Industry Terminology

Num A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W




P & L: Monthly profit and loss statement.


P&D: Pickup& Delivery. See also P/D.


P&E: Plant & Equipment


P&L: Profit & Loss


P.O.D.: Proof of delivery.


P.O.P.: Proof of performance. Required on advertising claims.


P.O.S.: Point-of-Sale. Generally refers to a cash register-scanner device which is used to ring up sales items. Also refers to the information collected by the register controller unit.


Packet: In a shared media network, when one computer wishes to send a message to another, it uses the network software to break up the message into elements that are transmitted in an "envelope." This envelope is called a packet. Data flows through such networks in packets.


Packing and Marking: The activities of packing for safe shipping and unitizing one or more items of an order, placing them into an appropriate container, and marking and labelling the container with customer shipping destination data, as well as other information that may be required.


Packing List: List showing merchandise packed and all particulars. Normally prepared by shipper but not required by carriers. Copy is sent to consignee to help verify shipment received. The physical equivalent of the electronic Advanced Ship Notice (ASN).


Pallet: Movable wooden platform used to stack cases or boxes for storage. Also known as skid.


Pallet Ticket: A label to track pallet-sized quantities of end items produced to identify the specific sub lot with specifications determined by periodic sampling and analysis during production.


Parallel Processing: A faster method of processing a lot of data. It is performed by computers with multiple processor chips that simultaneously carry out different parts of a program.


Parcel Manifest System: Automated shipping system.


Password: A private code required to gain access to a computer, an application program, or service.


Payback: The time from initial investment in a system or changed process until the benefits of the investment have returned a sum equal to the initial investment and its subsequent ongoing operating expenses. Often calculated to help determine which projects a company should undertake. Also called payback period.


Payroll: Total of all fully burdened labor costs, including wage, fringe, benefits, overtime, bonus, and profit sharing.


PB: Pick Bin. Also "piggyback" (see also TOFC).


PBIT: Profit Before Interest & Tax


PBL: Pick By Line: stockless (virtual) warehouse where suppliers deliver aggregate orders in bulk, and goods are picked by line into store lanes. See also CDC.


PBT: Profit Before Tax


PBX: Private Branch Exchange. A common switch for telephone communications within a facility.


PCC: Processing under Custom Control for free circulation: Customs term.


PCMCIA: An external PC slot that accepts credit-card-sized peripherals.


PC-POS: Intelligent POs terminal using industry-standard personal computers and operating systems.


PD: per diem: by the day.


PDA: See Personal Digital Assistant


PDF417: A 2-dimensional bar-code symbology that encodes large volumes of data. It is a standard for functions other than fast auto-sortation or small component marking, and was developed by Symbol Technologies. See Maxicode.


PDI: Pre-Delivery Inspection: manufacturer's inspection (and modification/enhancement as required) of new cars prior to delivery to customer or dealer.


PDM: Physical Distribution Management: AKA logistics. Also "Product Development & Management".


PE: Period Entry: Customs term.


Pen-Based Technology: Enables computers to read pen-written marks and some handwriting as if it were typed on a keyboard.


Performance Measurement Program: A performance measurement program goes beyond just having performance metrics in place. Many companies do not realize the full benefit of their performance metrics because they often do not have all of the necessary elements in place that support their metrics. Typical characteristics of a good performance measurement program include the following: Metrics that are aligned to strategy and linked to the "shop floor"or line level workers A process and culture that drives performance and accountability to delivery performance against key performance indicators. An incentive plan that is tied to performance goals, objectives and metrics Tools/technology in place to support easy data collection and use. This often includes the use of a "dashboard"or "scorecard"to allow for ease of understanding and reporting against key performance indicators. Also see: Performance Measures, Dashboard, Scorecard, Key Performance Indicator


Performance Measures: Indicators of the work performed and the results achieved in an activity, process, or organizational unit. Performance measures should be both non-financial and financial. Performance measures enable periodic comparisons and benchmarking. For example, a common performance measure for a distribution centre is % of order fill rate. Attributes of good performance measurement include the following: 1. Measures only what is important: The measure focuses on key aspects of process performance 2. Can be collected economically: Processes and activities are designed to easily capture the relevant information 3. Are visible: The measure and its causal effects are readily available to everyone who is measured 4. Is easy to understand: The measure conveys at a glance what it is measuring and how it is derived 5. Is process oriented: The measure makes the proper trade-offs among utilization, productivity and performance 6. Is defined and mutually understood. The measure has been defined and mutually understood by all key parties (internal and external) 7. Facilitates trust: The measure validates the participation among various parties and discourages "game playing" 8. Are usable: The measure is used to show progress and not just data that is "collected." Indicated performance vs data Also see: Performance Measurement Program


Period Order Quantity: A lot-sizing technique under which the lot size is equal to the net requirements for a given number of periods, e.g., weeks into the future. The number of periods to order is variable, each order size equalizing the holding costs and the ordering costs for the interval. Also see: Discrete Order Quantity, Dynamic Lot Sizing


Perpetual Inventory: An inventory record keeping system where each transaction in and out is recorded and a new balance is computed.


