1. General Information
2. Starting Up
3. Connecting data
4. Demand and Sales Forecasting
5. Inventory Planning
1. General Information
2. Starting Up
3. Connecting data
4. Demand and Sales Forecasting
5. Inventory Planning
In this article we describe:
Replenishment parameters are the controls that affect a replenishment plan calculated by Streamline. In other words, they are the inputs of the replenishment plan calculation process. Streamline’s replenishment parameters can be divided into four categories:
A description, requirements, and default values for the replenishment parameters are given in the table below.
|Parameter||Description||Given in||Format||Default value|
|Horizon||The number of future periods for which you want to build a replenishment plan.||Data aggregation periods||Integer||12|
|Replenishment strategy||The method that drives the replenishment process. There are two options, Min/max strategy and Periodic strategy.||Periodic strategy|
|Safety stock periods||The number of future periods which demand is used as the Safety stock.||Data aggregation periods||Integer or fractional number (example: 1.5)||1.0|
|Service level||The percentage of time (in the long run) that the item is in stock.||Percentage||Integer||98%|
|Lead time||The supplier lead time.||Days||30|
|Order cycle||How often you order an item from the supplier.||Data aggregation periods, days, or the Lead times.||1 data aggregation period|
|On hand||The quantity of an item that is currently in stock||0|
|Shelf life||The desired time the item can be in stock.||Data aggregation periods||Integer||∞|
|Shelf life exceeding||The average percentage of the item purchase quantity that we might have to: send to a clearance sale, return to the supplier, and so on.||Percentage||5% if the Shelf life is given.|
|Open orders information|
|Qty to receive||The amount of an item that is currently in transition from a supplier.||Integer||0|
|Delivery date||The expected delivery date of the item from the supplier.||Date format||The beginning of the first forecasted period|
|Qty to ship||The amount of an item on open sales orders or backorders.||Integer||0|
|Shipment date||The date the sales order should be shipped to the customer.||Date format||The beginning of the first forecasted period|
|Min lot||The minimum quantity that you can order from the supplier.||Integer||0|
|Max lot||The maximum quantity that you can order from the supplier.||0|
|Rounding||The rounding constraint on the ordered quantity. It allows Streamline to take into account how many items come packed in a carton.||0|
|Display qty||The minimum number of units a shelf to display. This parameter typically arises in the retail business.||0|
As an option, Streamline allows you to override the Safety stock it calculates using its built-in methods. You can do this using the export/import parameters scenario. In this case, the overridden values are used as inputs to compute Streamline’s purchase/replenishment plan.
If you import data from Excel files (XLS, XLSX), Streamline understands any date that is formatted by Excel standards. For text files like CSV, the date should be in one of the following formats:
Streamline also recognizes these formats in Excel files.
If the Lead time, Order cycle, and the Service level are not given, defaults are loaded from the Settings of the Inventory planning tab.
Zero value for the Constraints means that there are no constraints.
You can set up or change the parameters in several ways in Streamline:
The data source is the origin where your data come from into Streamline. It can be a CSV or an Excel file, a database, or a third-party system.
The first four methods noted above allow setting replenishment parameters at the lowest level of detail – the planning item level, that is, for every Item code, Location pair. Changes made in the Settings are applied to all the imported items at once.
Parameters that can be changed using each of the methods are shown in the table below.
| Importing/Reimporting |
from a data source
|Export/import parameters scenario||Settings|
|Safety stock periods|
|Lead time, |
|Shelf life exceeding|
|On hand, |
Open orders information,
There is the ability to import or reimport the Safety stock periods from your data source only using the Database connection.
Planning horizon is set up using the Horizon control located on the Toolbar.
There is a priority sequence for how Streamline applies given parameter values across the four methods mentioned above. The priority sequence (beginning with the least priority) is:
When you first import your inventory data Streamline creates a link between the project file and the data source. Streamline uses this link to synchronize the project with the data source when you click the Update data button. It is typically used to add a new sales history period or refresh the replenishment parameters in your project.
Let us show an example of how to update replenishment parameters using the Update data button.
First, we create a project from an Excel file using the Spreadsheet connection. The key step here is defining the meaning of data columns in order to Streamline treat them properly (see figure below).
Now, let us build a replenishment plan by clicking the Forecast button. To see it, go to the Inventory planning tab. By default, it is represented by the Order now section. Here you can also see replenishment parameters such as On hand, Lead time, Order cycle, and other (see figure below).
To change replenishment parameters in Streamline:
1. Change the necessary parameters in your data source. For this example, we open the Excel data file, change the Lead time for the C1020 item from 30 days to 60, and save the file (see figure below).
2. Click the Update data button in Streamline to load the changes (see figure below).
The Lead time column has been updated. The Qty of the Order now section (and the replenishment plan) has been recalculated automatically as the new data get into Streamline.
3. Click the Forecast button to apply the changes (it is necessary if you import the On hand, Orders to receive, or Pending sales orders parameter).
You can use this scenario to import your own overrides for replenishment parameters into Streamline. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Go to the Inventory planning tab.
2. Export the parameters by clicking the Export parameters button found on the toolbar (see figure below). Streamline will create AND AUTOMATICALLY OPEN an Excel file with the exported parameters.
3. Edit the parameters in the newly created Excel file and save your work (see figure below).
4. Click the Import parameters button in Streamline. Streamline automatically loads the Excel file which was previously created at step 2 (see figure below).
