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Depending on your business seasonality and product sales velocity you may not have time to generate customized by-store by-item orders each order cycle. Frankly with some product types its simply not necessary in creates an out-sized burden on your operations to construct orders which might consist of many dozen items spread across warehouses. In this case, suppliers have opted for what are often referred to as "Kits". Kits are simply pre-configured assortments of items that constitute an order. The fact that they're created ahead of time limits the number of permutations and increases loading efficiency.
Our ordering module take the best of both worlds by allowing you to use the current store / item based demand to generate suggested kits. In this way leveraging computing power you can glean where many stores can take or need essentially the same item mix and use this information to create better approximated orders, capturing the right middle ground between operational complexity and giving stores what they need right now or soon in the future in an optimal way.
Of course it all begins where custom ordering leaves off. You start with a demand template, but instead of using it to write orders directly, you use the results to get similar needs and feed those results into the kit generation process.
Step1 – Demand Template
Step2 – Rack Category
This step entails organizing your items so that items which are generally located near each other at the warehouse and can be loaded together share the same category. Most often this is the "# of shelves" on a rack – if an item
Changing Store Attributes and Category Values
Through allowing you to store and display a custom store list with up to 5 attributes per store you can easily inject this information in the order results. Additionally the category values for you items are also available to switch between and doing so can be very helpful as it allows you to filter item across nearly any categorization. Below shows examples of the two:
Category Changes – To change the viewed value for a given category, simply right click the header row and you'll see a context menu shown below with your category types in it. Choose the one you want and the values in the table change to reflect them in place:
Store Attribute Changes - By uploading your own personal store attribute list, you can utilize those values in the order results. To utilize the values, simply right click on the "Store Attribute" column in the order results (make sure you've chosen to display this column in your User Ordering Preferences ) and choose the attribute type to view those in the column. This can be very handy as shown below for getting attributes that change often like "Rank" or whether there is corral space or not into your analysis.
Filtering Rows By Right Click (Context Menu)
Filtering by column is very handy in general, but its not the quickest way to get things filtered the way you want. To make order writing as efficient as possible we provide context menu filtering for certain key column values that you can access quickly via a right mouse click.
Filter Item By Description -- In the screenshot below you can see that by right clicking on the description value will allow you to quickly filter exactly to this item. This is handy for performing item changes across a group of stores quickly.
Filtering By Store# – In the screenshot snippet below you can see that right clicking on the store number will give you two options. The first is to remove the entire store and all items from this order, but the second option allows you to filter to this specific store.
Filter By Category – In the screensot snippet below you can see that right clicking on the category value will give you several options. The first is to filter rows to only show store / item combinations matching the current category value. Also for order writers who order by full super pack quantities this allows you to increase ordered units spread over the items in the category by store to round the total amount ordered up to the next full super pack. This can be very handy as the computer suggested order may leave you with partially filled racks strictly based on demand, this option makes increasing or decreasing easy. The amount of units ordered will be applied based on the amount of each item's remaining inventory as a proportion of the total available in the category, so if you have 80% of your inventory in one particular item and 20% in three other items - the incremental values used to round up (or down) to the nearest super pack will be made according to these proportions.
The speed buttons are designed to allow you to make changes across a range of items / stores. Below is a description of what each does.
Increase / Decrease Units - this is a speed button to increment or decrement the ordered units of all visible store/item combinations by one multiple of the minimum order quantity. It can be useful when trying to disperse excess inventory to stores in an even fashion
Min-Up - this button is designed to allow you to quickly raise the effective inventory for each visible store/item combination to a pre-defined amount or the closest rounding value according to the minimum order multiple. For example, if three stores are visible and the effective inventory for each row is 100,200,300 respectively, choosing a value of 300 to min-up would raise the first by 200 units (100+200=300), the second by 100 units (200+100=300) and the third would not be touched. This can very useful when preparing for promotions whereby every store should be able to absorb a certain pre-fixed/determined demand during the sale.
