To ensure inventory is available at the time of shipping on an order; AscentERP now allows a user to allocate (“reserve”) sales line quantities against inventory lots during order creation.
Quantities against one or more lots can be allocated to either fully or partially satisfy the quantities needed in the sales order line. Any quantities that can not be fully satisfied automatically result in a backorder request for the sales line quantity not met.
Accessing the New Feature
There is no configuration needed to turn on the hard allocation of lots functionality.
As a result of the development of this feature, two new buttons have been added to the sales order screen in the Ascent Main package:
The Allocate Order button is used to create allocations against existing inventory lots. It will also automatically create back order lines when needed.
The Pack Allocated Order button is used to pack the sales order that is using the hard allocation method of managing inventory. The functionality works in coordination with the Allocate Order functionality to properly pack the order and maintain inventory.
Although, there is not any configuration to turn on the ability to use hard allocation of lots, there is one configuration item, LotSortOrder (in the properties object), that controls how lots are selected during hard allocation functions:
The default value is FEFO, which selects lots by the oldest expiration date first.
First Example: Hard Allocating and Packing a Sales Order Line (Simplest Use Case)
First, the sales order line before invoking the allocate order button:
Notice available to promise is 10.0 as the sale order line is requesting 10 units for the item.
Reviewing the lot details for the lot that we are going to hard allocate against:
The total quantity is 20.0 and the allocated qty is 0. Any other sales order line can pack against this lot using all 20 items in the lot, even though there is soft allocation of 10, in the current sales line against the item master!
Pressing the Allocate Order button results in the following changes:
There are no changes to the sales order line. The total quantity, QOH, reserved quantity and ATP are still their original values.
The lot now has a change as a result of using the Allocate Order button:
The allocated quantity field is now updated. This action reserves 10 units from this lot and this reduces the number of items from this lot for other sales lines by 10.
Finally, there is a new object in AscentERP called Allocated Lines, which is a child to the sales order line object, but is displayed on the sales order page:
This record holds the reservation against the lot, until the order is packed, using the Pack Allocated Order button. The Pack Allocated Order button will allow the user to pack the order using only the reserved quantities in the allocation line records. Once the quantity referenced is packed, the following changes occur:
Next Example: Requesting more inventory than is available in a Lot
This example shows a new sales order that references the same item that was shipped on the previously packed order line. It is requesting more units than can be reserved from the lot.
The new sales order line before the Allocate Order button is pressed:
The lot, Default_allocation Test JDL is still in the same state after the previous order was packed. ATP is -15. Pressing the Allocate Order button results in the following changes (note: the sales order line does not change):
An allocation line is generated for the quantity of 10 (the amount of available items remaining in the Lot). In addition, since there was not an additional quantity of 15 to reserve for the sales order line. A backorder sales line was created in a new object called Back Ordered Lines. Like the Allocation Lines object it is a child object to the sales order line object. This new record represents a request of 15 additional units and a reservation for those units when they become available. Looking at the updated lot, it has a reservation (Allocated Quantity) for the last 10 units for the allocation line:
The lot is depleted, and this lot is no longer available for quantity reservation during Allocate Order processing.
Final Example: Demonstrating multiple allocations lines and an additional backorder line for the same referenced item on multiple sales order lines.
Finally, one last example to demonstrate the ability to allocate multiple order lines referencing the same item or a different item at once in various reservation/backorder line usages. The order lines before pushing the Allocate Order button:
The resulting allocation lines and backorder lines after hard allocating the order lines:
Packing the sales order using Pack Allocated Order button results in the following:
A Caveat About the Hard Allocation of Lots Feature
Because AscentERP package can do both soft and hard allocation of sales lines quantities. It really should be a good practice to use one or the other. There are no business rules within the system that would stop one sales person from hard allocating inventory against one lot, and another sales person soft allocating and packing the item from the same lot. This would result in the allocation line record being out of date.
As a strong recommendation, if hard allocation is needed to run the business, then the pack sales order button should be removed from the sales order layout. If soft allocation is needed, then the Allocate Order and Pack Allocated Order buttons should be removed.
This would enforcing using one method or the other and inventory will be maintained consistently.