Silo is designed to make it easy to understand the stock levels of Products in your inventory, and whether you need to take action to keep sufficient stock on hand.
Silo uses the following Product Statuses to communicate these concepts:
- Overstocked: When you have more stock on hand than you need
- OK: When your stock level is currently fine, requiring no action
- Re-Order Now: When you need to re-order product to stay at a safe level
- Stock Crisis: When you have insufficient stock on hand, and may run out even if you place an order now
How Status is calculated
Silo uses the following parameters to calculate the status:
- The amount of stock on hand
- The amount of stock on order, and it's estimated delivery date
- The current known usage rate
- The time taken to re-order
As you can imagine, a key benefit of Silo is helping you avoid Stock Crisis, by monitoring your stock to ensure you order in time, and making it simple to do so.
To understand Silo statuses fully, it's worth spending a moment to consider how stock changes during the course of normal operations. Let's use a normal example of a café, where we use cases of recyclable paper cups (e.g. a 100-pack), and the following setup:
- You have space to hold 10 cases in stock
- In a given day, you use 50 paper cups (0.5 cases)
- The vendor you buy from delivers in 3 days
- Shipping is free
Your product status in the following situations would be as shown:
You have 5 cases in stock:
Your stock status is OK, because you have 10 days worth of stock on-hand, and it only takes 3 days to receive a new order.
You have 2 cases in stock:
Your stock status is Re-Order Now, because while you have 4 days work of stock on-hand, and it only takes 3 days to receive a new order, this is not sufficient buffer to safely wait.
You have 1 case in stock, and 3 cases on order, due to arrive in 1 day:
Your stock status is OK, because you have sufficient items on order to replenish your stock before it runs out.
You have 1 case in stock, and no items on order:
Your stock status is Stock Crisis, because you only have 2 days of stock on-hand, and it will take 3 days to receive a new order.
Viewing Product Status
You can see the Status on your Inventory list. There are two parts to the Status, the level indicator and the status itself. First, let's look at the level indicator:
The level indicator shows a graphical abstraction of the stock on hand, the par level, and items on order. After a few days of using Silo, you will find it easy to read the level indicator and understand that Product's situation.
Below is a summary of different levels and how they are shown in Silo:
The Product Status is shown next to the level indicator as an icon in the Inventory list, as follows:
Product Status is also used on the Dashboard, to show you which items need attention.
Dealing with different Statuses
When an item is in Re-Order Now state, add it to a Draft Order straight away, and place the order with your vendor. This will ensure it arrives in time. Make sure to enter the tracking information or ETA (if not using a Smart Order) so that Silo knows when new product is arriving.
Make sure you complete the order - don't leave items in Draft Orders, as this will not ensure stock arrives in time.
If an item is in Stock Crisis status, you need to re-oder that item immediately. However, this may not ensure that it arrives in time to continue production. So you may need to do one or all of the following to resolve the problem:
- Place an Order with your Vendor, with expedited delivery
- Find a substitute product with a quicker delivery time and order that product
- Reduce usage of that item
- Visit a local store to buy a substitute item
- Pause production if possible until the item arrives
You can make these changes to a product's settings to reduce the chance of stock crisis:
- Increase the par level
- Increase the re-order quantity
The following process improvements will help avoid Stock Crisis:
- Always mark cases as consumed at the moment they are finished
- Conduct Stocktaking on time when requested by Silo
- Find vendors with fast lead times on shipping
- Ensure Draft Orders are placed promptly
Stock Crisis should be a status you see rarely in Silo, with good ordering practice.