We already domed the interactive ATP (Available To Promise) viewer, which is very useful in identifying and preventing stock level problems of specific products, that can lead to unhappy customers. It can also be used to provide reliable answer to your customers’ stock related inquiries.
ATP can be also used in a more proactive manner. This post will demo how ATP can identify possible future stock availability problems within a specified time period, without requiring any user interactivity.
Unlike the ATP viewer, which is an interactive application, the ATP Notifier works in batch mode. Using a scheduler, a Talend job, connected to an Openbravo ERP system, is submitted. The job examines the ATP vector of a list of products. Based on current stock levels, predicted demand (as explained in here) and supply transactions (either manufacturing or procurement orders), the job will indicate which products from the list might have their stock go below their designated safety stock levels, within a specific time period (a horizon), measured in weeks.
The user does not have to submit the actual job – it is run by an automatic scheduler at any given interval (once a day, once an hour etc.). The output of the job is an RSS feed, that can be read by any RSS reader.
A word about RSS – the RSS protocol was invented for people (like myself) who found themselves wasting too much valuable time browsing through numerous websites, looking for interesting things to read. With RSS, you don’t have to surf all those sites – you just register to their RSS feed, and check your RSS reader occasionally, to see if anything interesting is published.
Business users are similar – there are so many business events happening, it is almost impossible to track all of them. Going through endless screens, looking for possible issues with products or customers can be a huge time sink. And this is where RSS can help business users.
In the demo below, we run the ATP Notifier on one product (‘Wine United states’), although we could do the same for as many products as we want. We run the Talend ATP Notifier job through a web service call, passing the number of weeks (horizon) as a parameter.
When we pass 6 or 7 weeks, there is no result – that means that within 7 weeks, stock will remain above safety stock levels for our product. But if we change the horizon to 8 weeks, we get an RSS reply, indicating there might be a problem with that product within that time period.
In production environment, though, you would not have to constantly change your horizon-we do that only for demo purposes. The idea is that for every product (or product category), you will define the horizon once. At any given interval (once a day, twice a day etc.), the batch job will run automatically, check all products, and reply with an RSS containing all the product that might have a problem with stock levels within the given horizon. It is up to the planner to solve the issues indicated by the ATP runner, by either creating new production order or purchasing order.