Dwayne On Fulfillment Solutions (part 1)

From Dwayne Wright

I’ve worked on a number of fulfillment systems over the years, in fact one of my very first projects would be considered one. The key to most distribution database solutions is the implementation of inventory management. Many inventory systems have to track the basics of what did we have going out, what do we have coming in and what do we need to adjust. Distribution systems (and most manufacturing systems) also have something called commitment. As a life long bachelor, I can’t say I’m an expert on commitment on many things but I’m not bad on inventory commitment.

Basically, the twist is on what do we have that we cannot ship because it is committed to an order that is waiting for something else. So you have to put in things like expected dates for committed items going out and coming in. You want to keep your inventory just lean enough to be able to deliver just in time. You don’t want to have inventory setting on the shelf because that is money you cannot spend.

Another twist to a distribution system may be the fulfillment house. That is to say that a company may have purchased items dropped shipped from the supplier to another location where that company ships it out. I have one of those clients right now and there are a lot of import and exports of data sets.

A company may create a purchase order but the products are received at the fulfillment house. Daily the fulfillment house sends a text file of what was received. That text file is imported into the FileMaker system, inventory levels are adjusted, purchase order status is updated and you can then enter in the invoice that comes from your vendor. You normally don’t want to enter in vendor invoices for products until you can confirm they were received.

More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at info@dwaynewright.com.

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