Inventory Turnover Ratio

Measures the return obtained from inventory investments and provides an indication of the movement of materials. Usually expressed as the ratio of annual sales to average inventory investment on hand.

Just-In-Time (JIT)

Term that describes inventory arriving or being produced “just in time” for the shipment or next process; actually a process for optimizing manufacturing processes by eliminating wasted steps, wasted material, and excess warehouse inventory.

Lead Time

Amount of time required for an item to ship or arrive onsite from the time that it is ordered. This will include purchase order processing time, vendor processing time, in-transit time, receiving, inspection, and packaging times.

License Plate

License plates are often used with warehouse management systems. They are basically an ID number placed on a pallet, tote, carton or other container and are used to track the contents of a container as it moves through the warehouse. The license plate will almost always have a bar code that contains an ID number. By scanning a single bar code on the pallet, complete movement transactions for all items and quantities on that pallet can be tracked.

LIFO (Last-in-First-out)

The last product entering the storage racking is the first one to be removed (i.e. the newest inventory is used first leaving the older inventory in the rack). This is not an option for food or perishable items, Examples of LIFO are Pushback and Drive-In Rack.

Lights-Out Warehouse/Facility

A fully-automated facility that requires no human operators and can run with no lights. Requires the use of AS/RS units, AGVs, automated conveyors, and robots.

Loading Dock Platform

An area of a warehouse or other facility where merchandise is received or shipped. The height of the structure is usually designed to conform to the truck bed height on the truck side of a facility, and to rail car bed height at a rail dock.

Local authorities

Building, fire protection, health and safety officials, or any other person designated to represent a regulatory body, that has authority within the jurisdiction based on laws or bylaws passed by a government.

Locator System

Inventory-tracking systems that allows for the assigning of locations of inventory, to facilitate greater tracking and randomly store product. Prior to locator systems, warehouses needed to store product in some logical manner in order for retrieval (e.g. stored in item number sequence, by vendor, by product description, etc.) By using locator systems one can increase space utilization by slotting product via the matching of product physical characteristics product to a location. Productivity can be improved by locating fast moving product to closer, more accessible locations and accuracy increased by separating similar items. Location functionality in software can range from a simple text field attached to an item that notes a single location, to systems that allow multiple locations per item, tracking inventory quantities by location. Warehouse management systems (WMS) take locator systems to the next level by adding functionality, to direct the movement between locations.


The science of planning and carrying out the movement and maintenance of operations. Takes into consideration the design, development, acquisition, storage, movement, distribution, maintenance and disposition of materials.


The characteristic of printed information that permits the direct transfer of information from a printed surface to a data processing system, without operator intervention. Bar coding, optical character recognition and imaging cameras are components of machine reading.


A document that captures information about the freight carrier, class of shipment, shipper, recipient, and other information pertinent to the shipment.

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