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17 Common Warehouse Management Terms and Definitions

Derrick Weiss

When you are operating a business that uses a warehouse, it’s important that you understand the terminology.

Not only will it help you communicate more effectively with other warehouse employees, but it will also improve communication with others in your supply chain.

To help you learn the lingo, we have put together a list of the most common warehouse terms and their definitions.

Terms and Definitions in the Warehouse

The following are some of the most common warehouse terms. Learning what these terms mean will make it easier to understand and communicate with others in the warehouse and supply chain.

3PL: Stands for third party logistics, which is a business’s use of an outside company to manage a warehouse or group of warehouses.

Advanced Shipping Notification: A document that is sent to a warehouse management system from a supplier that provides information about a pending shipment.

Barcode: A marking made up of a series of bars and spaces used for identification of products in which a scanner is used to read the encoded information.

Batch picking: A process of order picking in which all the items for multiple orders is picked by a single picker.

Bill of Lading: A document that details items in a shipment that acts as a receipt given by the carrier of the shipment to the recipient of the shipment.

Cross Docking: Refers to the practice of moving products directly from the receiving area to the shipping area for distribution rather than being put away and stored for a period of time.

Discrete picking: A process of order picking in which the picker pick all the items for one particular order.

Line: The products in an order that share the same SKU or UPC number.

Order: All the products that are including on one transaction from a customer.

Purchase Order: A purchase order is a document that is sent from a buyer to a supplier requesting an order for merchandise. The purchase order usually lists the type of item, quantity, and agreed-upon price.

Putaway: This refers to removing incoming orders from the location where it is received to the final storage area and recording the movement and identification of the storage location where it has been placed.

Receiving: The process involving the physical receipt of merchandise, its inspection for accuracy and to identify any damage, the determination of where the stock will be stored, delivery to that location, and the completion of receiving reporting.

Replenishment: The process that involves moving stock from a secondary storage area to a fixed storage location. This could also refer to the process of moving stock between distribution centers or from suppliers to meet customer demand.

QR Code: A Quick Response (QR) code is a scannable code, made up of various black and white squares, that allows cameras or smartphones to read it and take the user to a stored URL or other information.

Unit: One particular physical item or product.

WMS (warehouse management system): The software solution that keeps track of all warehouse operations including receiving, putaway, picking, shipping, and inventory.

Zone picking: A process of order picking in which different pickers pick items of an order from specific assigned storage areas to be assembled for shipping later.

Know the Terminology

It’s important that all employees in a warehouse or in various parts of the supply chain know how to communicate with one another. One key aspect is integrating industry-related jargon into your vocabulary. We hope that the above terms and definitions help you do that.

If you want to learn more about order management to improve your warehouse operations, please check out the ultimate guide to order management.

Ultimate Guide to Order Management

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