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Explanation of Path Field in Warehouse Location Table?

  • 2 August 2022
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In the Warehouse settings screen, you define your Warehouse Locations in the Location Table. There is a field called “Path” in this table, but I can’t find an explanation anywhere of what this field does/what it means.

In the Pick/Pack/Ship workflow, the handheld device keeps asking you to scan the nearest warehouse location. This never made sense to me, because there doesn’t appear to be anywhere in the system where you can tell it the distance between locations. So why would it care where you are currently, if it has no idea what the most efficient next location would be to send you to?

So I’m wondering if this Path field maybe has something to do with Pick/Pack/Ship and its ability to distingish between Locations that are far away or close to one another?

 

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Best answer by laura01 2 August 2022, 11:33

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Yes, it appears you have guessed it: higher values mean more distant locations. There are several mentions in the help of “Path Length” fields, helping the picker and the system gauge time and perhaps recommend the most efficient picking order. To find this definition I checked several demo tenants and found this in U100, a training tenant.  (Sometimes, the tenant needs to have certain features installed and activated, in order to see related help.)

I see “Path Length” fields in several other screens, that will give the system algorithm and calculations more info about distance between items. (Manage Picking Queue article, ‘Paperless Picking’ features.)

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@laura01 Thanks! That’s exactly what I was looking for.

Although, this is kind of a strange concept. I suppose it makes sense if your warehouse is shaped like a railroad tunnel, and you have positions 1 through 12 linearly down the tunnel. But our warehouse (and I think most warehouses) are shaped like a square or rectangle, so it’s a little odd that this totally ignores one axis of a 2-axis problem (Imagine a 10,000ft x 10,000ft square, where you are only allowed to label the x or y axis. So locations at “position 1” may be 10,000 feet apart from one another, but the system thinks they are close).

It also doesn’t really explain how the Path algorithm works. If I scan the location I am currently at, which has Path value 7, does it consider inventory at Path value 10 to be 3 units away? Or does it always assume that you are starting at position 0 (maybe this is where the packing station would be), and therefore no matter where you are in the warehouse, picking at location Path value 10 is always going to be considered further away than a lower number. It would be helpful to have a better explanation of how this actually works. 

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Hello @rosenjon. The main idea of Path on Path Field in Warehouse Location tab is position of the location according to Golden Path of the warehouse.

Like you have got a shipment to be picked and it happened that this shipment contains 1 item from each location. So you have start his way, for example from Shipping zone, go through the Warehouse and take an item from each shelf. The optimal way for such task and to go to each shelf only once - is called Golden Path.

 

System doesn’t assume you are in 0 position, it takes your current position - last position from previous pick list/shipment and proposes you directly assigned worksheets first and then other picking worksheets / shipments (all these according to priority) - ceteris paribus it gives you the nearest to you. So you are right - If  you scan the location you are currently at, which has Path value 7, system considers inventory at Path value 10 to be 3 units away.

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Hi @Julia Lukina -

Thanks for the further explanation. I think the idea of a linear “golden path” through a massive warehouse is kind of silly. In the future, you might want to consider allowing some kind of calculation function to be set based on some set of variables (current worker position, pick priority of the item, capacity of the picker [i.e. hand pick or forklife, etc]), in order to calculate the next best pick position. I think this would make this concept a lot more useful.

 

Thanks,

 

Jonathan

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