Our glossary

The Logistics Lexicon

Understanding logistics is sometimes not that easy. Many different terms and processes - it is not easy to keep an overview and always understand things exactly.

Logistics lexicon

Logistics terminology

Our logistics lexicon supports you with general definitions, as we understand them.

The Logistics

The logistics lexicon - here you will find a selection of common terms and abbreviations in logistics and around the topic of warehouse management software. Short definitions and explanations help to understand the terms.


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ABC articles are formed by classifying all articles in an assortment according to certain criteria, such as high sales volumes, access frequency or turnover rate. A-articles have high sales volumes, access frequencies or turnover rates, whereas C-articles have low ones. A warehouse management system can automatically divide articles into ABC groups and implement corresponding warehouse strategies. In this way, "fast-moving items", i.e. A-items that are accessed frequently, can be stored in quickly accessible storage locations. This saves travel time during storage and retrieval. In contrast to the ABC classifications in the ERP, which are usually based on turnover, this is done in SuPCIS-L8 per storage area on the basis of the real movements. After all, from a logistical point of view, it makes a big difference whether 1000 items are picked from a pallet or 500 picks of 2 items each.

The small parts warehouse (AKL) is controlled fully automatically and works according to the "goods to person" mode of operation. Complete storage units full of small parts are controlled mechanically via suitable warehouse management software. The goods are automatically removed by unmanned storage and retrieval vehicles (SRVs) and made available to the picking units or the conveyor link. The operator can pick from the provided units, meanwhile the conveyor is working. This avoids long collection routes and search work in the storage units.

A partial unit is created during commissioning. Here, a partial quantity is taken from a single-item unit, e.g. outer packaging, loading unit or supply unit.

An item description describes individual items with catchy abbreviations or names. The article should be clearly recognisable by the operator through the article designation. In order for the item description to be attached to containers, pallets, storage locations, etc. or to be shown in compartment displays, it should still be compact. An item description is an element of item master data.

An article unit is the smallest unit or container size of an article. A sales unit, on the other hand, can be an article unit, but it does not have to be the smallest unit and can be a grouping of article units into a saleable unit.

An article group is the grouping of articles as a subset of an assortment according to common characteristics such as similar ingredients or common application characteristics.

An article number is an (alpha) numeric attribute for an article. In order to make an item number machine-readable or to be able to display it as a barcode, it is designed according to data-technical criteria.

Article-only storage means that an article is clearly assigned to a storage location. Only one item is stored on a loading unit (pallet/container).

An item master contains description data (identifying attributes) of all items. The description data is independent of their current stock, e.g. item number, item description, batch code, dimensions, weight or even storage location.

Article master data is inventory data that serves as the starting point for all merchandise management subsystems. All the article-specific information that is needed to control the goods processes is entered into the article master data.

An automatic forklift guidance system improves the utilisation and efficiency of forklift transports on the factory premises. Particularly at facilities that have a high volume of manual transport, this can result in enormously improved coordination of journeys. The equipment of the vehicles usually includes terminals and scanners. The drivers are assigned orders via the terminals. Storage and retrieval at the start and end point of the journey is confirmed with the scanner. The drivers are thus permanently in contact with the EDP system, which means that the system can react immediately to current developments. The storage location and the transported goods are scanned. Thus, the moved goods are automatically booked in the system and the forklift control system always has the current position of the vehicle. In addition, the scanning of the goods to be transported and the storage area provides certainty that the delivery has been placed in the correct location.

An order is the summary and specification of items ordered by a customer, given quantity per item, type, form of delivery, delivery date, etc.

An order type is the underlying process type, such as first order or repeat order.

An order batch is the combination of several orders into one processing batch. Batch picking, i.e. picking across orders, can be controlled and optimised by intelligent warehouse management software.

The order throughput time is the sum of the respective partial times that an order requires to run through a picking and dispatch system.

Order picking is the order-oriented processing of order items (single-stage picking).

Order management is the proactive control of orders with the aim of receiving goods on time and in the correct quantity. Intelligent warehouse management systems take over order management and contribute to the optimisation of intralogistical processes with sophisticated strategies.

An order item is a single item of a sales order. This in turn can contain several pick items. A pick item specifies the number (pieces) of item units of an order item to be picked by a staging unit. An order item can contain several pick items, while a pick item is always assigned to a supply unit.

A retrieval strategy is a procedure for determining the storage unit to be retrieved from the quantity of possible storage units according to certain retrieval criteria. The retrieval criteria are, for example, FiFo, best-before date (MHD), batch, system load or malfunction. Often, the subsequent retrieval or retrieval strategy is already taken into account during storage.

Retrieval includes all data-related as well as operational processes from removal from a storage location to leaving the system. In contrast to withdrawal, stock removal is the removal of entire storage units from the warehouse.