ITrack/Enterprise/Inventory Overview

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Screen Purpose

This screen in ITrack Enterprise is designed to facilitate automatic stocking and reordering based on stocking information. Currently the screen is capable of creating suggested orders based on min/max ordering. Eventually, seasonal ordering and other options may be added.

Extension Information

This extension is loaded from EEInventoryOverview.dll and is not dependent on any other user-level extensions.

Interface Information

Choose Purchase Vendors

Initially when the screen is opened, the user is presented with the 'Choose Purchase Vendors' dialog. This dialog is designed to have the user select which purchase vendors they would like to view ordering data for. On this dialog, the user can find and check records in the purchase vendor list manually, or type a piece of information into the smart search field and hit 'find'. This will automatically find all purchase vendors matching the smart search criterion (same search that is used on the vendor list screen) and check them. The select all/deselect all buttons will select all purchase vendors in the list or deselect all purchase vendors in the list for convenience. The Ordering Group dropdown shows all ordering groups that have been entered into the system. Vendors can be assigned to ordering groups on the vendor screen. These groups allow the user to define logical groups of purchase vendors that they wish to quickly select all of or deselect in the list. These could be such things as 'biweekly ordering vendors', or 'transmission vendors' for example. The 'Show informational records' checkbox toggles whether the user wants to see inventory records (and their current stock levels and availability) that aren't stocked and don't need special order but are at a different store than an item that does need to be stocked. Essentially, if this is checked, if item 'A' at store 1 is a stocked item from one of the selected purchase vendors, item 'A' at store 2, 3, etc will also be shown even if they aren't stocked items. This facilitates viewing current order history, stocking levels, and purchase history of the record at other stores even if it isn't a stocked item. This can help make decisions between ordering and transferring items. Turning informational records off will make the cache process faster (as fewer items must have their availability and ordering history analyzed).

Once the desired set of purchase vendors have been selected, hit ok to go to the Inventory Overview screen proper.

Main Interface

The interface of the inventory overview screen presents many different ways of viewing inventory data in order to facilitate any corporate ordering schema. The screen uses 4 lists which can be resized depending on user preference. The meaning of the data in these lists' columns is explained later (but a hint can always be gathered from the column tool tips.

List Controls

  • Stores: this list shows all stores that have been configured in ITrack. Clicking on each store in the list will select it, allowing the user to view items to order for more than one location. This list drives what inventory records show up in the inventory list and what open documents show up in the documents list.
  • Documents: this list shows open documents (sales orders, purchase orders, work orders, transfer orders) based on the screen context. Often this list displays open documents relating to the currently selected inventory item.
  • Inventory: this is the main list on the screen, and it shows a plethora of information about inventory records that you stock. Using, the filters (described below), this list will display everything you need to create a suggested vendor order.
  • Vendors: this list shows purchase vendors based on the screen context. Often it will display vendors meeting the vendor filter criterion at the top of the screen. It also shows ordering information about these purchase vendors, such as minimum prepaid order levels, minimum order levels, and suggested order totals.
Inventory List

The inventory list is used as a worksheet for ordering. It presents the user with all the data they need to make educated ordering decisions. In addition, it presents them with a suggested order quantity, which can be edited at the user's discretion, before being sent to a purchase or transfer order.

A description of list columns are as follows:

  • Store: the Store that the inventory record resides at.
  • Tag: the user defined tag # assigned to the inventory record.
  • Description: the inventory record's description
  • Order: the suggested order quantity (editable)
  • QOH: the current inventory quantity on hand
  • Min: the inventory record's minimum stock quantity
  • Max: the inventory record's stock point (max quantity)
  • BP: the inventory record's buy package. This represents quantity an item must be purchased in multiples of (0 means no buy package).
  • QOO: quantity on order. This is the total quantity of the current item that is already been ordered (possibly through an inter-branch transfer order, or through a purchase order.
  • MTD: month to date sales. This is the total quantity of the inventory record that has been consumed so far this month at the current store (consumption can come from a sales order or a work order).
  • FYTD: financial year to date. This is similar to above, but it reaches the beginning of the user's financial year (the month of your corporate financial year start is a global setting.
  • Last X Months: this is the number of items consumed over the last X months. The value X is configurable in user settings. If this value is less than or equal 0, it will be hidden to save space.

There are also a couple sets of columns that are added dynamically based on current setup.

  • QA X: these columns ('QA 1', 'QA 2', etc) represent the available quantity at a specific store. There will be one column for each branch configured for the user. These columns allow the user to view stock that might be transferrable instead of ordering new from a vendor. Since this value is used to drive suggested order quantity, the current store's QA is highlighted.
  • Month Y: these columns will show monthly consumption over the last Y months (defaults to 4, but can be set in the user settings). This helps the ordering specialist view recent history when making purchasing decisions.

View Modes

The screen has 3 radio buttons that control the current 'view mode'. When you select different view modes, it changes how you plan on looking at information on the screen. Different view modes are designed for different ordering schemas and for gathering different types of information.

Document View Mode

In document mode, you see open sales orders and work orders for parts at one of the selected stores having one of the selected purchase vendors. Clicking on a document shows you what on that document needs to be ordered.

