A firms game plans for saleable products provide the primary driver of transfer orders. Coordination of transfer orders to meet the game plans is accomplished by suggested action messages and warehouse management activities.
The sales and operations planning process results in a game plan for each item and location. For stocked items, the S&OP game plan may be expressed in terms of an order-point replenishment method for each SKU. The game plan may also include forecasted demand, expressed as a sales forecast and/or component forecast by location. Sales orders for a given item and ship-from location consume the items sales forecast for the location. The designated ship-from site may reflect sourcing rules such as the default ship-from location for a customer. In many cases, the ship-from site may reflect availability to meet delivery date requirements.
Some multisite operations require transfers to replenish inventory at a location. Suggested transfer orders reflect distribution requirements planning (DRP) logic built into the planning calculations.
Suggested action messages about new and existing transfer orders can be viewed on the requisition worksheet or the planning worksheet. Use of these worksheets was previously described for purchase orders (Chapter 6) and production orders (Chapter 8), and the recommendations apply to transfer orders. Planning calculations generate the same type of messages for transfer orders, such as create a new order and reschedule an existing order. Action messages may be segmented, filtered, and sorted to support more effective coordination efforts such as viewing messages for a selected transfer-from and/or transfer-to location. Suggestions may also require analysis of an items supply/ demand information. Infeasible suggestions such as rescheduling a transfer order earlier should be flagged as having no planning flexibility to suppress further messages. Suggestions can be automatically implemented.
Suggestions for a new transfer order communicate the need to ship material. Rather than create a new transfer order to ship and receive material, some situations with minimal transportation time between locations (such as adjoining sites) often use an inventory move transaction.
Several different approaches can be used coordinate and report shipments and receipts. Coordination and reporting of shipping activities can be based on a printed pick list for each transfer order, a pick document, and/or a ship document. In a similar fashion, receiving activities can be based on use of the transfer order, a receipt document, and/or a put-away document. The advantages of using these documents were covered in Chapter 7.