What is the most efficient way of satisfying customer orders when you dont have enough inventory ?


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We are trying to work out how to automate the allocation of stock to orders which cannot be fully completed.

There is no process to automatically “allocate” stock to orders.  It would be great if there was.

Due to stock shortages and the need to keep customers happy our client has to manually allocate stock to orders which is very time consuming.  

Some customers end up getting 10% of the order, some all of it if it is a very large order; there are many factors that come into play.

 

Thanks

 


13 replies

Userlevel 7
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@jmorgan one of my first Acumatica customization (circa 2010-2011, Acumatica 2.2 -- a long time ago!) was a dynamic stock allocation mass-processing screen. The stock allocation feature was actually added to the distribution module by Acumatica following a request made by our customer, and my responsibility was to implement the mass processing screen.

The customer was a distributor of board game and kids toys and would take orders for the holiday season months in advance, without actually knowing what would be delivered or what would be the most in-demand items. If a major publication suddenly recommended a game every parent would like to buy one, and stores would fight for allocation. 

Through the custom mass processing allocation screen, they were able to allocate inventory proportionally, ensuring fair allocation to all the retailers. The screen included a filter by customer customer class, ship date and order priority so it was also possible to go very granular -- let’s say you have an agreement with a specific retailer that they go first, you could run the process first for all the locations of a given retailer, then do another round of allocation with the remaining inventory.

Although some of the logic is highly specific to the customer I was working with back then I think the underlying idea applies to other businesses. I tried to revive this project a few years ago while I was at Acumatica Labs but other projects took priority. If you or someone on your team has Acumatica dev skills I’ll be happy to share what I have...

 

Userlevel 7
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At the 2019 Summit I presented an inventory allocation tool built by Aktion for one of their customers. If Gabriel’s solution doesn’t work out, private message me and I can send you some details about who to contact.

 

Userlevel 4
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Hello everyone on this post.

I have been in the process of gathering requirements and interviewing customers and partners on this topic with the objective of identifying various use cases and ways to address these use cases in the product.

If you would like to meet with me one-on-one to explore this topic, please indicate your interest here.

I am also interested in the various solutions or ideas circulating out there.  If you would like to show me and walk me through your idea, please reach out.

thanks - Dana

 

Userlevel 7
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@Doug Johnson I looked at what I have (back from the Acumatica 2.2 days) and it contains too much customer-specific logic to be reused as-is. It sounds like what @Neil Cantral shared would work. I haven’t seen Aktion’s solution, but I’m sure everyone is trying to solve the same type of need!

Userlevel 4
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What I have actually is Aktion’s solution! I brought the use case and design requirements to them to solve this problem. It’s been a few years now and now have other customers using it as well. New features have been added based on feedback and it has been stable across new Acumatica releases.

For anyone interested feel free to send me a PM and I’d be happy to discuss the customization or allocations in-depth.

Userlevel 4
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Replan Back Orders is an existing feature in Acumaitca, but it does not work for when you have the Require Stock Allocation option enabled on an order type and does not handle customer/order priority. This was a major shortfall we had to workaround.

My company worked with our VAR to design a customization for this. The customization allows us to allocate/deallocate product in a bulk process from one screen. Filters can be modified on the fly to target various scenarios. Customers have a default priority level for all created orders and individual sales orders can have this overridden to a specified value. There’s always additional stuff we want to add and tweak, but it’s been exceptionally useful in managing product allocations without clicking into the allocations screen for each SOLine we want to alter the allocations on.

 

Userlevel 2

Hello,

You can use this solution described in knowledge base: 

 Optionally, in the SQL view you can set an order by clause, to sort the customer orders after priority, delivery date or some custom attributes.

This is an old workaround for previous versions of Acumatica and the process of allocation could be started automatically only by scheduler, but now, in the latest versions it can be adjusted to run on a business event, after record inserted , just after a new PO Receipt is recorded in the system. In this way, after a new PO Receipt is released, the system will allocate automatically  the products to the sales orders  in a predetermined  order. 

@Gabriel Michaud 

one of my first Acumatica customization (circa 2010-2011, Acumatica 2.2 -- a long time ago!) was a dynamic stock allocation mass-processing screen. The stock allocation feature was actually added to the distribution module by Acumatica following a request made by our customer, and my responsibility was to implement the mass processing screen.

The customer was a distributor of board game and kids toys and would take orders for the holiday season months in advance, without actually knowing what would be delivered or what would be the most in-demand items. If a major publication suddenly recommended a game every parent would like to buy one, and stores would fight for allocation. 

Through the custom mass processing allocation screen, they were able to allocate inventory proportionally, ensuring fair allocation to all the retailers. The screen included a filter by customer customer class, ship date and order priority so it was also possible to go very granular -- let’s say you have an agreement with a specific retailer that they go first, you could run the process first for all the locations of a given retailer, then do another round of allocation with the remaining inventory.

Although some of the logic is highly specific to the customer I was working with back then I think the underlying idea applies to other businesses. I tried to revive this project a few years ago while I was at Acumatica Labs but other projects took priority. If you or someone on your team has Acumatica dev skills I’ll be happy to share what I have…

 

This is exactly what we need for one of our clients.  We don’t have a developer on our team, but do use some contract developers.  Are you still willing to share?  Thanks.

Userlevel 3
Badge +1

@jmorgan  I think what you want to do is kind like order fulfillment or ODM. I don’t think Acumatica has this functions. Acumatica even can not set priority for customers. You can lookup add-ons, customization project or pull out data to calculate base on your rules. 

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Hi Neil, thank you.  This was useful.  I think it needs to be added to the ideas page.

 

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Hi Gabriel, that is very useful and exactly the thing we need.  I hope to get back to you.

 

James

Userlevel 2
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Replan Back Orders is an existing feature in Acumaitca, but it does not work for when you have the Require Stock Allocation option enabled on an order type and does not handle customer/order priority. This was a major shortfall we had to workaround.

My company worked with our VAR to design a customization for this. The customization allows us to allocate/deallocate product in a bulk process from one screen. Filters can be modified on the fly to target various scenarios. Customers have a default priority level for all created orders and individual sales orders can have this overridden to a specified value. There’s always additional stuff we want to add and tweak, but it’s been exceptionally useful in managing product allocations without clicking into the allocations screen for each SOLine we want to alter the allocations on.

 

Very smart. Very useful. The question now is how to get/buy your customization? Any suggestions?

Userlevel 4
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As others indicated customization wld suffice for orders which had no stock and not linked to SO-PO, you either have to allocate manually or have a process screen customized to auto-allocate based on your custom requirements.
 

We did a small customization to our client who needed similar functionality to take orders in Spring and then fulfill those orders in Fall when stock arrives based on FIFO and order date.

No single solution fits everybody’s needs so customization to rescue. 

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