One way that Slope adds clarity to the site resupply process is through a robust shipment workflow. What used to be a process spread out over email, phone calls, and disconnected portals, is now a harmonious, zen-like approach to site resupply. Slope has done the hard work of connecting all the parties involved and organizing the information for resupply, so all your operations team has to do is sit back and process orders and make shipments.
New shipment workflow
For Suppliers on Slope, after you start processing an order, you'll be taken to a new shipment workflow that allows you to select the depot you want to pick stock and ship from. If you complete this form, a new shipment will be created and linked to the order. If you happen to get sidetracked and wander away from this shipment workflow form, you can return back to the order that's in the processing state and create a shipment for it using the actions button next to the order.
The top section of the form is pre-filled to show the order name, sponsor, protocol, inventory template name, and your internal sku name and number. The site's address is also shown in this area. Here is some detail about the remainder of the form fields:
- Origin dropdown - Select the depot you want to pull stock from. This dropdown shows all the active depots in your Supplier account that have stock for the given SKU.
- Available quantity - When you select a depot, the available quantity for the given SKU in that depot will show here.
- Ship how many? - Define how many you want to ship. The approved order amount has been pre-populated in this field, but you have the option to send more (or less). Slope gives the Supplier this flexibility to account for real-world situations where requirements might change after an order is processed.
- Carrier dropdown - You can select which carrier the shipment will be sent through using this dropdown. The values in this dropdown are static and not user-editable. If you need to use a carrier that you don't see, please contact Slope customer support.
Once you click Create Shipment, the shipment will be generated and populated with stock from the selected depot. Slope will choose the earliest expiring stock, however it will not choose stocks that expire within 30 days of the shipment creation date. After the shipment has been fully populated with stock, you'll be redirected to the shipment show view where you can view the shipment details.
Shipment detail view
This view shows the shipment and all the stocks that have been loaded onto it. Here's what the shipment detail view looks like:
The top section of the view shows the shipment status, origin and destination addresses, and tracking number. Below the shipment details view is the list of all the stock manifests that are included in the shipment. Here is more information about each column of the manifests table:
- Name - The name and number of your internal Supplier SKU.
- Status - Current state of the stock manifest, will be one of the following: pending (default), dispatched, delivered, received, problem. This state describes the status of the stock within the context of the shipment it is loaded onto.
- Serial Number - The serial number of the stock, if present.
- Lot Number - The lot number of the stock, if present.
- Expiration Date - The expiration date of the stock, if present.
- Protocol - The target protocol at the Site for this shipment.
- Template - Which inventory template the stock will be loaded into at the Site once the shipment is received. This is the name that Sites will be familiar with, because it reflects the name of the inventory they use.
- Actions button - If the shipment has not been marked as shipped, this button contains a link that allows you to remove a stock manifest from the current shipment.
Adding more stock to a shipment
If you need to add more stock to the current shipment, click the Actions button in the top right corner of the shipment detail view and choose Add Stock from the list of options in the drop-down. You'll be taken to a form that will allow you to add stock to the current shipment.
In this form, the SKU dropdown is pre-populated with all the available SKUs that you can fulfill for this site and protocol. Because the depot context has already been defined, the available quantity will be shown for the given SKU that you've selected in the SKU drop-down. From here, you can define how many stocks you want to ship and add them to the current shipment by clicking the Create Manifest button.
Marking the shipment as "shipped"
Once you have prepared and shipped the shipment, the carrier (e.g. FedEx) should provide you with a tracking number. You can enter this tracking number by clicking on the red Click to add label, which will change into a text field. Enter in the tracking number then hit return on your keyboard to save. Alternatively, you can save the tracking number by clicking the Actions button in the top right corner of the screen and selecting Edit from the drop-down list of options.
Once the tracking number is entered, click the shipment Actions button and choose Ship from the drop-down list of options. This will do several things:
- The shipment will be marked as "shipped"
- The Site that will be receiving the shipment will be sent notification emails letting them know it's on the way. When they look at their Site dashboard, they will see an inbound shipment manifest.
- Slope will check with the carrier to see if the tracking number exists and begin to track the shipment through the supply chain.
If you made a mistake and need to recall the shipment, you can click the Actions button and choose Reset from the drop-down list of options. This will return the shipment to the pending state and clear out the contents of the tracking number field.
How sites receive shipments
Because you provided a tracking number, Slope will track the shipment as it makes its way to the Site. Once Slope detects that the shipment has been delivered, it will update its status so that the Site can receive it into their inventory. Sites can opt to receive all of the shipment, or to mark receipt of certain manifests from that shipment. Because Slope knows which inventories to load the items into, all Sites have to do is click one button and their inventory levels will be updated.
If there is a problem with one or many items in the shipment, Sites can mark which manifests are effected. These will not be imported into their inventory. Suppliers (and the connected Sponsor) will be able to see which manifests where received and which ones have problems, and more orders and shipments can be created.