Vendor View Mode

The most common view mode would probably be vendor. In this mode, you'll see all purchase vendors that meet the criterion selected in the dropdown next to the vendor view mode radio button. Note that only those vendors selected in during the choose purchase vendors step will be displayed in this list. If you select a vendor, you'll see all the items that you stock from that vendor that also meet the criterion selected in the dropdown next to inventory (see below). In addition, all open purchase orders made to this vendor will be shown in the document list (as long as no inventory items are currently selected). Using the correct inventory filters, the user can create a 'suggested order' for that vendor.

Before explaining the vendor filters, some terms must first be explained.

  • Suggested order quantity: the total quantity of items that the system suggests you order from that vendor.
  • Suggested order weight: the total weight of all items that the system suggests that you order from that vendor.
  • Suggested order price: the total order cost of all items that the system suggests that you order from that vendor.

The vendor filters available in the dropdown are as follows.

Vendor Filters
  • *ALL*: shows all vendors that you selected in the purchase vendor list when opening the screen. In order for a vendor to show up, you must have at least one item that you purchase from them.
  • Min. Order Met: shows only those vendors that have a suggested order that matches all minimum vendor order criterion. In the vendor screen, a vendor may be (optionally) given a minimum order quantity and/or a minimum order weight and/or a minimum order price. This filter makes sure the suggested order meets all of the specified minimums for this vendor.
  • Min. Prepaid Order Met: is similar to above but it uses the (optional) minimum prepaid vendor order criterion. In the vendor screen, a vendor may be (optionally) given a minimum prepaid order quantity and/or a mininmum prepaid order weight and/or a minimum prepaid order price. This filter makes sure the suggested order meets all of the specified prepaid order minimums for this vendor.
  • Possible Order quantity > 0: shows all vendors whose suggested order quantity is greater than 0 (some items are suggested to order).
  • Possible Price > Min Price: simply makes sure that the suggested order price is greater than the vendor's minimum order price.
Inventory View Mode

Inventory mode simply shows all inventory items at one of the stores (selected in the store list) with one of the purchase vendors selected previously that also meet the selected criterion in the dropdown next to the inventory view mode radio button. I describe those filter options below. If you select a part, you'll see any open orders on that item (including WOs, POs, and TOs, and SOs), and its purchase vendor down below.

Inventory Filters
  • *ALL*: shows all inventory at those stores with one of those purchase vendors.
  • QOH < 0: shows all inventory that have a quantity on hand less than 0. This is a state that should optimally never happen, but it shows items where you've oversold your stock.
  • QOH <= Minimum: shows all inventory items that have a QOH less than or equal to your minimum stock quantity. If you use QOH instead of quantity available for stocking, this would be a common filter.
  • Available < Max: shows all items whose current available quantity is less than your 'stocking point' or max quantity.
  • Available <= Min (Orderable): by far the most common filter option, and probably the most used. It shows all items that have an available quantity less than or equal to the minimum stock levels for that item (which is the min/max order criterion).

Other Screen Controls

In addition to the primary screen functionality described above, there is a row of function buttons across the top of the screen. The function of those buttons is described here.

Send Items to PO

This button will send all selected items to the Purchase Orders Screen (Enterprise). To quickly select all items in the inventory list, click the list, then hit ctrl + A (select all). If you wish to send only a couple items, hold down ctrl and click on all items you would like to select. All items will be sent in the current order to a new PO (if no PO is currently open), or to the current PO (if a PO is currently open). The current order quantity on the selected items will be transmitted as well, however it can be changed once it gets to the PO.

If items from more than one store are selected when this button is hit, a Multibranch Purchase Order will be initiated. A dialog will pop up, asking which of the inventory stores will be the shipping destination of the PO (the destination of the PO). Once one is selected, a PO to that store will be created, and appropriate transfer order requests will be created. Once the PO is saved, inter-branch transfers will be created to all appropriate stores automatically, routing those items to their final destinations.

Send Items to TO

This button will send all selected items to a transfer order. All selected items must have the same store, as one TO cannot have multiple sources or destinations. If an appropriate TO is already open, the items will be added to that TO, otherwise a new TO will be created.

Choose Purchase Vendors

This button will reopen the choose purchase vendors dialog. The user is allowed to change the selection of purchase vendors that they would like to view inventory information for.

Refresh Cache

This button allows the user to manually refresh the inventory cache data that the screen is drawing from. This information (including available quantity and sales history) is calculated statically when the screen is opened (or when the purchase vendor list is change) in order to speed screen data retrieval. In order to refresh this data (in case new sales have been made, POs have been received or created, etc) the user should hit this button.

Clear Order

This button clears out the user-entered order quantities in the inventory list. Essentially, this resets all 'to order' quantities in the inventory list back to the suggested order amounts.

Hide Sidebar (>>)

This button simply hides the less-used sidebar lists (documents and stores) so that the main lists (inventory, vendors) have more screen space for user viewing. For more space, the user can rearrange or hide list columns to make more space.

Database/Query Logic Information

Only items that are stocked or non-stocked items that are on open orders are cached and displayed on the screen. inventory.stocktype is used to derive if an item is 'Stocked', 'Special Order', or 'Obsolete'.

Items with an inventory status of 'D' (deleted) are ignored and not brought onto the screen.