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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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16–11. Use Standard Containers to Move, Store, and Count Inventory

In many warehouse settings, the ideal container is the pallet. It can arrive at the receiving dock, be efficiently moved to storage with a forklift, and eventually be carried from there to the shop floor. It is also simple to count inventory when stored in pallet sizes, while many racking systems are preconfigured to hold pallets, which readily fills a warehouse’s cubic volume. This excellent level of efficiency stops when pallets are broken down into cases or single items. The putaway and picking staffs must now be much more careful in recording quantities moved, while the effort required to count stock becomes much higher.

A very good best practice is the use of standard containers for these partialpallet situations. By using a standard container size, one can more efficiently move items, which might otherwise require individual piece-by-piece movement. Also, depending on how a container is set up, an inventory counter can glance at a container to determine the total quantity it contains.

Different containers will probably be needed for different types of stock, depending on the cubic volume of each one. A common approach is to fill several standard containers with the same item and pick only from the one in front. By doing so, an inventory counter can easily determine the quantities in all other filled containers and manually count only the one partial container in front. A variation on the standard container ...

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