What Is a Cobot?

A cobot, short for collaborative robot, is a computer-controlled robotic device designed to work alongside humans within a shared space, providing support through direct human-robot interaction.

A backorder is an unfulfilled customer order due to insufficient inventory levels or production delays. When a product is on backorder, the customer’s order is recorded and prioritized for fulfillment once the item is restocked. Backordered item status is typically tracked within inventory management systems.

Warehouses and distribution center yards are critical links in the supply chain, connecting carriers and storage facilities. Effective yard management — tracking and managing all activities in the yard — is essential to keeping operations running smoothly, but it is a complex process.

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Penske celebrates Warehouse Associate Appreciation Week from June 11-17. Please join us in recognizing the dedication and commitment of more than 5,000 Penske warehouse associates who keep the world moving forward.

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Food Logistics magazine has named Steve Chambers, vice president of operations for Penske Logistics, as one of the winners of this year’s Rock Stars of the Supply Chain award, which recognizes influential individuals in the industry whose achievements, hard work and vision have shaped the global cold food supply chain.

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Penske Logistics has earned entry onto the 2022 Top Food Chain Providers listing, as announced by Food Chain Digest, the official publication of the Food Shippers of America.

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Penske is thankful for our hardworking warehouse associates who keep our supply chains moving.

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Cristy Sinclair, the first-ever Penske Logistics director of food safety, has been recognized as a 2022 Rock Star of the Supply Chain by Food Logistics magazine. The honor recognizes influential individuals whose achievements, hard work and vision have helped shape the cold food supply chain.

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Warehouse location refers to the specific spot, such as a shelf or a bin, where a product is located within the four walls of a warehouse. Location impacts the efficiency and timeliness of picking by letting warehouse workers know the exact location of an item. When designing a warehouse, data can be assessed so that the product most often picked is placed in the most efficient spot. As products change and demand for products changes, the inventory layout can be updated to ensure continued efficiency.

What Is Warehousing?

Warehousing is the utilization of a warehouse to store and process products. Warehousing is important for businesses that manage inventory as having a central location or locations for product storage helps to keep things organized and manageable, while also allowing for efficiency and productivity in operations. Warehousing is an important part of the supply chain and effects everything from inventory slotting to on-time customer delivery. If the operations within a warehouse are ineffective, the entire supply chain may be immobilized through lack of product or delays.

What Is a Warehouse?

A warehouse is a storage place for products that, if designed well, increases business efficiency. Inventory stored within the four walls of a warehouse is organized or slotted to ensure products are in the right place at the right time, making picking or pulling goods for distribution a much easier and efficient process. Warehouse design is the foundation of an efficient supply chain, and warehouses can be privately owned, shared between multiple clients or rented out from a third party.

What Is Slotting?

Slotting refers to the placing of inventory efficiently within the warehouse and coordinating product placement based on what moves the fastest. (e.g., products that move the quickest would be placed closest to the dock to minimize travel and save time). Inventory is assessed and identified regarding how quickly it moves. The quickest movers go closer to the dock to minimize travel, so employees can pick them faster and get them out the door. The slow movers are stored on the floor further away from the dock. If there is racking, they can be stored at the higher locations. The goal is to make it easy to put the product away and more efficient to pick the product. Inventory is reviewed consistently to account for any shifts in product popularity due to demand, holidays or a change in seasons.

Receiving inventory is the act of inspecting, verifying and accepting a shipment into inventory within a warehouse or operation. In a transparent supply chain, every link has access to relevant information on the origins and status of products, including when inventory will arrive. Effective inventory receiving requires the development of a safe, fast and organized process for handling received inventory, and a process for accurately tracking that inventory from the time it arrives in your warehouse to the time it's shipped.

Replenishment stock includes goods moved to restore inventory and keep the right product in stock within the warehouse or operation. At Penske, the replenishment process is managed through its warehousing services, transportation management, brokerage services and logistics planning. In addition, by also utilizing technology, a company can quickly provide detailed information on inventory, order status and potential at-risk situations to avoid crisis and ensure the right product is in stock within the warehouse. Stock replenishment is an important part of managing inventory as it ensures the right stock items are there to meet customer demand.

What Is Racking?

Racking is a type of system utilized within warehouses to store and organize products on multiple levels. Racking can be single-deep, double-deep, push-back or drive-in depending on the size of the warehouse. Racking is a good storage solution option in situations or geographic locations where warehouse space may be more expensive as it might be most cost effective to utilize the vertical space versus the square footage in a specific warehouse.

What Is a Rack?

A rack is framework or equipment utilized for storing inventory. Racks are a structural design and can include shelves, rails, bars, hooks, pegs and more. Racks are one of the most-used tools within warehouses to manage inventory and maintain organization prior to picking and shipping. They can easily double or triple the amount of usable storage area by utilizing both vertical and horizontal space for inventory.

What Is Pick-to-Light?

Pick-to-light is a system of picking that guides employees by using lights and monitors at the storage locations to direct workers on what to pick and where to place the items. This method of order picking improves efficiency, accuracy and speed, and typically removes any language barriers

What Is a Pick List?

A pick list is the list of items to be picked from inventory to fulfill an order. A pick list often indicates the product to be picked, where that inventory is located and other useful information that pickers may need to know in relation to the order.

What Is Pick-to-Carton?

In the pick-to-carton type of order picking, a shipping container is first chosen based on item dimensions and/or weights then items are picked and put directly into the shipping carton. This type of order picking is similar to pick/pack, though with pick-to-carton, the shipping container is selected prior to picking items.

The pick-to-trailer method is a picking method where the products are picked from inventory then placed directly into the shipping trailer. This method of order picking is similar to pick-to-carton or pick/pack, with the trailer taking the place of a shipping container.