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ILC Best Practice with Parts (Jon Balter write up)

See this post for Supplies.

Inventory Logistics Console (ILC) is one of the most power tools in e-automate and over looked.  Most people do not use it because they are afraid of it.  This paper will teach you a simple method for restocking technicians and handling parts for service calls.

Some information about my examples:

All supplies are in one warehouse: Parts

Setup

The 1st task you need to do before using the ILC is confirm you have accurate inventories.  The system cannot order correctly if it has bad information.  If you need help with inventory, I will write another paper on how to do inventory correctly.

The 2nd task is to set restocking levels.  This is one of the most difficult tasks.  You can do it manually or use the system to calculate restocking levels.  The old manual way is to open every item and do some calculation and enter the stock manually… Ahhh that is way too hard.

How to Setup E-agent Update Minimum Stock Levels

Let me show you how to setup the e-agent task and setup restocking level:

  • Open e-agent
  • Create a new task “ Update Minimum Stocking Levels”
  • Name the task “Update Minimum Stocking Levels – technician1” This way if you later create more updates for other locations, you know which one is for supplies
  • Here are your easy settings

Screenshot.png

Let me explain a few settings (remember you can change these settings):

  • Days on Hand: this is the number of days before you have to order again. 30 is a great start.
  • Days in Period: This is the number of days it is going to look for usage in.  30 is good but 90 maybe better if you want a bigger sample.  Remember this is work days. So this is 6 weeks.
  • Days in workweek: this is Monday to Friday… should always be 5
  • Don’t stock if the items usage i
    • Less than or equal to: I use 1
    • And cost is greater than: I always have $0.00 here but this is due to the fact that all my boards are special order and do not stock.  If you do not have this setup, add a dollar amount like $300.00
  • Create new item warehouse restock levels: ALWAYS have on.  This is when you get a new item or just start this.  If you do not have this checked and the item does not have any restock today, it never will.
  • Set maximum stock level percent value higher than the minimum by: For technicians max and min should normally be the same so I set this to 0.00%
  • Minimum increase quantity:  is set to Zero.
  • Maximum increase quantity:   Set this to 10.  I technician normally should not be stocking more than 10 of any item.
  • Warehouse to Update: this is the warehouse that will be restocked.  This should be your Technician’s warehouse.  You will create on e-agent for each technician.
  • All the other items are to filter for usage.  Filter by warehouse is the best.  This way you are only looking at usage for that technician.

RUN IN TEST MODE

  • Look at the report.  If it looks good, run in normal mode.
  • Setup a schedule so it updates every month.
  • Your Report should look like this… YOU ONLY GET THIS REPORT IN 8.0

Screenshot.png

    • E-automate breaks down usage to daily and then multiples by the number of days on hand.
      • So the usage of part 5211 daily is 0.45 X 20 days is 9 and the maximum is 25% higher which is 11

I hope that all makes sense.  There is a bit of trial and error to get it perfect but this is a great start to get minimums and maximums set

  • Minimums – When to order again
  • Maximum – What level to order to

So if I have a minimum of 9 and maximum of 11.  The system will not order until the stock drops below 9 and when it does it will order 2 items.

Run ILC from E-agent

You can manually run ILC and do it 10 ten times a day and waste a ton of time or you can easily program e-agent to run it for you and save you a ton of time. 

I am going to show you both because you really should do both.

In E-agent Inventory Logics Console has a new name Inventory Management.

Here is the setup to have it run fully automated.

Screenshot.png

Check off only Query service calls.  You also want to check off Filter service call items: Technician’s ‘needed’ items.  This is way that Remote tech(dispatcher should) enter required parts for a call.  This will keep it from order parts for calls that technician has already received or has on order. 

Filter by warehouse: Do an advance filter to include all technician warehouses.  This should not be a big deal because it will only pull parts for service calls, but I do this in case a shop technician enters calls in E-automate but manually orders parts.

You have two options:

  1. Create transfer orders: to me this is a waste of time.  This creates a transfer order that someone has to go in and complete
  2. Create transfers:  This is the way to go.  It auto transfers the part to the technician and leaves a great trail to follow on why it was transferred.

Make sure to fill in your printer either way and it will print picking list or packing list or both.

The email will be the person that gets an email that says the process has run.

So what did we setup?

If you setup the Inventory Management as instructed above, you have just automated ordering parts. 

  • The Inventory Management will look at all calls and find parts calls where the part status is needed.

Screenshot.png

  • If the part is in stock, it will transfer the part to the technician and print a picking ticket.  The parts clerk can go and move the part to the technician.  At the same time the part will change from ‘Needed’ to ‘Pending’.  If all parts are now in a ‘Pending’ status it will also change the On Hold Code from ‘Waiting for Parts’ to ‘Parts Available’. 
  • If the part is not in stock, it will be added to a PO.  IT IS CRITICAL THAT AFTER SUBMITTING A PO TO A VENDOR THAT YOU LOCK IT. 
  • When the part comes in, it will be received directly to the technician.  At the same time the part will change from needed to ‘Pending’.  If all parts are now in a ‘Pending’ status it will also change the On Hold Code from ‘Waiting for Parts’ to ‘Parts Available’.  With CEOjuice you can use alert 57 to notify the technician that the part has arrived. 
  • All parts orders are traceable in e-automate. 
    • This eliminates the need to send emails or phone calls to parts to order items.  It also helps find out why a technician still has a $600 board in his inventory.  You can trace it back to the call in which it was ordered. 

Settings in E-automate:

A few setting in E-automate need to be checked to make sure this process works.

The first is the employee record:

Screenshot.png

Make sure that the “Always use specified warehouse and bin” is set.  This will insure that the parts go to the technician when ordered.

The Second is the warehouse setting:

Screenshot.png

Make sure your parent warehouse is set to their restocking location.  For this example it is “Parts.”

If you want to receive the parts into the parent warehouse and then transfer them to the technicians, check the box.  This adds an additional step so I don’t do it.

The last item to check is the part.

 All parts must have a preferred vendor otherwise it will not who to order it from.  There is no logic in the system to use the lowest cost.  You must set a preferred vendor. 

Screenshot.png

Run ILC from E-automate

Ok.  When you first start and as a backup practice, I suggest that you run one manual ILC at the end of each day.  This is to find parts that do not have preferred vendors. 

 

Click Inventory then Inventory Logistics Console

Screenshot.png

  • The next step is to add the items to the queue.
  • Click “Add to Queue”


Since we are only doing a double check, the setting is easy. 

Screenshot.png

  • Click OK.
  • You will get a reply back like

Screenshot.png

  • IF you have blocked records, this is because another employee has these items in his queue.
  • To clear out other queue:
    • Click manage Queue and you can reassign or clear another person’s queue. 

Screenshot.png

  • After you have the items in your queue, I would assign preferred vendors. 
  • Left click then right click on an item and select “Edit Item”
  • Go to the vendor tab and make a vendor the preferred vendor.

  Screenshot.png

After that delete the parts and wait for the e-agent task to run again.


A Few Tips:

Have multiple E-agent tasks- Currently you can only schedule e-agent tasks to run every hour.  But you create multiple tasks that are the same that start at different times and run every hour.  So you have a task that starts at 8 AM and runs every hour and another task that is set to run at 8:15 AM and run every hour.  So the tasks will trigger every hour and 15 past the hour.  I recommend setting up four.  So they run every 15 minutes.

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