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Catch Weight Management: Picking and Shipping Items with Varying Weights  

Catch Weight Management: Picking and Shipping Items with Varying Weights  

For distribution centers that deal with food or other variable weight items, catch weight management is of utmost importance. Integrating catch weight management into your operations not only helps to manage inventory and costs, but will also save valuable time and resources, and allow for accurate invoicing of customers.

What is Catch Weight Management?

Catch weight management systems are often used in the food manufacturing industry, where finished goods can vary slightly in size and weight. The actual weight of the item (catch weight) is captured when the item is picked and shipped. There are typically two scenarios when it is ideal to use a catch weight management system.

Picking Items of Varying Weights for Case Shipments

Certain food products, such as large meats like hams and turkeys, may have varying weights per unit item. When a customer calls to order a case, they will want to know the total price per pound and for the case. Since warehouses don’t know the exact weight of each catch weight food item before it is picked,  companies can quote the price that they normally charge per pound to customers when needed.

After the pickers pull the food items to be shipped, the case may weigh more or less than the quoted price the company gave to the customer because of the varying size of the products. A catch weight management system allows distributors to bill the customer for the exact weight of the items in the case instead of the estimated weight. These solutions provide better accuracy for invoicing the same items that may have different unit weights.

Items Change Weight Due to Processing or Environmental Factors

Items such as grains and cheeses may lose moisture the longer they sit on warehouse shelves. Other food products, such as meats injected with water and flavors, may have been shipped on refrigerated trucks from the processor but will later be frozen at the distribution center or by the customer.

Processing and environmental factors can change the weight of items after they are stored, which can create inaccurate invoices. A catch weight management system gets around this problem by showing the previous weight of the product when it was received and the actual weight of the item when it was shipped.  A customer can then clearly see the difference in weight on the barcodes and invoices as this catch weight management system provides greater transparency into your accounting and billing practices.  A catch weight management system also helps to reduce customer claims for discrepancies in the weight of an item received versus invoiced.

Using Catch Weight Management During Warehouse Processes

A catch weight management system can be used during the receiving phase as well as during the order picking phase of your warehouse operation. A system that utilizes GS1 barcode printing technology will provide a more streamlined process. With a GS1 barcode printer, the items that have varying weights can be bulk picked and weighed.  A barcode label is instantly created and printed to be placed on the items and cases. This process can reduce errors during order fulfillment procedures.

A Versatile Catch Weight Management Solution

ProCat Distribution Technologies offers a catch weight management solution called WeighRight. WeighRight is a simple to use scale system that produces GS1 barcode labels for products. The solution integrates a scale with a table-top touchscreen computer, label printer, and hand scanner. In addition to item weight, WeighRight can capture lot number, customer number, county of origin labeling (COOL) code, and expiration date information. This information is then embedded into the barcode that is printed on the label making it a very useful application for foodservice and convenience industry distributors.

WeighRight can be used as part of the receiving process, during the picking process, or as a stand-alone operation. A truck route can be processed by WeighRight and all catch weight items on the route can be identified, pre-picked and labeled, conveniently eliminating the need for special handling of catch weight items during the pick shift.

A catch weight management system offers a wide variety of benefits for distributors looking for more cost-effective technology solutions. Whether you want a more hands-free way of receiving and picking catch weight items, or are seeking a more accurate invoicing and billing solution for catch weight items adopting a catch weight management system such as WeighRight, will deliver financial, accuracy, productivity, and ultimately customer service benefits to companies.

ProCat Distribution Technologies’ solutions are being used in over 200 warehouses nationwide.  For more information about WeighRight, PickRight, or other ProCat solutions, contact ProCat at 866-776-2285.