Posted by Kathy Dumalski on Aug 06, 2013

If you’re not hearing the bass line in your head right now for this popular 80’s hit, then you’re probably not a Devo fan. But you don’t need to be in order to a fan of the Recycling Operations Manager WIP process module. Lots of software providers will tell you their system “does WIP.” But what does that really mean?

First, let’s establish that in the ROM system, inventory is tracked per piece per container by creating a tag for each container. The container can be a box, a drum, a bale, or any other package. When “tagged”, a container is given an ID and weight, categorized as work in process (WIP); finished goods (FG); or a general container, to-and-from which material is added, also called an open bin (OB). This material is considered a unit of material and is explicitly tracked until it is transformed into some other form or sold. By keeping track of individual packages (or a group of packages that are bundled and tagged together), ROM can provide you with a report containing detailed information about where the material came from, when it was tagged, where it is kept, and what happened to it after processing.

The ROM system’s WIP module offers the most in-depth functionality of any WIP system out there.

A unique tracking system, ROM stores pertinent information about each tag such as: when it was created, by whom, what commodity and grade of material it is, the total weight of the material, what kind of packaging it is in, where it is located, and how it got there. ROM will even account for shrinkage. Various reports can be generated to show the total number of tags on hand or at any point in time.

In addition, the system will track production at all of your processing centers, including tracking material being processed by third parties.  At every point in your material’s life cycle, ROM can be instructed to automatically add production costs, including which employees worked on the material (and their hourly rate), which pieces of equipment were used (and the operation costs associated with that equipment) and how long it took to process a particular lot of material. Calculating each of these dollar figures against the amount paid per unit, gives you a true cost of goods so that you can adjust the final sales price accordingly.

The WIP Batch function allows you to convert multiple Open Bins and WIP Tags into Finished Goods and/or into other Open Bins and WIP in a very simple process. This allows the user to mix multiple sources and if necessary, multiple commodities into one type of finished product (in the case of alloys). It also allows one source and/or commodity to be separated out into multiple other commodities (as with the case of eScrap). Once processed it provides the Batch Process Results report that displays by item, your recovery.

This goes way beyond the primary sort of material to break down everything into more detail with more tracking than anything else on the market. 

Chain of Custody

The chain of custody (COC) system takes the concept of individual tags to the next level. Each tagged item can only have three actions applied to it: it can be marked void, in which case it ceases to exist at the date and time it is voided; it can be closed into another tag; or, it can be shipped. These are all tracked events in ROM. Then the COC system gathers this information and makes it available depending on where you want to view it from.

For example, say you have an FG tag in the system and you want to know where it came from. The COC system walks up the chain to the parent item of that FG tag and makes a note of it. Then, it looks at the parents of tagged item and makes a note of that. It continues all the way until it hits the receiving tickets that brought the material into the plant.

Subsequently, that FG tag can be turned back into a WIP tag, put into an OB, or shipped. If turned for example into a WIP tag, then the COC system makes a note of it. It then takes that WIP tag and sees where it went, and makes a note of that. ROM will continue to track the material’s every move whether it stays in inventory or is shipped.


This system works great for alloy processors, document destroyers and E Scrap companies that have to show their customers, regulatory or certification committees a complete cradle-to-grave look at their material.  Not only a great tool for managing your business, but a sales tool that will help you crush the competition.

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