All the changes are now imported into Streamline and shown in blue. As soon as the overrides are imported, Streamline recalculates all the outcomes of the Inventory planning automatically.
To import parameters from another file:
1. Click on the little arrow near the Import parameters button (see figure below).
2. Select the Choose file… option (see figure below).
3. Navigate to your file and click the Open button.
As you learned, there are several ways to set up replenishment parameters in Streamline. In this section, we describe the replenishment parameters and the corresponding methods these parameters are typically set by when planning inventory in Streamline.
The table below shows the replenishment parameters and the ways they are typically set.
|Configuration method||Replenishment parameters|
|Importing from a data source||Lead time, Order cycle, On hand, open orders parameters, and constraints.|
|Configuring using the program Settings||Replenishment strategy and Safety stock.|
|Export/import parameters scenario||Service level (optional) and Safety stock periods (optional).|
Service level and Safety stock periods parameters are used to calculate safety stock in Streamline. These parameters have dafaults (Service level = 98% and Safety stock periods = 1 data aggregation period) that are applied to all planning items at once in the project. However, you can set them for each planning item individually based on different factors. In the sections below, we describe:
Streamline's Settings allows you to set the parameters at the highest level of detail: the changes are applied to all the imported items at once. By contrast, the Export/import parameters scenario allows modifying the parameters at the lowest level - the planning item level. However, there is usually a need to set the same parameter value for a group of items, for example, to set the Lead time parameter based on supplier code.
In the example below, we show how to set the Lead time parameter based on the supplier in several simple steps using the Export/import parameters scenario. You can use this method to make bulk parameter changes based on any additional column imported into Streamline.
1. First, import the column containing the data which will be used to group items. This is the Supplier column in our case.
The Lead time will have the same value across the items for each supplier. To import the data into Streamline, we use the Spreadsheet connection. The main step in connecting the data is to set up the meaning of the columns, and the Supplier column in particular. Streamline has a set of predefined meanings which you can use when matching. If you can’t find the appropriate meaning in the list – as in our case – choose the Info field option (see figure below).
2. Go to the Inventory planning tab and click the Forecast button, to show the imported replenishment parameters in the table.
3. To group items by the supplier, click on the header of the Supplier column (see figure below).
4. Export parameters by clicking the Export parameters button. Streamline creates and automatically opens an Excel file containing replenishment parameters and all the additional columns (in our case, the Supplier column) you have imported.
5. Set the parameter value for each group in the standard way and save your work (see figure below).
6. Import the overrides by clicking the Import parameters button in Streamline.
Service level is used to determine safety stock in Streamline. By default, Streamline assigns service level 98%. This is set for all of the items in the project at once. However, traditionally, the service level is set based on ABC analysis so that each product class gets its own service level.
Streamline can perform ABC analysis based upon different criteria. If Item selling price is imported, Streamline performs ABC analysis based on the revenue by default.
Let us proceed with the example project.
To set service level based on ABC analysis do the following:
1. Go to the Demand forecasting tab and check the ABC analysis option located above the tree in the Tree view (see figure below).
2. Go to the Inventory planning tab and sort the table by the ABC analysis column by clicking the column header (see figure below).
3. Export replenishment parameters by clicking the Export parameters button. Streamline creates and automatically opens an Excel file containing all the parameters.
4. Set service level value for each class and save your work (see figure below).
5. Import the overrides by clicking the Import parameters button in Streamline (see figure below).
All overrides are shown in blue in Streamline. The Safety stock column of the report is recalculated immediately as we import the changes.
Streamline can determine safety stock based on the Safety stock periods parameter, not the Service level. In this case, Streamline determines safety stock as the demand of a given number of future periods. This number of the future periods is the Safety stock periods parameter. This way can be used as an alternative if you find the traditional way unreliable.
To be precise, the Safety stock periods is the number of future periods (coming after Lead time plus Order cycle) which volume of demand is taken as the safety stock. For example, if Lead time is 30 days, Order cycle is 2 months, and Safety stock periods is 2, then the safety stock will be calculated as the summed demand of the April and May (see figure below).
By default, Streamline assigns it 1 data aggregation period. This is set for all of the items in the project at once. However, it can be also set based on ABC analysis, the Lead time or any other column of the exported replenishment parameters table just in the same way as we showed with the Service level. Moreover, you can set it based on any additional characteristic imported in Streamline. Which criteria or KPI is up to the planner.
Further, we show how to set Safety stock periods based on the Gross margin - a KPI calculated by Streamline. To do that:
1. Go to the List view and select the KPIs report (see figure below).
2. Sort the table by item by clicking on the header of the Item code column (see figure below).
3. Export the report be clicking the Export report button.
4. Go to the Inventory planning tab and sort the table by item (see figure below).
5. Export replenishment parameters by clicking the Export parameters button
6. Copy the Gross margin column from exported KPIs report and paste it into the exported replenishment parameters table (see figure below).
7. Sort the resultant replenishment parameters table by the Gross margin column.
7.1 Click somewhere in the Gross margin column.
7.2 Go to the Data tab of the menu and click the Sort Largest to Smallest button (see figure below).
8. Set the Safety stock periods column based on the Gross margin column.
9. Import the Safety stock periods in Streamline by clicking the Import parameters button (see figure below).
Streamline automatically recalculates the safety stock and the purchase plan as the Safety stock periods are imported.