In Brightpearl, a location represents a physical space within a warehouse that an item of inventory can be held in, like a shelf or a bin.
Locations are not mandatory, but they a useful method of organising a warehouse in order to aid with the fulfillment process, as they indicate exactly where in a warehouse an item is located.
Setting up location management in Brightpearl
There are three levels of location management in Brightpearl. You can choose which level you want to use under Settings > Products/Inventory > Inventory settings, under the 'Item location management' field.
The options are:
1. No location management
This is the default state of a Brightpearl account, where locations are not displayed at any point and do not require any management.
Note: On the database, items without a location are actually recorded in the system default location of 0.0.0.0. If locations are activated at a later date, then all existing inventory will be displayed as being in this location.
2. Standard location management
With any kind of location management enabled, each product record displays a "default location" field (per warehouse) which is used to specify where all inventory for that item is stored.
With standard location management, a product's inventory can only ever be stored in its default location (i.e. it is not possible to record 3 units on shelf A and 7 on shelf B; all 10 units must be on either shelf A or B).
When you receive inventory into the system or ship stock out of the system, it will automatically be added into or removed from the default location set on the product record.
3. Multiple concurrent location management
If using multiple concurrent location management, a product can have stock in any location (i.e. you can record 3 units on shelf A and 7 on shelf B; they do not all have to be on one shelf).
While products can still have a default location, each delivery of goods you receive from a supplier may be assigned to any location, so you could end up having the same product spread across multiple locations at the same time.
When removing items, Brightpearl will use the first in first out (FIFO) method of determining which location to pick from. The location will be printed on any picking or packing notes to guide the warehouse operator.
Tip: If you're switching on multiple concurrent locations and you already have already received stock against your products, you can:
- Switch on standard location management
- Update your product default locations
- Switch to multiple concurrent location management
Doing this will prevent you from having to move every unit individually, as enabling standard location management will automatically move all stock to the product's default location!
Locations can be created under Products > Warehouse locations, by clicking the 'Add Locations' button on the top right hand side. That will bring up a modal window prompting you to select the warehouse and enter the location details:
The Brightpearl location model is flexible and does not assume any particular physical layout. Locations can be defined using up to four tiers, typically:
A location is generally described in the system as "AISLE.BAY.SHELF.BIN", with the full stop separating each tier.
No location is mandated to use all four tiers, and each tier's name can only be numbers and uppercase letters, up to 16 characters long.
Each warehouse has its own set of locations, and while a location can only exist once in a warehouse, you are allowed the same location code in multiple warehouses (i.e. Warehouse 1 and Warehouse 2 can each have a location A.B.C.D, but A.B.C.D cannot exist twice in Warehouse 1).
Warning: Locations cannot be modified once created, and can only be deleted if it has never stored any stock. Exercise caution before creating locations!
Receiving and removing inventory from a location
A location can contain inventory from any products at any time (there are no limits for volume or quantity, and you can have a mix of items in a location).
If using standard location management, inventory is automatically received into the product's default location. If using multiple concurrent location management, you choose which location to receive stock into (although the product's default location is assumed).
When goods out notes are created, the location to allocate inventory from is automatically chosen as the location of the oldest inventory still in stock, using the first in first out (FIFO) method. This is to ensure the cost of sales accounting is correct.
Note: When printing picking lists in Brightpearl, the items are automatically printed in location order so that the picker can take the most efficient route around the warehouse to pick all the items and take them back to the packing area. (If locations aren't being used, picking lists display the items in SKU order.)
Tip: Brightpearl WMS allows you to change the picking location if necessary! Learn more about WMS.
Reporting on locations
If using location management, you can see where in the warehouse your inventory has been placed using the inventory detail report.
Locations can also have barcodes which are used by Brightpearl WMS when scanning for picking and putting goods away. Read more about location barcodes.
An introduction to the different levels of inventory management in Brightpearl, how to set locations up, and how they are used in goods-in and goods-out processes.