A process in which the WMS determines where a given receipt of goods should be stored in the distribution center. Directed putaway is tightly connected to the concept of “zoning” in which storage locations are group together, examples being “fast-movers” or “HAZMAT” products. With direct putaway, companies use a WMS to configure a hierarchical set of rules to identify the best location to store a receipt of inventory. If there is no space available in the preferred zone (e.g., fast-movers), the WMS would look for the next best available zone (e.g., medium-movers).
Typically, a warehouse associate would receive a message on a wireless device informing him or her of the preferred storage location, which would be confirmed with a scan of the location bar code as the product is putaway. In some cases, the associate may be asked to put some of the received inventory directly into a forward pick location rather than reserve storage, say if the warehouse was previously depleted of that SKU before the receipt.