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Shipment preparation process

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The Shipment preparation process handles shipments and its content all the way to loading. This allows you to effectively control the transportation of goods and plan deliveries. One of its most important features is that you can indicate to your customers, during sales order entry, the date the goods will be dispatched and when they can expect to receive their order. The delivery date can be found on the sales order line, accessed via Work with sales orders or the Sales order enquiry. You can also find the delivery date on the outbound shipment line, in Work with outbound shipments, for the lines that are pulled into the shipment.

How the Shipment preparation process handles the content, planning and scheduling is completely user definable. Note: If the STKOWNER (Stock Ownership) functionality is activated in the Function control file, it is only possible to set up routes for a warehouse that is defined for physical goods handling (the warehouse must be defined as a normal or trade warehouse (i.e. warehouse characteristics code 1 or 2)).

The following routines are included in the Shipment preparation process:

Work with routes

In this routine you plan the routes that will be used to deliver the goods. You are able to work with and view all of the routes that are scheduled to depart from your warehouses. You indicate their point of departure, destination and the sequence of stops made along their way. You may also take advantage of advanced route planning features and define the weekday and time of departure. This is useful for planning daily or weekly route departures.

You can build a simple route and create basic plans for it that specify the:

Minimum route plan requirements
  • Route name
  • Description
  • Departure
    Note that you need to create your departures before you can plan the routes.
  • Warehouse
  • Handler
  • Manner of transport
  • Destination
  • One departure day
  • Route group to which the route belongs

Or, you can take full advantage of route planning features and further define the:

Advanced route plan requirements
  • Vehicle used to transport goods. You can also specify in the Vehicle table the maximum and minimum weight the vehicle is capable of transporting and its volume capacity. You can also enter a driver of the vehicle from the Drivers table.
  • Dates during which the route is available for deliveries. This is defined by means of a start and end date.
  • Weekday that the route is scheduled to depart on.
  • Departure time of the route.
  • Sales order entry cut-off time and cut-off day. This indicates that all sales orders placed after this time will be bumped up to a later shipment.
  • Shipment type to specify the default actions that should automatically take place when a shipment is closed or updated as shipped.
  • Pick release day and time denoting on what day and at what time the pick list is allowed to be printed per outbound shipment. This allows you to prevent pick lists from being printed too early for sales orders on outbound shipments; keeping the orders open as long as possible should you need to change the quantity or add more lines and gives you the space and time to do the picking to make the departure date.
  • Route restrictions allowing you to restrict items from being delivered on specific routes.
  • Wake up call information if the customer wants to be notified before the shipment departs allowing them to make additions to the order, should that be needed.

Note: Routes can also be planned for external shipping agents.

Work with route list

Once you have created your route plans in Work with routes, the system will automatically generate the route lists. Each route list contains the scheduled departure and the planned deliveries based on the route plans. In this program you are able to work with the departures and deliveries.

The information for a scheduled departure is retrieved from the connected route plan as long as nothing is manually changed for a specific departure in the Work with route list program. If you, for example, manually add or remove a destination, this change will only be valid for the related departure, this particular day. And, a change in the route plan will have no affect on a manually changed departure connected to that route plan.

Note that scheduled departures that are created manually in the Work with route list program or those that were automatically generated, but have been manually changed, will be considered as MANUAL by the system.

Assuming that the maximum options have been incorporated into the route plan, then the system will generate the scheduled departures including:

Value Description
Dispatch date This is calculated by the system. The weekday that the route is planned to depart on is translated to real-time by the system. Holidays and other non-working days that are defined in the Calendar file are excluded by the system.
All the advanced route plan requirements (described in Work with routes above). This routine also allows you to connect the route to a shipment that specifies which goods are to be delivered along the route. Each shipment is made up of the sales order lines that must be delivered to your customers.
Shipment type specifications If defined on the route plan. The route’s shipment type specifications are also valid for the scheduled departures, but can be overridden on route list level.
Once a shipment has been created for a scheduled departure the system will calculate the following:
Accumulated weight value This is the total weight of the sales order lines that are assigned to the shipment.
Percentage of the filling rate (for weight) This is the percentage of the accumulated weight of the vehicle content. This indicates how much of the vehicle’s capacity is filled and how much is remaining.
Accumulated volume value The total volume of the sales order lines that are assigned to the shipment.
Percentage of the filling rate (for volume) This is the percentage of the accumulated volume of the vehicle content. This indicates how much of the vehicle’s volume capacity is taken up and how much is remaining.
Accumulated value The total value of the sales order lines that are assigned to the shipment.
Percentage of the filling rate (for value) This is the percentage of the accumulated value of the vehicle content. This indicates how much of the vehicle’s (value) capacity is taken up and how much is remaining.
Work with outbound shipments

This program groups together the sales order lines and builds the actual shipments that are to be delivered along the routes. See About working with outbound shipments for more information and detailed instructions.

How the automatic shipment preparation process works

Order Description
1 Sales orders are first entered into the system.
2 If the sales orders are marked as being handled by the Shipment preparation process (Shipment prep = YES in Work with sales order types), then the system will search through all existing routes to find a match according to Dispatch date, Warehouse, Destination, Manner of transport, and Shipping agent (if defined).

If a matching route is found:

  • The system will add the sales order line to the outbound shipment pertaining to that route.
  • If a header does not exist for the outbound shipment, then the system will automatically create it.

If a matching route is found, but has a different dispatch date:

  • The system issues a warning message and will change the dispatch date to match the route departure date.

If a matching route is not found, or if the dispatch date is changed and there are no routes scheduled for that date:

  • The line will not be added to any shipment.
    The line can then be manually added to a shipment via the Work with unattached lines program.
3 Once shipments have been created, the Work with outbound shipments menu item is selected. After orders have been consolidated for transport, you can print pick lists, freight documents, transport notes, shipment documents, and labels via this program. You may also confirm pick lists, request shipment printouts, and report packaging.

Sales order lines can also be manually pulled into shipments. For detailed information, see How the manual outbound shipment process works.

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