Perpetual Inventory System: A system that tracks inventory levels of each SKU within a store, including sales, deliveries, returns, etc.


Personal Data Assistant: handheld computer (see also HHT).


Personal Digital Assistant (PDA): A computer term for a handheld device that combines computing, telephone/fax, and networking features. PDA examples include the Palm and Pocket PC devices. A typical PDA can function as a cellular phone, fax sender, and personal organizer. Unlike portable computers, most PDAs are pen-based, using a stylus rather than a keyboard for input. This means that they also incorporate handwriting recognition features. Some PDAs can also react to voice input by using voice recognition technologies. Some PDAs and networking software allow companies to use PDAs in their warehouses to support wireless transaction processing and inquiries.


PFC: Processing for Free Circulation: Customs term.


PHS: Packaging, Handling & Storage


Physical Distribution: See Distribution


PI: Perpetual Inventory


Pick: Multi-user operating system integrated with a dictionary-driven relational database.


Pick/Pack: Picking of product from inventory and packing into shipment containers.


Pick-by-Light: A laser identifies the bin for the next item in the rack; when the picker completes the pick, the bar code is scanned and the system then points the laser at the next bin.


Picking: Selecting items from a warehouse or other stockroom. Generally refers to a collection of goods to be shipped to a customer.


Piggyback: Terminology used to describe a truck trailer being transported on a railroad flatcar. Plaintext: A computer term for data before it has been encrypted or after it has been decrypted, e.g., an ASCII text file.


Pilot: In a business, a test in small scale of a new business process or system. In computer systems, a test before final acceptance of a new business system using a subset of data with engineered cases and documented results. PIN: Personal Identification Number. Often used with debit or ATM cards.


Plan Source: The development and establishment of courses of action over specified time periods that represent a projected appropriation of material resources to meet supply chain requirements.


PLL: Prescribed Load List


PLM: Product Lifecycle Management: software for managing product lifecycles (see also CPC, cPDM).


PLU: Price Look-Up. Part of an in-store POs system that retrieves/verifies the price of a SKU using a central price file. It includes non-bar-coded items such as produce.


PO: See Purchase Order


POC: Point Of Contact


POD: See Proof of Delivery


Point Of Sale (POs): 1) The time and place at which a sale occurs, such as a cash register in a retail operation, or the order confirmation screen in an on- line session. Supply chain partners are interested in capturing data at the POs, because it is a true record of the sale rather than being derived from other information such as inventory movement. 2) Also a national network of merchant terminals, at which customers can use client cards and personal security codes to make purchases. Transactions are directed against client deposit accounts. POs terminals are sophisticated cryptographic devices, with complex key management processes. POs standards draw on ABM network experiences and possess extremely stringent security requirements.


Point of Sale Information: Price and quantity data from retail locations as sales transactions occur.


Point to Point: The mileage between locations which is used for the purpose of establishing a rate.


Point-of-Purchase (POP): A retail sales term referring to the area where a sale occurs, such as the checkout counter. POP is also used to refer to the displays and other sales promotion tools located at a checkout counter.


POL: Petroleum, Oil & Lubricants


POP: See Point-of-Purchase


POQ: Period Order Quantity


PoR: Pick on Receipt


Portable Radio Modem: A two-way radio that transmits/receives data from hand-carried/portable computers, printers, or other devices to a host computer connected to a base station. It is independent and physically separate from the device it serves.


Portable Tele-transaction Computer: A programmable battery powered, handheld device used for collecting, storing, and transmitting data.


Portal: Websites that serve as starting points to other destinations or activities on the Web. Initially thought of as a "home base" type of web page, portals attempt to provide all Internet needs in one location. Portals commonly provide services such as e- mail, online chat forums, shopping, searching, content, and news feeds.


POs: Point of Sale: see also Epos and EFTPoS.


POs: Point-of-Sale. Can refer to the location in a retail store where consumer sales transactions occur, and to the sales data collected there. Also called scan data.


