Smart Storage

Picking the Right Parts

How do you ensure that the right parts are picked for the right job?

Picking the right parts for production is as important as any other step in the manufacturing process, but so many manufacturers are still leaving critical picking decisions up to human operators. As we've discussed in a previous post, various types of pick lists can be employed to streamline different manufacturing processes. But how do you ensure absolute accuracy in every pick? That's where the capabilities of a state-of-the-art smart storage system come into play. In this post, we'll explore several commonly used "filters" in pick lists that, when utilized in a smart storage system, can guarantee you're always picking the right parts for each job.

Manufacturer Part Number

A fundamental aspect of any pick list is the Manufacturer Part Number (MFG part number). This is especially vital when following Approved Vendor List (AVL) requirements. A smart storage system can allow for multiple manufacturers and manufacturer part numbers to be specified, with priority settings if needed. This means you can be precise not just about the part you need, but also about which supplier it should come from, ensuring compatibility and quality in every component selected.

Date and Lot Codes

For many components, especially in sensitive industries, the age and batch of a part can be as crucial as the part itself. Picking parts within a certain range of date codes or from specific lot codes is a common requirement. A smart storage system can easily filter and manage this, ensuring that parts are not only correct but also fresh and from the right batches, minimizing the risks of using outdated or potentially compromised materials.

PO Number

Certain jobs may have specific needs, requiring parts that were received against particular purchase orders (POs). This could be due to various reasons like quality assurance, cost tracking, or special contractual conditions. Smart storage systems can track and retrieve parts based on PO numbers, ensuring that the materials used meet the exact specifications and conditions needed for a particular job.

Project or Customer ID

In scenarios where inventory is allocated or reserved for specific projects or customers, it's crucial to pick parts designated for those particular purposes. Smart storage systems can segregate and manage inventory based on project or customer IDs, ensuring that resources are correctly allocated and that the right inventory is utilized for the right job, maintaining integrity and commitment to specific client needs.

Unique Package IDs

For ultimate precision, smart storage systems can identify and pick parts based on Unique Package IDs (UIDs). This is the most granular level of control, where you can specify exactly which package you want to be picked. By providing the relevant UIDs in the pick list, the system can ensure that the exact package, with its unique history and specifications, is used. This is particularly useful in highly regulated industries where traceability and specificity are paramount.


Incorporating these filters into your smart storage system's pick lists transforms your inventory management from a routine task into a highly precise, controlled process. With the right system, you can ensure that every part picked is the right part for the job, every time. This not only increases efficiency and productivity but also significantly reduces the potential for costly errors and rework. As manufacturing continues to evolve with more complex and specific needs, having a smart storage system that can ensure precision in every pick becomes not just an advantage but a necessity. By harnessing the power of such systems, manufacturers can achieve a new level of accuracy and efficiency in their operations.

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