Aligni stores inventory associated with each part in entities called Inventory Units. An Inventory Unit is a single record of inventory stored at a particular inventory location/sublocation. Each inventory unit record contains the following information:
- Part – The part represented.
- Quantity – Quantity represented along with the unit of representation.
- Location – An inventory location and sublocation where the parts are stored.
- Cost – The cost per unit. (Note: the cost for the entire inventory unit would be this cost times the quantity represented.)
- Asset ID – An optional asset ID unique to each specific inventory unit.
- Serial Number – An optional serial number can be provided as long as the quantity is exactly 1.
- Lot Code – An optional lot code.
- Datecode – An optional datecode.
- Bin – When an item resides at an inventory location that supports bins, this optional string allows you to specify a bin location for the inventory.
If the inventory unit was created by receiving inventory on a purchase order, the following additional information is stored with the record:
- Purchase Order Number
- Purchase Price
- Quantity Received
All inventory value is recorded in the Site Currency that is established when you created your Aligni account. Inventory received on purchase orders in another currency is converted at the exchange rate specified when receiving that inventory.
The Inventory Lifecycle
One way to understand how inventory is represented in your database is to consider the inventory lifecycle – the timeline during which a physical part is represented as a database entry.
An inventory unit is created in one of two ways: manual creation from the Part Details inventory summary or by purchasing and receiving to inventory when items on a purchase order are received. Both methods generate an inventory log entry.
Inventory transfers are a formal method used to set aside specific inventory units and transfer them to another location, typically within a shipping and receiving context. Transfers are used to move inventory between company locations or when kitting components for contract manufacture.
On the inventory tab of the Part pages, users with inventory management permissions can manually adjust inventory information including cost, location, quantity, and other parameters.
Inventory unit counts are decreased when parts are consumed on a build, either by placing them onto an assembly or, in some cases, when lost to attrition. When the entire quantity of an inventory unit is consumed, the inventory unit record itself is destroyed.
Part Inventory Summary
The Part Details page includes a compact Inventory Summary with the following information:
- Each inventory unit listed separately.
- Inventory allocated to builds, listed separately per build.
- Inventory reserved for builds, listed separately per inventory unit and build.
- Open items on purchase orders.
- Transfers in progress.
- Total and Total Available (not reserved) inventory.
Manual adjustments can also be initiated in the summary box. Click on the clock icon to see the complete inventory audit history for the part, or click on the plus icon to manually create a new inventory unit for the part.
Automated inventory reports are created on the Reporting page accessible from the Inventory dashboard. Users can subscribe to one or more reports and the report will automatically be emailed to each subscribed user when it is generated.
Note that some users may not have the permissions required to receive some report configurations. If this happens, the user will be notified and unsubscribed to the report.
Inventory reports support the following options:
- Report Contents – An Adobe PDF and/or a CSV file will be attached to each inventory report email.
- Sort Style – Items on the report are sorted by value, asset ID, part number, or manufacturer P/N.
- Frequency – Reports are emailed at the end of each reporting period, either weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually.
- Part Collection – An optional part collection may be specified to restrict the report contents to parts in the collection. When none is specified, the report will contain all parts in your database.
- Inventory Location – An optional inventory location may be specified to restrict the report contents to parts at the specified location. When none is specified, the report will contain parts at all locations.
You may also configure a routine usage report which includes consumption information for trailing periods (based on finalized builds as well as consumption adjustments) and forecast usage for forward-looking periods (based on allocated builds). Settings are available to define the periods and item groupings to include in the report.