POs Register: Incorporates products normally associated with POs systems (e.g., computer, printer, monitor, keyboard, scanner, cash drawer, card reader, etc.).


PPD: Initials on freight bill that mean "Prepaid"(Shipping cost has been paid).


PPM: Periodic Preventative Maintenance


PPT: Powered Pallet Truck


Pre-Expediting: The function of following up on open orders before the scheduled delivery date, to ensure the timely delivery of materials in the specified quantity.


Prepaid: A freight term, which indicates that charges are to be paid by the shipper. Prepaid shipping charges may be added to the customer invoice, or the cost may be bundled into the pricing for the product.


Prerequisite Tree: In the theory of constraints, a method of determining what might inhibit implementation of an idea or change. Used for identifying and overcoming obstacles.


Present Value: The value today of future cash flows. For example, the promise of $100 a year from now is worth something less than $100 today. Different companies have different costs of capital and different present value factors. See Discounted Cash Flow.


Preventive Maintenance: Action to minimize unplanned downtime, generally of a machine.


Price Elasticity: The degree of change in demand for a product in response to a change in its price.


Price Look-Up (PLU): Used for retail products sold loose, bunched or in bulk (to identify the different types of fruit, say). As opposed to UPC (Universal Product Codes) for packaged, fixed weight retail items. A PLU code contains 4-5 digits in total. The PLU is entered before an item is weighed to determine a price.


Printer, Dot Matrix: Builds images with a series of pins that impact a ribbon to transfer ink.


Printer, Electrostatic: Ink is affixed by electrostatic methods.


Printer, Flexographic: A type of rotary letterpress printing that uses flexible rubber plates and quick-drying inks.


Printer, Formed Character Impact: Uses metal drum with symbols etched in reverse on surface.


Printer, Ink Jet: Characters are formed by droplets of ink sprayed in a dot-matrix pattern.


Printer, Ion Deposition: Imaging process that is electrographic and non-impact.


Printer, Laser: Uses beams of light to draw an image on a charged, photosensitive drum or belt. Toner sticks to the area that is charged and is transferred to paper. Used by photocopiers.


Printer, Magnetographic: Process that etches image to be printed on a rotating drum, tones image with magnetic ink, and fuses image to paper.


Printer, Offset: Indirect process of printing.


Printer, Thermal: Uses chemically-coated stock that changes color when heated by a set of pins that contact it.


Private Warehouse: A company-owned warehouse.


Private-Label: Products that are designed, produced, controlled by, and which carry the name of the store or a name owned by the store; also known as a store brand or dealer brand. An example would be Wal-Mart's "Sam's Choice" products.


PRO NO: Carrier identification number found on a freight bill; identifies bill for vendor order


Pro Number: Any progressive or serialized number applied for identification of freight bills, bills of lading, etc.


Process: A series of time-based activities that are linked to complete a specific output.


Process Benchmarking: Benchmarking a process (such as the pick, pack, and ship process) against organizations known to be the best in class in this process. Process benchmarking is usually conducted on firms outside of the organization's industry. Also see: Benchmarking, Best-in-Class, Competitive Benchmarking


Process Improvement: Designs or activities, which improve quality or reduce costs, often through the elimination of waste or non- value-added tasks.


Process Manufacturing: Production that adds value by mixing, separating, forming, and/or performing chemical reactions. It may be done in a batch, continuous, or mixed batch/continuous mode.


Processor: A device which interprets and executes instructions. The brain of the computer.


Procurement: The business functions of procurement planning, purchasing, inventory control, traffic, receiving, incoming inspection, and salvage operations. Syn: Purchasing.


Procurement Lead Time: The time required from the point when the need for an item is recognized to when it is received. Often refers to the longest lead time among all needed materials for a given product.


Product Configurator: A system, generally rule-based, to be used in design-to-order, engineer to- order, or make-to-order environments where numerous product variations exist. Product configurations perform intelligent modeling of the part or product attributes and often create solid models, drawings, bills of material, and cost estimates that can be integrated into CAD/CAM and MRP II systems as well as sales order entry systems.


Product Family: A group of products with similar characteristics, often used in production planning (or sales and operations planning).


Product Genealogy: A record of the history of a product from inception to discontinuance, usually including lots, batch sizes, operations performed, inspections, options, and orders. Used in private label product development.


Production Calendar: See Manufacturing Calendar


Production Capacity: Measure of how much production volume may be experienced over a set period of time.


