The allocations system is designed to pull inventory to selling locations based on projected demand, the allocation engine will pull the inventory needed down to the last unit of availability from the sources. In some scenarios, users may want to limit the amount of stock that leaves the warehouse in any given allocation.
This is usually applicable for initial allocations when allocators want to hold back an amount of inventory for unforeseen events. While this is typically not necessary in a demand driven allocation system, the allocator may know something that the system does not or may want to be cautious for certain products when allocating. Another reason may be to limit stock in stores to reserve it for web sales.
Regardless of the reason, users are able to set the holdback percentage on the allocation strategy and all available inventory will then be limited by that holdback percentage
Allocation off a PO
As allocation planning manages the entire life off a product, retailers may want to take advantage of efficiencies of pre-allocating stock before it arrives in a warehouse. This could include cross-docking purchase orders as they arrive or shipping direct from vendor to store for initial allocations or pre-packing for initial allocation. All these efficiencies require the ability to allocate off a Purchase Order.
In Toolio, allocators have the ability to allocate off purchase orders and this feature can be enabled by your customer service consultant at no extra cost. Importantly your warehouse management system or ERP will need to be able to execute on a cross-dock or ship to store relationship.
Allocation off a PO utilizes a FIFO method, this means existing warehouse inventory is allocated before a PO is considered to be allocated from. This works in most scenarios, especially for initial allocation when no warehouse inventory is available. If multiple POs are available, the first PO to arrive will be considered in order of priority. Toolio will provide the Purchase order Number and Purchase Order Line ID in addition to the recommended allocation quantity in these scenarios.
As part of item planning, Toolio offers the ability to incorporate spread functionality while a forecast is running. In some instances customers would like to utilize existing plans and apply a spread rather than generating a new forecast, incorporating the spread.
The difference between the two processes is that users do not need to use the forecasting function in order to apply a spread, this is helpful for customers who plan there sales manually rather than apply forecasting or import their top line forecasts from other systems.
To apply a spread, select the time period to affect, right click and select the Apply Spread function. Next select the spread to utilize from the list and select apply. this will spread the top line plan down to the size level based on the selected spread.
Allocation Plan view Caching
As the allocation system produces data at a store / SKU / week level, the result can be huge amounts of data that can have an affect on reporting performance. To assist in reporting functions, especially default reports, Toolio has introduced report caching. This function will pre-cache the reports for quick retrieval in the front end. This can drastically decrease the time to retrieve the report to less than 2 seconds in most cases.
This function will be especially effective for daily snapshot reports such as the store forecast and top line reports in Allocation Planning. Note that this feature is being rolled out in allocation planning and only for the default report specified. As we measure the effectiveness of this function, it will be rolled out to other modules and to more reports that require it.
To determine if you are looking at a cached report, you will see a last updated notification at the bottom of the report per the image below. If an allocation strategy is recalculated during the day, the system will automatically recalculate the cached report which could take a few seconds to complete. If there is no message, at the bottom of the report, you are not viewing a cached report and the data is being pulled in real time.