Calculation of pick orders based on holds

When IMMS receives an active hold from the LMS, this sends a signal to IMMS that an item needs to be picked. IMMS therefore generates a pick order (hold) for use with the pick lists.

A hold can also be transmitted from the LMS as non-active. This type of hold does not need to be picked yet (wait list), and IMMS does not carry out any further action on it unless it is subsequently changed to active by the LMS.

For an active hold, the LMS specifies a list of one or more items that are “legal” to fulfill a hold.

The LMS may also have listed a specific branch where the item needs to be picked. If the LMS has not listed a lending branch, then IMMS selects an appropriate one.

Based on the list of potential items available for the hold and the lending branch (selected by the LMS or IMMS), IMMS selects a specific item at this branch and generates the pick order.

The following conditions must be met for an item in order for it to be selected for picking:

The pick order is first calculated once a hold is received as “active” from the LMS, so that all of the pick orders are ready when the mobile clients request them. If changes are later made to either the hold or the information regarding the relevant items, then the pick order is recalculated and, if necessary, a new branch is selected for it.

Please note: Any changes to items (loans, relocations, holds, etc.) necessitate an immediate recalculation of the affected pick orders. Changes to various system and branch parameters that can affect potential items necessitate recalculation of the pick orders during the nightly run.

Choice of a lending branch

If the LMS has listed a lending branch, this is always used.
IMMS only calculates an appropriate branch if the LMS has not listed a lending branch.
Based on the overall number of items available when picking items for a hold, IMMS selects a lending branch in the following manner:

Once IMMS has selected a lending branch, it sticks with this branch until an item has either been located for the hold or a suitable item is no longer available at the branch. A new lending branch is therefore not recalculated in the event the distribution of items at the various branches has changed, even if a new calculation would have selected a different lending branch.

However, there is still the option of automatic change of lending branch.

Selection of a specific item at the branch

The various items listed for the hold are not necessarily located at the same place in the branch. In order for the hold to be able to be displayed on a pick list, there must be a specific placement that determines the order of priority for the hold on the list and provides the employee with the information needed to locate the item.

IMMS creates the pick order by selecting a specific pick location based on the branch’s ranking of the various placement types. Based on this ranking, one of the potential locations for placement and one of the possible items to be used in the pick order are selected. However, all of the items for the hold can still be used to fulfill the hold.

If there are multiple possible placements, if possible, a placement is selected where there are enough items available to cover any outstanding holds, so that “over-booking” is avoided.

Ready or not ready

Once IMMS, based on the aforementioned description, has arrived at the best location for picking the items for the hold, then the generated pick order is ready to be displayed on the mobile clients.

However, it is also possible that IMMS was not able to locate a suitable item. In this case, the hold will appear as “not ready” in IMMS and no pick order will be created for the mobile clients.

If the LMS has sent more active holds than can be covered by the available items, IMMS will attempt to avoid “over-bookings” in which multiple customers’ pick orders have selected the same item. If there are not enough items for this, then the pick orders will nevertheless be calculated, and during picking, it will become obvious that it is not possible to allocate enough items for all of the pick orders. As the items are requested, one or more pick orders will select an item fulfilling a hold and the pick orders will automatically be recalculated. Once there are no longer any eligible items, the holds become “not ready”.

In principle, however, the LMS should avoid sending more active holds to IMMS than there are items available to cover. Only the LMS is able to reasonably rank which holds need to be picked now and which should be “wait-listed”. However, the LMS also has the option of transferring all of the holds to IMMS and just labeling a subset of these as active for IMMS.

Automatic change of lending branch

When IMMS has selected a lending branch for a hold and the generated pick order has still not been processed after a specified number of days, it may attempt to select a different lending branch for the hold. This allows the hold to be processed even though a lending branch was initially selected that, for one reason or another, was not able to pick items for it.

This naturally requires that there is another branch with an eligible item available.

Please note: If the selected branch tries to locate the held item but is unable to find it, you should consider marking the item in the mobile client as “not found” since IMMS will then immediately try to select a new lending branch for the hold if needed.

You can control whether automatic change of lending branch happens on any given day of the week, for holds with a given lending branch, by setting the following parameters:

Automatic change of a lending branch is controlled by two parameters, depending on whether the pickup branch for the hold is currently selected as the lending branch:

Please note: When IMMS, due to the deadline, changes the lending branch for a hold, the new lending branch that is selected may not be totally ideal in relation to the original order of priority for the choice of a lending branch. Those branches that were selected as lending branches but were unable to process the pick order before the deadline will only be reconsidered for this hold once all possible branches for the hold have been evaluated. Then the process starts all over again from the beginning, and all of the branches are once again in play.