one for a different product. Just follow these steps: Choose Edit|Move or Copy Sheet from the menu. If the result of the calculation is greater than 0. enter this formula: =IF((C17-C23)>0. You can then right-click over the new worksheet's tab and choose Rename from the popup menu to give the tab an appropriate name. Once again. after all. it uses the calculated value. I did color it green instead of black to make it stand out. and all you have to do each period is provide your quantity on order and your quantity on hand.0) The formula looks more complicated than it really is. Calculating the Order Quantity The last section of the spreadsheet is the Order Recommendation. Select a location for the new worksheet in the "Before sheet" list. Excel displays the Move or Copy dialog box.In the Qty Available data cell (C23). Click the OK button to copy the worksheet and close the dialog box. Check the "Create a copy" check box. That figure is what the entire worksheet is designed to compute.
Through the Logical Expressions Store. Bulk quantity cells so you can order by the case or other bulk unit of measure.What's Your Time Worth? Do you like the idea of managing your inventory in Excel. The white paper provides basic instructions on how to use the worksheet as well as an explanation of the inventory management theory behind the calculations. The Inventory Worksheet Package includes a more robust worksheet than the simplified one demonstrated in this article. but you don't have the confidence or time to set up the worksheet yourself? Do you wish you had more background information on how and why the worksheet works? We have a solution for you. . Support for vendor-mandated minimum order quantity. These two items come packaged in an installation file that you can download and use immediately. It's additional features include: A product ID cell so you can note the product's part number. you can purchase the worksheet along with a companion white paper.
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