Written by
David Koke
Senior Marketing Manager

Beacon’s supply chain visibility and collaboration platform empowers organizations to achieve more efficient, reliable and sustainable supply chains.

In this article

June 3, 2024

7 confusing terms in warehouse management

Warehouse management involves a range of specialized terms and concepts that can be confusing, especially for those new to the field. Here, we break down seven of the most perplexing terms to help clarify their meanings and importance.


Cross-docking is a logistics practice where incoming goods are directly transferred from inbound to outbound shipping docks without storing them in between. This minimizes storage time and speeds up the distribution process, but requires precise coordination to ensure efficiency.

Cycle Counting

Cycle counting is an inventory auditing procedure where a small subset of inventory is counted on a specific day. This continuous counting method helps maintain accurate inventory levels without the need for a full physical inventory count. The term can be confusing due to the varied methods of implementation and frequency of counts.


Putaway refers to the process of moving received inventory from the receiving area to its storage location within the warehouse. Efficient putaway strategies are crucial for maintaining an organized warehouse. There are a range of methods and systems used to optimize this process.


Slotting involves organizing a warehouse by assigning specific locations for products based on factors like demand, size, and picking frequency. Effective slotting improves picking efficiency and reduces handling time, but the implementing a new slotting system and managing ongoing adjustments can be challenging.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)

RFID technology uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects within the warehouse. This technology enhances inventory accuracy and speeds up processes, yet understanding its implementation and benefits compared to traditional barcoding can be confusing.


Kitting is the process of grouping, packaging, and supplying items together as a single unit. This  involves various steps, including gathering different products, assembling them into kits, and managing the kits as single inventory items.

Wave Picking

Wave picking is an order picking method where orders are grouped into waves based on criteria such as delivery schedules or shipping routes. This strategy aims to optimize picking efficiency and order fulfillment speed, but its planning and execution require advanced software and careful coordination.

Brush up on your warehousing terminology with our Supply Chain Glossary.