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2009/10/05

Bins and Your Inventory

Bins in NetSuite can be seen as sub-locations within a location. In other words, each bin is specific to a location and can independently contain inventory. However, one confusing point about the Bin feature is that you can still receive inventory straight to your location instead of into a bin. I call this the "floor inventory", i.e. instead of being in a bin, your inventory is just on the floor. Let me explain:

Imagine your company keeps track of stock at both your store and your warehouse:


Now, imagine you have 3 distinct areas in each of your locations where you stock your items. These are called bins in NetSuite. Let's call our Store bins "A", "B" and "C" and our Warehouse bins "D", "E" and "F".


The bins specified on the Item Receipt will determine where your inventory quantity will increase, and similarly, the bins specified on the Item Fulfillment will decrease the inventory quantity from that bin.

Now here's the critical point: as I mentioned earlier you can also receive inventory into the location without specifying a bin. If you leave the Bin Numbers field empty on the Item Receipt or Fulfillment, the inventory will be increased or reduced from the "floor" of the location. The following item, for example, has a quantity on hand of 5 on the floor of the Store location and none in its bins:


And here's the same item, but with an extra 3 items received in bin A of the Store location:
Notice how the location quantity is now 8? That's because the Location amounts specified on the Item Record are based off the sum of the Location's Bin quantities and the Location's "floor" quantity.

If you keep that in mind, you can easily calculate your "floor" quantity for a location by subtracting the bin quantities from the displayed On Hand quantity. In this case, 8-3=5 which means the "floor" quantity for the Store is 5.

Generally, if you're using bins it's better to try and avoid using the "floor" quantity feature and put everything in bins, just to minimize any confusion like the one mentioned above.

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