In our last installment of, "A Day in the Life of a Warehouse Worker," we followed Troy Frink on a typical day in an automated distribution center;s (DC) shipping department. Frink has worked in shipping and inventory control (IC), so we wanted to follow him on a typical day in IC.
Frink scans his badge to time in and makes his way to his work station. This DC uses a warehouse management system (WMS) to track its valuable inventory. If a picker in shipping cannot find an item on his or her pick ticket, it's up to Frink to locate it, and find out where it slipped through the cracks. He prints out a list of "can't finds" and gets to work. He goes to the correct location for the item and makes sure that it's not hidden somewhere in or around the location. (Since this a big ticket item, he needs to resolve the can't find quickly.) Once he's sure the item is completely out of place, he looks at the list of transactions for the item in the WMS. Everything checked out as far as the transactions were concerned -- the receiving department followed the proper steps to put the item away. He decides to check the staging area for damaged goods, and finds the missing piece. (Nobody adjusted the inventory to reflect the damaged item.) Frink then electronically takes the item out of inventory, and makes the location reflect the proper number of items. After a few more can't finds, Frink is ready for his first 15-minute break of the day.
The receiving department gets a sudden influx of work. Since Frink has worked in receiving, and his workload for the day is light, his supervisor asks him to help with put-away.
After about an hour of put-away, Frink's supervisor calls him back for cycle counting. Frink's hand scanner directs him to the locations to count,. After he completes the first cycle counting tasks, he heads to lunch.
This DC uses a proactive cycle count program to ensure that inventory is as accurate as possible. Frink spends the rest of the day cycle counting and helping the DC be as efficient as it can be.
Frink puts everything away for the day, and scans his badge to time out. "I love what I do," he says. "I get to make sure that our customers get what they order, and I help keep their costs as low as possible becaue the warehouse's inventory is accurate."