A key feature throughout OpenBoxes is the ability to see the distinction between quantity on hand and quantity available. This helps with inventory management and product allocation, particularly when it comes to managing stock movements. Many users prefer to focus their attention on actionable inventory that is available for shipment. Given the importance of this feature and its widespread use throughout the system, its crucial that users are familiar with this topic.
In addition to providing enhanced inventory visibility, the quantity available feature in OpenBoxes gives users the ability to respond to demand based on inventory availability. This supply chain concept is commonly referred to as Quantity Available to Promise (QATP) or Available to Promise (ATP).
Before we show some examples of where you will see the quantity available feature in OpenBoxes, It's Important to highlight the differences between quantity on hand and quantity available.
- Quantity On Hand represents the total quantity in inventory at a given location. It encompasses all product including lots or quantities that may be on hold, allocated to requisitions, or committed in some other fashion.
- Quantity Available represents the uncommitted portion of the inventory. To determine this number, we take the quantity on hand and subtract any product that is on hold, already picked for stock movements/stock transfers, or is recalled. Quantity available is very important, as it will determine whether we have enough uncommitted inventory available for our desired transaction.
It’s also important to add some additional insight on committed inventory, and at what point in the process inventory becomes unavailable for other requisitions. This concept is applied in the outbound stock movement workflow. To see a detailed breakdown of these steps, go to the detailed instructions by page wiki.
Let’s look at some examples of the quantity available feature in OpenBoxes:
Electronic Stock Card
The stock card is very useful to look at inventory levels and recent or pending transactions. It’s also a critical location for the quantity available feature. You will see the on hand quantity and quantity available in the status box on the left. In this example, the two quantities match. We have 200 arm slings in inventory and all 200 are available. This means that none of the inventory is picked for shipment, on hold, or recalled. On the ‘In Stock’ tab on the right, we can also see the quantity on hand and quantity available for each individual lot of this product.
In our next stock card example, we have an item where the on hand quantity and quantity available do not match. This is an indication that some of the inventory is already committed elsewhere and is not available for other transactions. We have 80 units of this item on hand, but only 40 are available. This means we currently have 40 committed elsewhere.
I’ve highlighted the lot which has commitments against it on the ‘In Stock’ tab below. Lot kio98 has 50 units on hand, however only 10 units are currently available. We can see from the tag on the right that we have some product already picked.
One of the most common inventory commitments occurs when product is allocated to outbound stock movements. If we want to understand where the 40 units of product are committed, it’s usually helpful to review the ‘Pending Outbound’ tab and see if it provides more information. In this case, we can see that there are three pending movements which include this item. There are 10 units from lot kio98 picked on 230KNF, 10 units picked on 328MPQ, and 20 units picked on 418AME. Since they are already picked, they are not available for other shipments.
As we outlined above, product that is picked, on hold, or recalled is unavailable for shipments in OpenBoxes. In the new example below, we can see that we have 200 units of item 10007 on hand, however there are only 50 available. In addition to listing picked items, this view calls attention to products that are on hold (in orange) or recalled (in red). The ‘Hold' and 'Recalled’ tags to the right are also very helpful to quickly identify the status of each lot.
In addition to the outbound stock movement workflow and the various views we covered in the electronic stock card, you will also see quantity available referenced in reports that are focused on inventory.
The bin location report is a good example of quantity available in practice. To find this report, go to Reporting > Inventory Reports > Bin Location Report.
This report is quite useful for seeing lot and bin level details for all items in inventory, and can also be used to compare quantity available vs. quantity on hand. See the columns in yellow below. The quantity available feature is also displayed on the In Stock report.
Data Maintenance and Quantity Available
Because the quantity available will impact your ability to allocate product to requisitions, its important to regularly manage your inventory and associated transactions. In particular, pay close attention to workflows that commit inventory.
It's advised to review outbound stock movements (as soon as product is picked it will impact your quantity available) as well as hold or recalled products on a regular basis. Otherwise, your quantity on hand may not be accurate, or you may be prevented from fulfilling some requisitions.