Business Central: Bin Contents

The Bin Content page is a great tool for users to monitor stock levels, navigate through to warehouse entries and see what stock is being held where. In this post, we are going to cover navigating your way there, its utility and nuances.

What are bin content records and warehouse entries?

A bin content record is a sum of the total warehouse entries for an item in a particular bin. A warehouse entry relates to the movement of stock, at a location and bin level. Warehouse entries don’t include the value of inflows or outflows of stock, unlike item ledger entries.

A bin content record’s quantity will always be above zero, unless the bin is set to ‘fixed’, at which point the bin content record will exist even if the quantity of that particular item reaches zero. If a bin content record isn’t fixed and has a quantity of zero, the record disappears. You might set a bin to ‘fixed’ where it’s important to know when that particular bin is empty.

Useful resources

There’s two informative pieces I want to share in relation to this topic. Both are external resources. The first is Microsoft’s piece on creating bin content records. The second is a concise video by Sune Lohse, explaining the Bin Contents table. Hopefully they are both helpful to you.

Benefits of using the Bin Contents page

The Bin Contents page is arguably the most useful page when it comes to monitoring stock levels. There are several ways in which you can track item stock levels. What separates the Bin Contents page from others, like the Item Ledger Entries is that the Bin Contents page brings together more information into one place and most notably, is tailored towards warehouse employees, or those invested in stock levels rather than the financial side.

The Bin Contents page is the only place where users can see all the stock levels for every item, in every bin, in each location, all in one space.

Accessing the Bin Contents page

There are a few ways of accessing the page. The first couple of ways being the most obvious: the search bar and using ‘explore more roles’ function, after clicking the three lines icon on the role centre.

The next method would be from an Item card. To do this, on a record, click ‘Navigate’, ‘Warehouse’ and ‘Bin Contents’. The benefit of doing it this way is it will automatically filter the results by the item record you are on.

Exploring the Bin Contents page

Depending on whether the stock is all held in one place or generally whether there is stock, the number of lines that shows could vary quite drastically. Using filters, you can narrow down your results. For example, by Zone or Location Code. Note, if you access the Bin Contents page without going from a specific item card, you’ll have to filter by Item No. too. On the page, you should see these fields:

On the page, there will be a line per Location and Bin where there is stock. You can see from this view which locations and bins have stock, as well as the quantity pertaining to picks and put-aways.

Dynamic record changes

As you move stock, the bin content record will automatically update. For example, using a location with an Advanced configuration, I created a sales order, warehouse shipment and a pick. By revisiting my filtered Bin Contents page, I can see the Pick Quantity (Base) has a value matching the quantity on the pick record. This is because it’s reflecting the new stock quantity to be picked. By clicking into it, I can see warehouse activity line matches the details of the original sales order and warehouse pick.

If I instead posted a transfer order from one location to another, I’d see the quantity changes in the two bin content records. If I took the stock from multiple bins, and/or moved the stock to multiple bins, I’d see more than two record changes.

Deleting bin content records

Like with most records on Business Central, if you click on the three dots on the line, you have the option to ‘delete’ the record. You can’t delete a bin content record that has a quantity associated with it:

However, for bin contents that are empty and only exist because they have the ‘fixed’ tick box field marked, you can delete them. Just to clarify, this isn’t deleting the bin, but the bin content record. If you bring stock into the associated bin, that bin content record will reappear. Alternatively, you can navigate from the Location Card to the bin. If you mark the bin as ‘fixed’ again, it will recreate the bin content record for the empty bin.

Bin content records and warehouse entries

The warehouse entries screen gives you the in and outflows of inventory, the type of order that caused the movement, unit of measure and quantity. For every flow of movement, it gives the related source number. For example, say there was an outflow of 10 ‘X’ because of a sales order, the Source No. field tells us which sales order this movement relates to.

To see related warehouse entries for a specific item, you can click ‘Related’, ‘Line’ and ‘Warehouse Entries’.
The No. matches the warehouse pick number and the Source No. here matches the related sales order number.

Min. and Max. Qty fields

On the Bin Contents page, there are both Min. and Max. Qty fields. These are advisory; they don’t cap the stock to fall within the ranges set by those fields. Below is a list of bin content records. The line at the bottom has a maximum quantity of 110 for Item 1190 in STOR bin.

When I bring stock in, in this case using a warehouse receipt and put-away, I am specifying a a quantity which will bring the total quantity above the maximum permitted for that item in that bin.

Below, we can see that the bin’s quantity is above what’s set as the maximum. This shows this field is there for advisory purposes. It can fall outside the ranges set.

An Advanced warehousing feature to be aware of

As I mentioned earlier, by creating a pick, the bin content record’s Pick Quantity (Base) field is updated. However, creating a pick from an Advanced location’s bin which is either empty and ‘fixed’ or has stock in it creates a corresponding put-away quantity value:

The reason why this applies to Advanced and not Basic locations is because the warehouse pick creates a ‘take’ and a ‘place’ line, and the inventory pick doesn’t. We’ll explain why this is important later.

The Pick Quantity (Base) and Put-away Quantity (Base) are populated because there’s a pre-existing bin content record. If there’s not, creating a pick will not populate the Put-away Quantity (Base) field. So, if the shipping bin doesn’t have that particular item in it currently, the Put-away Quantity (Base) field remains blank.

To clarify, this isn’t creating a put-away as such, but a warehouse activity line relating to a pick. At this point in the process, the pick hasn’t been registered. This means the stock is still sitting in the bin it’s being picked from. As the shipping bin doesn’t have this stock, it can’t populate the record as there’s no stock it could move.

Clicking into the pick and put-away quantities

Below, I clicked into the put-away figure. As you can see, it brings up two records, both for picks and not put-aways. But if I open the filter pane, I can see that the Action Type field has a value of ‘Place’. Perhaps the terminology could be adapted here, but as a pick is a two-step process, the ‘placing’ of an item is essentially classed as ‘putting’ it somewhere.

To demonstrate this, if I click the ‘pick’ quantity on the Bin Contents page, notice the ‘take’ action type. See below:

I thought this was worthwhile mentioning as creating a warehouse activity line under the label of a ‘put-away’ when you’re trying to pick something is a little confusing. The key takeaway from this is that the ‘place’ line for a warehouse pick populates the Put-away Quantity (Base) field.

Closing remarks

Thanks for reading. Any feedback or queries, let us know!

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