Blanket-Up - this button works similar to the Min-Up button except that instead of targeting a number for effective inventory it will target the ordered units and "blanket" each visible row up to the nearest minimum order multiple to the value you choose.
Bulk-Up - the third iteration of speed buttons, this button will simply add the requested amount on top of the ordered amount for each visible store. So if the current ordered units for three rows is 100,200, and 300 - a bulk up of 300 will produce 400,500,600 respectively, to the nearest minimum order multiple.
Taken together these buttons provide you with the three most used methods for distributing inventory. As you make changes to the order quantities you'll notice the color of the Order Units cell change color. Brown signals that you've exceeded the computer's suggested order, grey indicates the opposite. This can be handy to alert you to where you've already made changes as you continue to customize the order overall.
Altering Order Results & Quick Keys & Tricks
One of the other big time savers in the order results table is the ability to utilize the quick keys and multi-row selection to make changes to order quantities very quickly utilizing your keyboard and not having to use your mouse over and over. Below are a listing of some of the most helpful (you may find others)
Making Order Qty Changes – To change a specific value, you can double click in the cell (or press the Enter key) to bring up an input box to change the value currently in the order units column. This input is special in that you can enter any number and the value will automatically adjust to the nearest higher multiple of your minimum order quantity. But that's just the beginning.
You can utilize you "a" (for add) and "s" (for subtract) to increment or decrement the value by the minimum order multiple. Press "a" three times and you'll increment up by 3 minimum order multiples, dial it back down with "s". Fan of your keyboards numerical key pad? Instead of "a" or "s" key, try pressing "+" or "-" key on the numerical pad to accomplish the same thing! Need to adjust the quantity to a given order multiple - say you'd want it to be 10 packs, just type "10p" and the order quantity will reflect 10* minimum order multiple. Want increase the ordered units by an entire super pack (often called a rack)? No problem - just press the "A" (shift-a) key or "S" (shift-s) key and increment the value by this amount easily.
Done with the cell, just hit the down arrow key to move to the next row, the value will be saved automatically and you can hit enter to immediately work on the next change.
But wait, there is more! If you notice the row you select is highlighted in blue whenever you click a row. Try holding your shift key down and selecting multiple rows as is shown below:
If you want to make changes to a number of selected rows - simply use the speed buttons to make changes to only the selected visible rows!
Reviewing Order Totals
One of the nicest features of the order writer is often the live summary data by store or item or category. The buttons shown below allow you to review the current totals we'll detail the feature within these below as well.
Store Totals - This popup gives you a store total by cost dollars and super pack counts and lets you see on the right whether the store has met the minimum targeted level sufficient to place the order for delivery. What is nice is that you can sort the results to view short stores very easily by clicking on the table header rows. Most helpful is the ability to click on any particular store and the window will disappear and the order results will automatically filter to the store you chose. This makes it very easy to move from review to continued editing most quickly.
Item Totals -- This popup gives you an overall item total along with the amount of inventory picked and remaining in the warehouse. This view is designed to allow you to quickly sort/review where you may wish to distribute more inventory as well as monitor any short or exhausted inventory levels for customization. Like the store totals - you can click on any particular item and the popup will dissapear and automatically filter to the item in the order results - making it easy to quickly adjust quantities overall with speed buttons or to review ordered quantities more carefully.
Category Totals – This popup gives you multiple options to view the total by category. The default category aggregation is designed to show you the category value you were most recently viewing in the ordering results. You can change the category via the dropdown menu at the top and you can choose to view by category /store (default aggregation) or to just roll the data up by category by checking the checkbox. The data shown for this view is more designed to provide a view into inventory levels overall to view where you may need to make finer grain adjustments. As with the other popups - clicking on a particular row in the table will cause the popup to dissapear and the order results will filter to the store/category or the category overall that you'd selected.