Picking and decanting

Customer order model #

Order statuses

To initialize customer order fulfillment, the Host system must push customer order(s) to Incloud via API. Order statuses are used by Incloud to track progress of orders throughout physical fulfillment and have the following meanings:

Order Status Description
registered order registered and awaiting fulfillment; inventory has not yet been reserved and is free
reserved order fulfillment is in progress; inventory has been reserved and is no longer free
done order has been fulfilled; reserved inventory has been decremented
canceled order has been canceled before completion; any respective reserved inventory becomes free

Order statuses above describe only the perspective of ASRS fulfillment. The Host system might have other statuses describing broader logistical context, payments, etc.

The diagram below summarizes customer order statuses and possible transitions:
Customer order statuses

Order fulfillment sequence

Once an order is created by the Host system via API it is in status registered. As soon as the order status changes to reserved it is placed into a FIFO queue for fulfillment. The timing of when orders are moved from registered to reserved is based on a function set during site configuration. A single order is picked on a single workstation and once complete has status done.

Order fulfillment sequence

A reservation function may have multiple arguments to build the queue in preferred priority, however, the sequence within the FIFO queue cannot be changed.

Customer order picking modes

From the point of view of Instock IMS, order picking is a sequence of inventory moves between cells. Each cell belongs either to a bin inside the grid or to a container outside the grid (carboard box(es), plastic tote, etc.)

Instock supports two modes of picking:

  • ASRS bin → ASRS bin: pick from source bins of the ASRS and place into target bin(s) in the ASRS.
  • ASRS bin → external container: pick from source bins of the ASRS and place into external target container(s) that are not ASRS bins.

Picking process overview #

For the picking mode ASRS bin → external container the fulfillment process typically involves the following steps:

Customer order processes

  • Host system posts an order to Incloud API; customer order is in status registered.
  • Incloud puts order into a FIFO queue at reservation time; inventory is reserved and order status moves to reserved.
  • Associate is fulfilling an order at a workstation using picking mode.
  • Customer order picking is complete; order status moves to done.

Decanting process overview #

An associate can decant at any time by activating decanting mode at a workstation and scanning a product. The decanting process does not require an API request. Instock IMS will record inventory moves and change inventory values for decanted products.

If a product has not already been uploaded to Incloud PIM via API, associates will not be able to decant it.

Decanting into the ASRS typically involves the following steps:

Decanting process

  • Associate activates decanting mode at a workstation terminal.
  • ASRS presents empty bins.
  • Associate chooses cell structure within a bin on a terminal and inserts dividers into a bin if necessary.
  • Associate scans a product and puts it into the selected bin cell. If the cell is full before all of the selected product is decanted, they can select an additional cell in the same bin and continue the sequence.
  • Once the bin a is full and/or all of the product has been decanted, Associate confirms on the workstation terminal and ASRS sends the bin into its storage position. The Associate then continues decanting into the next empty bin.