About the Seasonal Prep category

There are several times throughout the year that every 3PL needs to be thinking about.
The Nov and Dec Holidays are very important times of the year, but that’s not all. This Category will look into trends, market changes, and conversations around important times of the year, the best practices involved, and what they mean for the industry.

Let’s Year-End!

OK, Infoplus users! The final push to Christmas is here and with the Year-End coming, the hard work is just getting started. The closer we get to Dec 31st the closer we are to dealing with the influx of returns, overstock, and damaged inventory.

How well have you prepared for this new rush? Where are you going to put items that are coming in as returned? How will you identify what is returned from what is new? How will you track, sort, and inspect this returned inventory?

Let’s briefly explore why Infoplus is your “System of Truth” for both the incoming and outgoing inventory.

Location, location, location. Let’s start with setting aside a few Locations for storing these returned items.

The Location Builder is a quick and logical way of adding multiple storage spaces for your incoming returned inventory. These locations can be set to “non-pickable” under the Behavior Type option so that these locations are not picked from during the order Fulfillment Process.

Our next step is to prepare for receiving the return product.

Quick Receipts are a fast and easy way to bring return items into the system when surprise boxes appear on the receiving dock. These items will be received into a temporary LPN location and then put away in one of the new spaces created by the Location Builder. Adding an RMA TAG to the QR will then tell anyone looking for returned items that this QR had RMA Items on it.

The next step is to sort, identify, and separate the good, the bad, and the ugly items into different locations.

In a lot of cases, items that have been returned have had their packaging opened or damaged by the user. This damaged packaging may no longer allow the item to be sold. Separating the ugly package items from the good items is very important. The most efficient way to do this is to complete an Inventory Relocation. This allows you to take any single SKU in any quantity and place them in one of the locations you created earlier. You can then designate an Inventory Status of the items in that location. The 3 options are Available, Frozen or Damaged. In this case, Frozen is the best option for the items as the units might be functional, but the packaging may be damaged. Bad (or damaged) items can also be placed in a different location and the status of these items can be set to Damaged. The Frozen and Damaged Statuses exclude the items from entering the allocation system. The items identified as good (Working or Unopened) can be placed into your standard inventory to be utilized in the next allocation.

Finally, Communicate with your client and determine a path forward for the returned items. Damaged and Frozen items can be shipped back to the manufacturer for refurbishing and so be removed from your warehouse by using the Inventory Adjustment tool. This tool allows you to dispose of items without running them through the fulfillment system. This process also creates a record within the Item Activity table to document that X SKU in X quantity was removed from the system and disposed of.

1 Like