In addition to helping you manage the inventory you have on hand at your Site, Slope can also help you keep track of the orders you have placed with external suppliers and vendors. For every inventory in your clinical trial or supply group, you can track the supplier name, ordered quantity, ordered date, and expected date of delivery.
If you have a low inventory alert threshold defined and have set an ordered quantity, Slope will add the on-order quantity to the current ready quantity to determine whether or not a low inventory alert should be triggered. Additionally, if you've defined an expected delivery date, Slope will ignore the ordered quantity if the expected delivery date has passed.
How to use it
Let's say you have an inventory called "Baseline Kit" which has a low inventory threshold of 5. Several of these kits are used and the ready quantity falls below the low inventory threshold, triggering a low inventory alert. Here's a screenshot of what the inventory looks like in the catalog tab. The supplier, ordered quantity, and expected delivery date haven't yet been set, so they show up as blank:
We've recently placed an order and want to update Slope so this low inventory alert will go away. To do that, click the "Actions" button for the "Baseline Kit" inventory and select the "Edit inventory" link. This will take us to the Edit Inventory form, which has a section towards the bottom named "Reorder Details":
Here's a little more detail about each of these fields:
- Supplier name - What is the name of the supplier, vendor, or contact person who sends you shipments? This is an open text field, you can enter anything you like. If the text you provide is too long, it might be shortened in the catalog table view.
- Ordered quantity - How many items do you have on order right now? Must be a number greater than or equal to 0. If you have a low inventory alert threshold setup, the number you provide will be added to the inventory's current ready quantity to determine whether or not an alert should be triggered.
- Ordered date - When did you order these items? A date picker will popup when you click on this field, and you can choose any date you wish. Setting a value here will reveal a relative timestamp of the order date to the current date (e.g. "Ordered 2 days ago") in the catalog table view. This date has no effect on the alerts or reorder system other than helping you keep track of when you last placed an order.
- Expected delivery date - When do you expect the items you have ordered to arrive? A date picker will popup when you click on this field, and you can choose any date you wish. If you have a low inventory alert threshold setup, Slope will ignore the inventory's ordered quantity when the expected date is passed.
Let's say we fill out the "Reorder Details" section for the "Baseline Kit" inventory as follows, tracking an ordered quantity of 5 with an order date set to the current date (2019-03-05), and the expected date of delivery set to a week from then (2019-03-12).
Effect of Setting "Ordered Quantity"
After clicking the "Update Inventory" button in the form, you'll be redirected back to the catalog table. The reorder details for supplier name, ordered quantity, ordered date, and expected delivery date have been set and the low inventory alert has been cleared.
Because we set an ordered quantity for this inventory, Slope is adding this value to the current ready quantity (which is 2) to the ordered quantity we provided (which is 5) to calculate: 2 + 5 = 7. Because 7 is greater than the low inventory threshold of 5, the alert has been cleared.
Effect of Setting "Expected Date"
We'll now hop in a time machine and fast-forward a week and a day to 2019-03-13. Because we have setup an expected delivery date for this inventory (which is 2019-03-12) and that date is now in the past, Slope will ignore the ordered quantity of 5. This changes the calculation for a low inventory alert: since the ready quantity of 2 is less than the low inventory threshold of 5, an alert will be triggered again. The expected date is also shown in red, with an alert icon:
Completing a Reorder
Let's say that the shipment from the vendor finally arrives and we've used the "Add Items" action in Slope to create 5 items in our "Baseline Kit" inventory. This would raise the ready quantity to 7, which clears out the low inventory alert again:
Now that this reorder is complete, it would be nice to clear out the reorder fields to get ready for the next time you have to reorder. You can do this one of two ways. The first, is to use the handy "Complete reorder" link in the actions dropdown, which is shown if you have a value set for any of the reorder fields on the inventory. Clicking this button will set all the reorder fields (with the exception of Supplier Name) to blank.
The second way you can complete a reorder is to click on the "Edit Inventory" link and simply remove the information from the text fields in the "Reorder Details" section. Using this approach, you can choose which fields you want to remove. For instance, you might not want to delete the value you had set for order date on an inventory, so that you can keep track of when you ordered it last.
Things to Remember
While we've gone to great lengths to deliver a simple and straightforward workflow for handling reorders, it's possible that you could accidentally silence low inventory alerts indefinitely if you're not paying attention. Here's two key points to remember:
- Setting a value for ordered quantity will change how low inventory alerts are calculated.
- Always set an expected delivery date to make sure your ordered quantities "time out" after a period of time.
Simply follow these two guidelines and you'll be on your way to inventory management and reorder success for your Site. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback on this feature, please reach out to us via the chat. Thanks for using Slope!