Whenever you attempt to change the quantity-on-hand (QOH) of a multiple location control" (MLC) item, you are presented with several inventory distribution options. In this article we describe those options, taking you step-by-step through the distribution process.
Note: These extra distribution options are required for MLC items. Item sites that do not have multiple location control turned on are not affected.
Receiving into Inventory
In the example we will be using here, the item in question is item YTRUCK1, a yellow toy truck. We will be receiving quantity of this item into inventory, using a miscellaneous "Material Receipt" transaction — as found in the "Inventory" module.
To open the "Material Receipt Transaction" window use the following steps:
- Locate "Inventory" from the top menu
- Go to the "Transactions" submenu
- Choose the "Material Receipt" option
- The "Material Receipt Transaction" window will open:
- Enter YTRUCK1 in the "Item Number" box
- Enter 300 in the "Receipt QTY." box
- Click the POST button to open the "Distribute Stock To/From Site Locations" window:
Note: Items are received into inventory by various paths — from shipping, from manufacturing, or through miscellaneous material receipt transactions. Although this example describes a miscellaneous material receipt transaction, the distribution sequence is the same when receiving MLC items by other means.
As you can see from the following screenshot, the truck is located in three warehouse locations — "01-01-01," "01-01-02," and "01-01-03." That is the definition of an MLC item — it is an item that is located in more than one warehouse location. You will notice that "01-01-01" is the default location for this item:
Distribute Stock To/From Warehouse Locations
Note: If you ever change your mind or need to cancel a distribution while it is in process, simply select the CANCEL button. This will stop the distribution and no transactions will be posted. You can begin the transaction again at a later point when you are ready to.
Info: You can speed up the distribution process by selecting the "Only Show Locations with Qty" option. When selected, any locations having quantity less than or equal to 0 will be excluded from the list. This is a sticky option, so the system will remember your preference whenever you use the distribution screen.
The "Distribute Stock To/From Warehouse Locations" window will display whenever you are performing operations that change the quantity-on-hand of MLC items. You may encounter this window in any of the following modules:
- Inventory module: Most all options listed under the "Inventory Transactions" submenu. Also any option that involves issuing goods to shipping or receiving goods into inventory.
- Manufacture module: Any option that involves production posting, operations posting, or the issuing and returning of materials.
As you can see in the example, the material receipt operation that brought us to this point calls for the distribution of 300 units of item YTRUCK1. None of the units have been distributed so far — leaving all 300 units still to be distributed. The next question is this: "Which location(s) do we want to distribute the 300 trucks to?"
Note: Items are not required to have a default location. Instead, default locations may optionally be assigned to items within item site definitions.
Several options are available to us:
- We can select the CANCEL button and start over at any point
- We can select the DEFAULT button, which will distribute any balance to the default location. This option is typically used after you have already distributed quantities to other locations and have a balance remaining.
- We can select the DEFAULT AND POST button. Doing so will automatically distribute 300 truck units to the default location—in this case, "01-01-01"—and then post the distribution, creating a transaction record.
- Or we can decide to distribute some to each location by selecting the locations individually from the "Valid Locations" list.
- Keep in mind: The "Distribute Inventory" window supports the scanning of formatted barcodes, so we can use barcode scanning to help with the distribution here.
For the purpose of this exercise, let's choose to distribute some to one location and some to another.
To begin, we will double-click on location "01-01-02." The following distribution window will appear:
Initial Distribution to First Location
As you can see in the example, we must specify how many toy trucks to distribute to this location. We decide to distribute 100 trucks, entering this amount in the "Qty. to this Location" field. Since this initial distribution of 100 units is the first distribution for this transaction, the "Quantity Tagged" displays as "0."
Once we have entered the quantity of 100, we then select the DISTRIBUTE button, which returns us to the previous window:
Display Showing Partial Distribution to First Location
The display now shows 100 trucks tagged for distribution to location "01-01-02." If we were to select the POST button at this point, the following error message would appear:
Error Message: Cannot Perform Partial Distribution
As the error message indicates, the system does not allow the posting of partial distributions. The entire transaction quantity of an MLC item must be completely distributed before the transaction can be posted. The next step, then, is to distribute the remaining quantity. Let's distribute the remaining 200 truck units to location "01-01-01."
Since "01-01-01" is the default location, we have a couple of options here:
- We could select the DEFAULT button. Doing so would automatically distribute the remaining quantity to "01-01-01." The operation would then be ready for posting.
- Or we could double-click on "01-01-01" to bring us to the distribution window we saw earlier.
Let's choose the second option—double-clicking on the line for Location "01-01-01." The following distribution window will appear:
Partial Distribution to Default Location
The screenshot shows a balance of 200 truck units remaining to be distributed — with a quantity of 100 units already tagged. We enter "200" into the "Qty. to this Location" field and then select the DISTRIBUTE button, which returns us to the previous window:
Display Showing Distribution to Second Location
Note: If you decide to distribute quantities differently — after having distributed them once already — you may do so before you select the POST button. Simply follow the steps above, substituting new quantities where appropriate.
The required quantity has now been completely tagged — 100 trucks for distribution to "01-01-02" and 200 trucks for distribution to "01-01-01." We are now ready to select the POST button. Doing so will complete the transaction, returning you to the operation screen that initially precipitated the distribution sequence. The MLC item has been successfully distributed.
Issuing from Inventory
You follow a similar procedure as described in the examples above when issuing (i.e., removing) stock from inventory. However, instead of increasing the quantity-on-hand in a location, the quantity is decreased when stock is issued. The following scenarios represent some of the instances in which stock is removed from inventory:
- Shipping a sales order
- Issuing materials to a work order
- Scrapping quantity from a location
Note: When you issue stock for an MLC item, you will only be able to remove quantity from locations whose quantity-on-hand (QOH) is greater than "0." This means that if a location has no QOH, you will not be able to issue stock from that location. The MLC distribution window will only feature locations with a positive QOH. By way of contrast, all valid locations will be displayed when receiving stock into inventory—regardless of the QOH.