Business Basics: Directed putaway algorithms

By Oleg Mikhailenko
Published in Solutions
July 20, 2022
3 min read
Business Basics: Directed putaway algorithms

The warehouse management process can feel like a total mystery to those who aren’t involved in the industry. Even for ecommerce sellers and merchants, whose lifeblood of their business depends on effective, efficient processes, it can seem like an obtuse and confusing process. Things like fulfillment models, SKUs, and physical distribution are enough to give your average merchant, just starting out, a terrible headache. Thankfully, with a little explanation, these complex-seeming processes clear up in no time.

What is theputaway process in warehouse settings?

Putaway in warehouse contexts refers to the process of moving goods and pallets from the intake dock to their permanent position in the warehouse. This can be a very methodical process or a rather haphazard one, depending on the management of the warehouse in question. From the conclusion of putaway warehouse processes such as picking, packing, and shipping can take place, completing the delivery chain and allowing orders to be sent to the customers waiting at home.

Directed putaway, on the other hand, is a bit different. There’s an implication of order there, of making sure that everything has its place. Imagine instead of flinging your keys off randomly when you get home, you’re told to put them in a specific dish each and every time. This avoids complications and delays the next time you’re trying to get out the door.

What is a directed putaway algorithm?

Directed putaway algorithms are a way to introduce a measure of efficiency into an otherwise inefficient process. Picture this: you’re working at your local warehouse, and whenever goods are dropped off for intake, you simply put them in any old place without any rhyme or reason. Most of the time you manage to mark down where you put it, but sometimes you forget. When the pickers and packers come along, they have to mount a veritable expedition to find where you happened to put those products.

Now rewind. You’re working at your local warehouse, but this time it has a putaway algorithm that lets you know exactly where you should set the incoming goods. This has been calculated not only to ensure efficient distribution, but to make sure the pickers can find and pick the products in a timely manner. These algorithms need data such as size, weight, price, and receiving frequency to make sure that they can be placed in the optimum position for later retrieval.

How does this integrate with dynamic storage?

A dynamic warehouse network is a peer-to-peer network marketplace for warehousing and fulfillment services. Dynamic warehousing, also known as random location, means that items don’t have a predetermined warehouse location. Instead, they’re placed wherever there happens to be spare room on the rack. This allows warehousing networks to be scaled and expanded alongside demand. Unlike Amazon, who has to build new warehouses and facilities in order to scale further, people making use of the dynamic model can simply rent out additional warehouse space from other providers. Dynamic warehousing nets are especially insulated from variability for this exact reason. Putaway algorithms can work unhindered in a dynamic storage environment as they have little to do with disrupting the intake process itself. All manner of warehouses have the capability to utilize directed putaway algorithms in their everyday operations.

In conclusion

This may all seem confusing, but no worry. You don’t have to do it all yourself. We here at P2Pseller pride ourselves on servicing businesses of every size, and connecting them to the perfect warehousing and fulfillment companies for their unique needs. With us, you don’t have to worry about even half of the things listed above or pore over a warehouse startup checklist. Instead, we handle all the finer points for you so all that’s left to do is arrange the delivery of goods to your distribution partner. That leaves more of your focus available to spend on the parts of your business that really get you excited. Sign up for a P2Pseller account in just a few clicks to browse our offerings with zero stress, zero phone calls, and zero hidden fees.


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Oleg Mikhailenko

Co-Founder, CEO P2Pseller

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