Production Forecast: A projected level of customer demand for a feature (option, accessory, etc.) of a make-to-order or an assemble-to-order product. Used in two- level master scheduling, it is calculated by netting customer backlog against an overall family or product line master production schedule and then factoring this product's available-to-promise by the option percentage in a planning bill of material. Also see: Assemble-to-Order, Planning Bill of Material, Two-Level Master Schedule


Production Line: A series of pieces of equipment dedicated to the manufacture of a specific number of products or families.


Production Planning: A process used by suppliers to decide what and how much will be manufactured when to efficiently satisfy orders or forecasted sales while meeting general business objectives of profitability, return on assets, customer service, etc.


Production Planning and Scheduling: The systems that enable creation of detailed optimized plans and schedules taking into account the resource, material, and dependency constraints to meet the deadlines.


Production-Related Material: Production-related materials are those items classified as material purchases and included in Cost of Goods Sold as raw material purchases.


Productivity Measurement: A labor reporting system that compares individuals' work achievement to standards or averages.


Profit Before Interest and Tax (PBIT): The financial profit generated prior to the deduction of taxes and interest due on loans. Also called operating profit.


Profitability Analysis: The analysis of profit derived from cost objects with the view to improve or optimize profitability. Multiple views may be analyzed, such as market segment, customer, distribution channel, product families, products, technologies, platforms, regions, manufacturing capacity, etc.


Proforma Invoice: The Proforma Invoice is a legal document between the supplier and the customer to describe the details of a certain commodity. The Proforma Invoice is needed for all international non-document shipments, and is used for the customs in the country of destination to determine the customs value. While the Proforma Invoice will describe the nature and value of the business transaction, it is not generally used for billing purposes. Also see: Commercial Invoice.


Program Generator: Prompting software that allows the user to develop applications without traditional programming skills.


Promotion: The act of selling a product at a reduced price, or a buy one - get one free offer, for the purpose of increasing sales.


Promotional Product: A product subject to wide variations in sales because it is often sold with an incentive such as a price reduction. Often refers to products with difficult-to-forecast sales based on history.


Proof of Delivery (POD): Information supplied by the carrier containing the name of the person who signed for the shipment, the time and date of delivery, and other shipment delivery related information. POD is also sometimes used to refer to the process of printing materials just prior to shipment (Print on Demand).


Proof of Identity: Document supplied by applicant proving identity.


Protocol: Communication standards that determine message content and format, enabling uniformity of transmissions.


Protocol Conversion: Technology involved in establishing communication between devices that use different data protocols.


PS: Product Supply. Also "Postscript" and sometimes "Pieces".


PSE: Powered Support Equipment. See also NPSE.


PTC: Portable Tele-transaction Computer. A programmable, battery-powered handheld device used for collecting, storing, and transmitting data.


PTO: Power Take-Off - usually a hydraulic pump connected to a vehicle's main engine, used to drive auxiliary equipment.


Public warehouse: The warehouse space that is rented or leased by an independent business providing a variety of services for a fee or on a contract basis.


Pull Cart (Four Wheeler): Four wheeled cart used in order filling.


Pull or Pull-through distribution: Supply-chain action initiated by the customer. Traditionally, the supply chain was pushed; manufacturers produced goods and "pushed" them through the supply chain, and the customer had no control. In a pull environment, a customer's purchase sends replenishment information back through the supply chain from retailer to distributor to manufacturer, so goods are "pulled" through the supply chain.


Pull Signal: A signal from a using operation that triggers the issue of raw material.


PUP: A Short trailer (usually 28 feet) that is hooked to another short trailer and pulled together. Sometimes referred to as tandem.


Purchase Order (PO): The purchaser's authorization used to formalize a purchase transaction with a supplier. The physical form or electronic transaction a buyer uses when placing order for merchandise.


Push Distribution: The process of building product and pushing it into the distribution channel without receiving any information regarding requirements. Also see: Pull or Pull-Through Distribution


Push Technology: Webcasting (push technology) is the prearranged updating of news, weather, or other selected information on a computer user's desktop interface through periodic and generally unobtrusive transmission over the World Wide Web (including the use of the Web protocol on Intranet). Webcasting uses so-called push technology in which the Web server ostensibly "pushes"information to the user rather than waiting until the user specifically requests it.


Put Away Method: A way to transfer data directly into memory without pressing the ENTER key. The Portable Tele-transaction Computer does not show the data on its display.


Put-Away: In warehousing, the placement of received goods into a storage area. It can involve intermediate staging.

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