If one of the workspaces in your Site dashboard is connected to a protocol, then the managed inventories within it are eligible to be setup for automated reorder management. Our automated reorder workflow streamlines the site resupply process by connecting your study suppliers and vendors directly to sites, with Slope as the coordinator. When your stock levels get low (or when you need more kits unexpectedly), Slope will automatically generate, track, and organize the reorder process all the way from the supplier's depot to your site.
In order for all this automated magic to work, the Sponsor responsible for the protocol has to set this up in Slope. Here's how you can tell if your inventories are setup for automated reorder: when looking at your workspace catalog, managed inventories that are connected to automated reorder will show up with one of the two icons (look next to "GloboSupplier, Inc" below):
The green check mark (top row in the screenshot above) means that the Supplier is connected and automated reorder is setup. If you see a grey clock icon (bottom row in the screenshot above), then it means that the Supplier is present, but not yet connected.
Once the Supplier is connected with the green check mark, new abilities are unlocked for that managed inventory. First, you can place a one-off order that inventory by clicking the Actions button next to the inventory and selecting New Order from the dropdown list of options. Click here to learn more about placing a one-off order.
Allowable inventory ranges
Another ability that a connected Supplier unlocks is an automated order workflow that will generate and deliver a new order to the Supplier if your site inventory drops below a given range. In order for this to work, the Sponsor responsible for the protocol must have set an allowable minimum and maximum inventory level for your site. Here's how to tell if this has been setup: click the Actions button next to a managed inventory and select Edit inventory from the dropdown list of options. If the Sponsor has set an allowable minimum and maximum, they will be shown in the form:
Limited range for setting low inventory alert threshold
One side-effect of having this allowable minimum and maximum range defined is that the low inventory alert threshold of the given managed inventory cannot be set outside of this range. We do this to prevent situations where an alert would never go away. For example, if you set the alert threshold greater than the allowable maximum, the Supplier would never send you more than that maximum, so your alert would never be silenced. Our best practice recommendation is to set your alert threshold at or above the minimum range, to give you maximum visibility of low inventory situations before they occur.
How automated reorder works
Whenever your site's inventory for the given managed inventory drops below the given minimum, a new order will be generated. In the screenshot below, you can see what the order will look like. Underneath the Supplier name, the order amount and time is shown:
If you hover over the order quantity, a tooltip will appear, revealing the status of the order. You can also intuit this without hovering by looking at the color of box around the order quantity. Here's a list of all the statuses (and colors) an order can fall under:
- Approved (blue) - The Sponsor has approved the order and it has been forwarded to the Supplier. In some cases, orders are automatically approved once created.
- Acknowledged (blue) - The connected Supplier has confirmed the receipt of your order.
- Processing (green) - The connected Supplier has begun processing your order.
- Pending (no color) - The order has not yet been approved by the Sponsor. If an order is in this state, you can edit the order quantity by clicking on the number and entering a new order amount. If the new value is outside of the allowable range, Slope will revert the change and encourage you to try again.
Inbound supply shipments
The Supplier that is connected to your managed inventory will receive your order once it has been approved by the Sponsor. They will then acknowledge it, and finally move it to processing. Once the Supplier ships the order, you will receive an email notification that looks something like the screenshot below. Clicking the big blue button will take you to the shipment track/receive dashboard for your order (learn more about that here).
The catalog table row display will also change, letting you know that the order has been closed and a shipment generated. The shipment date is shown as a relative timestamp (e.g. "2 minutes ago") and its expected delivery date will be shown once it is available. The shipment quantity for that managed inventory is shown in a green box, like so:
When you receive the shipment, the managed inventories' quantity will be automatically incremented. The new items from the shipment will arrive with the metadata that was set by the Supplier (e.g. serial/lot number, expiration date) intact. You may now use these items for patient visits and study activities and Slope will magically regenerate orders as supply levels fall below the allowed threshold.