Better Managing Order Cycles

In theory, there are two different ways you can manage your inventory.

The first is to fix the amount of stock you want to reorder by calculating an Economic Order Quantity for the goods you buy… having done that, you can then work backwards from forecasts to work out when to place each order.

The second is to fix the time at which you will place reorders according to an order cycle. For example, you might place an order with suppliers once per week (a 7 day order cycle). Having set in stone how often you’ll place orders, you can then work backwards from forecasts to work out how much inventory you need to reorder. This is the strategy that most small businesses use (and the one that SkuBrain uses).

In practice, most businesses have many order cycles (not one). You may place weekly orders with “Joe’s Spare Parts”, monthly orders with “Big Machine Supply Co.” and perhaps only order every 3-6 months from “Widget Distributors International”.

SkuBrain now includes a bunch of new features to support such work-flows.

Named supplier groups

When you generate replenishment plans in SkuBrain, you can now specify exactly which suppliers you want to plan orders for and you can save commonly used supplier groups for easy re-use.

select suppliers

Sticky order cycle times

Once you’ve specified the suppliers you want to plan replenishment for, you can then let SkuBrain know how often you place orders with that supplier – or the order cycle time. The order cycle affects how much inventory you need to buy.

SkuBrain automatically remembers the order cycle time that you use with each different group of suppliers that you order from, but you can change this on the fly during the stock plan wizard.

configure order cycle time

Simpler lead times

Having confirmed the order cycle time you can configure lead times for each of the suppliers. However now you only see the lead times for the suppliers that you selected, which makes this much easier to manage.

lead time configuration

Once again and, as you would expect, these lead times are sticky so you’ll generally only have to do this the first time that you order from a particular group of suppliers.

For Brightpearl…

Of special note to Brightpearl users, SkuBrain now only shows Suppliers that are associated with the products that you sell (or rather, associated with the Brands of the products that you sell), which should make replenishment planning a lot cleaner and simpler – you no longer have to specify a lead time for your stationary supplier :–).

Conclusion

All in all, the new changes should make SkuBrain way easier to use with whatever work flow you’re using to manage reordering stock in your organization. As always however, give us a shout if you’ve got any ideas on how things could be even better!

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