Pacific Aluminium - Gove Warehouse Management System

Pacific Aluminium

Gove Warehouse Management System

In 2004, VRT took on the support of Alcan's Warehouse Management system in Gove. P-P-trak handles remote receiving in Darwin for all Alcan's purchasing requirements. Goods are then trans-shipped to Gove for storage and distribution from the central warehouse.

P-trak is a Warehouse Tracking System designed from the ground up around wireless devices, bar coding and RFID technology. It is intended as a companion to corporate Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems such as SAP and Mincom's MIMS, in contrast to standalone Warehouse Management Systems. P-trak is not a middleware solution that simply maps the ERP user interface to a mobile wireless device, and is consequently not constrained by the performance, responsiveness or reliability of the host system.


  • Support for unlimited warehouses/areas and locations within each area. Areas can be used to define any location inside or outside the warehouse - expansion is limited only by server capacity.
  • Unique stock serial numbers (SSN) can be used to track individual stock item movements for audit purposes. For example, rotable spares can be traced through their whole lifecycle, in the warehouse or out in the plant. 
  • Product descriptions in the P-trak database inventory are continuously updated from the host system - whenever a requisition or issue is generated by the ERP system, P-trak checks and updates the locally stored product description if required. 
  • Warehouse location metrics can be used by P-trak to recommend put away locations based on the size, weight, environmental requirements (e.g. cold storage), access requirements (e.g. hazardous goods), or turnover rate of a product.
  • All basic warehouse floor functions accessible from mobile devices - Receiving & Put away, Transfers, Stock take, Queries, Picking and Dispatch.
  • Windows PC client software allows a supervisor to administer the P-trak warehouse configuration and user profiles, oversee stock takes, query the database, track products through an audit trail etc.
  • Data is stored in an easily accessible database format, providing the opportunity to create a wide range of reports using tools like Impromptu or Crystal Reports.


P-trak is designed specifically for the needs of warehouse operations, so does not suffer from compromises inherent in a one-size-fits-all user interface found on most ERP systems. This approach results in a number of key benefits -

  • Fast Response: P-trak's efficient real-time transaction engine has been designed to provide very fast responses to user requests (picking, put away and stock query response times on a 50,000 SKU database typically measure in the order of tenths of a second, even on low-spec server hardware).
  • Simple User Interface: The mobile user interface has been specially designed to suit the simple and repetitive operations usually performed by warehouse staff, requiring an absolute minimum of keyboard interaction. For example, an operator can scan an item once to find out about it, or scan it twice to take it out (pick or transfer) - no keystrokes required.
  • Redundancy & Security: By implementing a local database mirror coupled with a persistent queuing mechanism that guarantees message delivery, P-trak can operate independently during ERP host outages or link failures and then transfer details of stock changes to the host when it becomes available again.
  • Easy Discrepancy Resolution: Buffering warehouse operations from the Enterprise system allows stock discrepancies to be investigated and resolved, before committing adjustments to a system with financial accounting consequences.


P-trak is a modular system centred on a high capacity real-time messaging subsystem. A separate module manages each of the core application functions, and each can be hosted on any combination of local or remote systems. This allows a wide range of solutions to be delivered, from a single PC based server, to a heterogeneous server environment where database, P-trak server, and host interfaces are distributed over a number of systems.