Shipping in Items to Store in Your Inventory

When you’re building complex products, shipping out extras to backers, or if you already have some components on-hand that you’ll need us to use when building PCBs later, you’ll need to get that inventory to us. The MacroFab platform allows you to easily create and manage inbound shipments for your inventory management needs.

In this article, we’ll cover the details about shipping in inventory to us, from labeling requirements to how to input the shipment so that we can receive it properly.

Labeling Requirements

To ensure smooth reception of your inbound materials, and proper accounting for your inventory, it is important that you label items and shipments properly.  Improper labeling can result in delays in getting your inventory accounted for, or lost inventory in the worst case.

Inbound Packaging Labels

All incoming shipments must clearly be labeled with the shipment request identifier that is provided to you when creating the inbound shipment. Without this identifier, we may not be able to correctly identify your shipment, especially if you provide an incorrect carrier or tracking number. The easiest way to include this number with any shipper is to use an Attention field in the shipment details.  For example:

MACROFAB
Attn: m07vij (example shipment identifier)
2000 W Governors Circle, Suite F
Houston, TX 77092
USA
+1 713-300-3591

Inventory Item Labeling

Each item must be clearly labeled with the Part Number or SKU used in the Inventory Management page. Do not just mark the outer container with the item number and leave the items inside without labels, this can and will result in confusion during receipt.  If you’re sending electronic components in, ensure that the container (e.g. bag, reel, tube, etc.) carries the correct MPN that you used.

For bulk items, e.g. bags, screws, nuts, etc. label the bulk container for the item with the Part Number or SKU.

Lithium Battery Labels

See the article Fulfilling Orders with Lithium Ion Batteries for more detailed information on labeling requirements.

We Will Add Labels

Due to the fact that we handle materials and inventory items for numerous customer, we will add our own labels to any incoming item to ensure differentiation between customer items.  These labels may contain a unique SKU for MacroFab, the date received, and anonymized ownership information.

Case Packs

Case Packs are multiple items packaged into single box that is not the final shipping box.  For example, some items may be shipped to us ten per box, with ten such packs per shipping container. Each case pack should be clearly labeled on the outside with the Part Number or SKU, and each item within the case pack should be clearly labeled with the SKU.

Indicate the number of items to be included in the shipment, not the number of case packs.  Otherwise, we will treat the case packs themselves as the item to be consumed/fulfilled which is probably not what you want.

We may break down case packs. Plan for the possibility that we will break down case packs as needed to fulfill or manage inventory space consumption. Shipping out a case pack’s worth of items will likely result in the case pack being broken down and the products re-arranged in final shipping.

Creating an Inbound Shipment

To create an Inbound Shipment, go to Inventory and then Manage Inbound Shipments in the main navigation bar.

Step 1: Define Shipper and Tracking Number

When you first go to Manage Inbound Shipments, you will see a pane on the right half of the screen with inputs for a shipment name, carrier, and tracking number.

ship-1

Enter a name for the shipment, the carrier name, and the tracking number provided by the carrier into the correct fields and then press Save Inbound Shipment.

Don’t have the tracking number yet?You can always come back and edit the shipment details later to add the tracking number.

ship-2

Step 2: Add Items to the Shipment

Once you’ve saved the shipment information, the Parts pane will activate.

To add an item from inventory, use the drop-down to select an existing inventory item, enter the quantity you’re shipping, and then press the green + icon to add the item to your shipment.

If the item you want to send in doesn’t exist in inventory yet, you can use the manually enter part number link to input a part number or SKU for the item, and it will be added to your inventory as a regular inventory item.

ship-3

You can remove an item from the shipment by clicking the red – icon next to the item you want to remove.

Be exact with quantities. We will generally not count in inventory you send to us. If you say you sent us 100, we will put 100 in inventory.  If you actually ship more or less than that, you may prematurely run out of inventory.

Step 3: Add Box Details

Use the Box panel to add details about the boxes in the shipment.  For each box, you can enter the estimated weight and then click the + icon to add the box to the shipment.  After you’ve added at least one box to the shipment the addressing information will be displayed.

ship-4

Step 4: Ship It!

Make sure you click the I’ve Shipped It button as soon as the shipment goes out.  If you don’t tell us that you’ve shipped it, your inbound shipping request will not appear to our receiving staff and we will not know what to do with the shipment when it arrives!