Item to Store Mapping Method
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Thread: Item to Store Mapping Method

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    8

    Item to Store Mapping Method

    Hi,

    Really could use your help in making my program a little smarter. It is stock management program run by sql server and dot.net 2010. My problem is placing items in correct place...we have big items like contanairs and lorries down to very small items. The company have 7 big stores to place all its items. Now, when an order comes, the item must be found and given to the customer. When it first arrives, the store keeper must find a slot or empty location to place it in.

    Now, my db have 3 tables for storage:

    store=>Shelve=>layer.

    Big times will obviously stay at store while those that can fit will be placed in the layers. I know how many stores there are. For those stores that are not yards (i.e. like big halls to store containairs and lorries), all stores have shelves with shelve having different numbered and sized layers. But a single shelve have the same sized layers.


    The way we are working currently is really manual. The storekeeper have to find empty space in all the stores to place an item then come to the program and tell it where the item has been placed.

    What I want is when a new item comes, the program to suggest an empty space and tell the storekeeper to place it there. Since the items have really different sizes, I wasn't able to come up with a formula of one kind. I dont feel like there is away of finding the perfect space, kno how much free space a store or a layer has but a close estimation would help since currently the store keeper have to go from store to store trying to figure out where a laptop or computer or fridge could be placed.

    My latest attempt to resolving the issue was to assign "sizemode" and "freespace" fields to tblstores and tbllayers. That is a store meant to store vehicles would have its size mode as XXX-Large. Mode goes down XX-L,L,Small,X-S,XX-S,XXX-S. While freespace would be in term of percentage. Then the same sizemode ppty would be assigned to item catagories (tblparentcatagories=>tblchildcatagories=>tblgrandchildcatagories. e.g. computer=>desktop=>dell 780). So, rows in tblchildcatagories have sizemode ppty.When the item comes, the program would search for spaces in layers or may be store that matches its sizemode ppty and try to place it there. The freespace would be calculated in this fashion: if an item with size mode XXX-L is stored in a store with XXX-L sizemode. the item would take 10% freespace so if we have 2 items, the freespace would go down by 20%. If an XX-L item couldnt find place in an XX-L store, it would be placed in XXX-L store but takes less space. So 1 XXL item would take 5% space...the formula goes on.

    As you can see, it fails obviously cos the way the freespace is been calculated is not accurate enough.

    I think the same problem would be raised with using spots or how many items a store or layer can store since the items vary different.

    I been working for the program, trying several methods but the variety of items and the layers and stores themselves makes the task complicated.

    Also, I have items that go to store but not in layer. For. e.g. fridge can't go to layer so it is instead placed in the floor of a store. The store could be a yard kind but typically we lay it down in small sized store with shelves. It would help to calculate free floor space on the such times as well.

    I know this is a lot to ask and part of me thinks it is not possible but i wanna give it the best shot.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2,413

    Re: Item to Store Mapping Method

    Quote Originally Posted by crazycat503 View Post
    I know this is a lot to ask and part of me thinks it is not possible but i wanna give it the best shot.
    Why not use the computer primarily to give the storekeepers a clear picture of the storage situation rather than telling them where to put things:

    1. Organize available storage space according to some well thought through system.
    2. Present its current status in a clear and transparent manner on computer.
    3. Allow storekeepers to make informed decisions on where to put things.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    8

    Re: Item to Store Mapping Method

    Hi,

    Thats what I want to do. I want the computer to tell which store is free, how much free space it has (the same for layers) and how much items the freespace can accomodate. The problem is I just cant know how much space an item can take in a store or layer since the very varied type of items we have make it impossible to know their size or the space they can possibly take.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2,413

    Re: Item to Store Mapping Method

    Quote Originally Posted by crazycat503 View Post
    The problem is I just cant know how much space an item can take in a store or layer since the very varied type of items we have make it impossible to know their size or the space they can possibly take.
    Well that makes it even more important to put the emphasis on information rather than automation.

    If storekeepers are given a clear picture of the storage situation they can inspect items and decide where to put them. Of course when a storekeeper specifies an item to the computer it could generate suggestions but the storekeeper should have final say I think.

    You can compare this situation to when people move from one home to another and everything must be packed up in a cargo lorry for transportation. Usually the most experienced worker assumes the role of "packing manager" and decides where everything should be put and in which order. This is very efficient and it would be hard to even come close with a computerized automatic system.

    But maybe the situation simply is too complex for the storekeepers to overview. Then it's a question of better total organization. I suggest your company hires a logistics consulting firm to help with that.
    Last edited by nuzzle; April 27th, 2012 at 03:34 AM.

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