FEATURE HIGHLIGHT: Assembly and Disassembly with ViewPoint Logistics™

Value-added services are a key factor in choosing a multi-client 3PL partner in today’s supply chain environment. The 3PL service provider that can deliver required services beyond basic in and out transaction processing and inventory management is generally the successful bidder on new client opportunities. The ability to assemble stock keeping units (SKUs) from other component SKUs has become a common requirement in serving vendors and manufacturers where the same inventory components can be combined in various ways to become other sale-able items. ViewPoint Logistics™ offers an Assembly and Disassembly module that supports this requirement.

Inventory Profile

The Assembly process is dependent on client inventory that is componentized or in subject to ‘deal’ configurations where both the components and the newly assembled SKUs are inventory items. The Assembly and Disassembly module includes an Assembly definition table where the detailed ‘bill of materials’ can be recorded to describe the component SKUs (and required quantities) per each assembled SKU.

Operational Process

1. Creation of an Assembly Work Order

An Assembly Work Order is the transaction that controls the process and is basically triggered by low inventory levels for an assembled SKU. This can be an inventory replenishment function where one option is to assemble more from internal inventory of component SKUs. The Work Order is essentially an internal order to ‘build’ more. In setting up the Work Order, the required number of assembled SKUs is recorded along with any instructions to be followed in the Assembly process. For control and tracking of the work, each Work Order is assigned a unique, sequential Work Order number as a part of the Work Order set up. If the instructions to assemble product are coming from the client in some electronic format similar to Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), the Work Order can be created automatically.

2. Committing the Work Order

Committing or releasing a Work Order so that floor processing can begin includes a couple of steps:

  • Pre-Allocation Review – this is process that is performed to ensure that sufficient component inventory exists to allow the required number of assembled SKUs to be built. If sufficient inventory exists, it proceeds to Allocation. If there is insufficient component inventory, the Work Order is be modified to build only the number of assembled SKUs that can be completed with the component inventory available. The balance of the Work Order requirement that cannot be successfully completed due to component inventory shortages can be moved to a subsequent Work Order to await arrival of additional component inventory.
  • Allocation – this is the process that sets aside component inventory and assigns it to the Work Order for processing. The allocation of component inventory to a Work Order can be done automatically by ViewPoint Logistics™ based upon an allocation strategy such as First In, First Out (FIFO) or can be done by operator selection if specific groups of component inventory are required. This process also initializes the Work Order process, so the task can start.

Allocation produces the equivalent of a pick list which becomes the instructions to ‘pick’ component inventory and move to the Assembly work area for the actual floor process.

3. Physical Assembly Process

The actual Assembly process on the floor is generally a labor process. ViewPoint Logistics™ is ‘aware’ of the process, but waits for an operator to confirm the Assembly work has been completed and the Work Order is done.

4. Confirming the Work Order

Confirmation of the Work Order is very similar to a receiving process where the inventory item being received is known and is the assembled item. Confirmation of the Work Order makes the assembled item available to inventory in the locations to which it was returned.

A charge for the assembly process (per each assembled unit) can be assigned at Work Order creation. If this has been put in place, confirmation of the Work Order creates a billing event accordingly.

5. Disassembly

On occasion, it may be necessary to create component inventory from assembled inventory items. The Disassembly function included in this module supports this requirement. The process steps are the same with physical action being disassembly and the result being the return of components to available inventory.


As is the case with many services provided by multi-client 3PLs, there are various ways that a service might be implemented on behalf of a client. ViewPoint Logistics™ allows the flexibility to choose the strategy that meets the requirement of a specific client.

If inventory Assembly or Disassembly is a feature you require or wish to implement, ask your MAVES representative to show you how ViewPoint Logistics™ can help or email us at sales@maves.com for further details.