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Frequently Asked Questions

Here's a list of the most frequently asked questions.  If you can't find what you're looking for, please contact us.
How can I use StockTrim to save money with my inventory costs?

The main purpose of StockTrim is to remove uncertainty around order planning. The ultimate aim is to always have ‘just enough’ stock on hand so that you can meet customer demand without over investing by buying more items than you need.

By intelligently delaying your orders until the best time you can reduce your overall inventory spend while still doing your same turnover. Moreover you can also reduce stockouts and make more sales faster.

In the ‘Order Plan’ screen in StockTrim, select ‘Excess Stock’ to see items you don’t need to order yet. Click the heading for ‘Replenishment Date’ to sort and see the items you’ll need to place orders for soon.

How do I know how much to order?

Once everything is configured right, you should be able to trust StockTrim’s suggestions. Just go to the ‘Order Plan’ screen in StockTrim, and review the order quantities for each of your products. The items highlighted red should be ordered ASAP since the expected demand is more than the amount you currently have in stock, and able to be delivered within the lead time, so they are at risk of going out of stock soon. 

When should I use StockTrim?

Every time you place your supplier orders. StockTrim’s order plan is an ‘as of now’ suggestion, so ideally you should reload your data before every time you place your orders so that your latest sales figures are taken into account in the forecasts. 

Can StockTrim update my data automatically?

Yes. Click the settings wheel at the top right hand corner of the dashboard or order plan screens, then select the auto-update frequency. StockTrim will then automatically reload your data overnight from your connected inventory management system. 

What inventory systems can StockTrim integrate with?

Any system. We support several API (one-click) integrations but can integrate with any other system via CSV export import.

The process is relatively straightforward – just export to Excel (CSV) your products list (with current on-hand and on-order stock levels), and your sales history from your system. Then, ensure that they are saved as CSV. Then, ensure the header columns match StockTrim’s file specifications (see the templates and examples on the ‘Load Data’ page). Then upload the files.

For new users, there may be some configuration required, so get in touch with us if you need a hand with that.

If you’d like an API integration with your inventory management system let us know.

My other system has a reorder point too. Which value should I use - that, or StockTrim’s?

StockTrim’s reorder point is the optimal value. It’s automatically calculated for you based on your sales history, lead-time demand, and buffer stock. The value in your other system is usually an approximate value only, so StockTrim’s will be more accurate. 

Where does the lead time come from?

The lead time is applied in the following order of priority:

  • Set manually on each item (on the ‘Order Plan’ screen, edit an item, and set the lead time)
  • Supplier default (go to Supplier Admin, then set the lead time). You can set the suppliers for an item by editing an item, then selecting Options -> Edit Suppliers
  • Purchase order history (the average difference between the order date and the arrived date for each item)
  • Default Lead time (set in the settings wheel in the top right-hand corner) 
How should I set my lead time?

The lead time should be the days from now until when your orders will be ready for your customers.

For example, if you want an extra month worth of stock, you should set the lead time to your supplier’s lead time plus an extra 30 days.

If you have an internal process that needs to be followed once orders arrive before they are ready to be sold to your customers, you should also account for this in the lead time.

StockTrim won’t let me overwrite the lead time. It keeps going back to the default. Why is that?

By default, the lead time for a product must be at least as high as the highest component lead time. If you don’t want this to be enforced, in the settings set the value for ‘Allow lead time less than the maximum component lead time’ accordingly. 

I have different suppliers with different lead times – how can I deal with that?

You can set the default lead time for each supplier. Go to the supplier admin -> to set it. This value will be the default for every product that has been set for that supplier, unless it’s overwritten explicitly. 

What’s the difference between lead time and forecast period?

Lead time is the time from now until when the orders will arrive, ready for your customers to buy. The forecast period is the amount of time you want the forecasts to be based on. By default, these are the same, but if they are set differently, the reorder point will be based on the lead time, while the forecasted demand and order quantity will be based on the lead time.

What if I want to order in increments – eg: if the lead time is 90 days but I want to review and order every 30 days

In this case you should set the ‘forecast period’ to 30 days and leave the lead time to 90 days. Just note that if you follow the suggestions it may take 90 days for the stock level to equalize to the optimal level, but after that you’ll get order suggestions for the next 30 days, but the buffer stock calculation will be based on the 90 day lead time.

If I manually set my lead time, will this be overwritten the next time I reload my data?

No. StockTrim will keep the value you had previously set when reloading your latest data. 

The forecasts don’t look right – why is that?

Are your components and finished goods being counted twice? Depending on how you have set up your Bill of Materials, they might be counted twice. In the settings, change the ‘Include finished food stock level in components stock level’ accordingly.

Is the buffer stock being calculated correctly? If the sales history is quite unpredictable, there may be a large buffer stock suggestion. If this doesn’t seem right to you, try adjusting the ‘Service level’ and ‘Segment History’ settings.

Are these new products, or do you have a new account? StockTrim’s machine learning algorithm will eventually learn the best way to predict demand, but initially it might not have enough to go on. Every time you reload your sales orders it will compare the predicted vs actual, and figure out the best way to forecast going forward.

I’ve updated my settings but the numbers like lead times or forecasts aren’t updating – why is that?

Once you change global settings & parameters etc you’ll need to press ‘recalculate’ on the order plan screen for all the forecasts to recalculate. If you do that then they should update.

Does StockTrim respond to increasing sales, seasonal trends, and new trends?

Yes. StockTrim will automatically select the best forecast model under-the-hood for each product. Some may have a flat demand, others may have an increasing trend, or others may experience seasonality, or sudden increases or decreases in popularity. StockTrim will apply weights to take each of these scenarios into account in the forecasts.

I have different locations – how do I know how much to stock at each place?
On the ‘order plan’ screen, select the location you want to look at, and it should show. These values do depend on there being data for the current stock level at each location, and for the sales at each location to have been set correctly in your inventory management system.
When manufacturing items, how does StockTrim calculate the required order quantities for components and finished goods?

StockTrim will calculate the forecasted demand and buffer stock for each of the finished goods based on the sales history, then calculate the number of components required to make these based on the quantities in your Bill of Materials. If you manufacture all your items, the ‘Order Quantity’ will be the suggested quantity to manufacture.

If you don’t order finished goods directly, you can select ‘Exclude Manufactured’ on the order plan so that these won’t be listed.

When manufacturing items, how does StockTrim deal with sub-assemblies?

If you have a nested BOM with sub-assemblies, StockTrim will drill down to all levels to set the number of sub-components required to order. 

Does StockTrim account for finished goods on the shelf when suggesting the order quantities for components?

Depending on the way your manufacturing process works, you may want to configure whether finished goods sitting on the shelf are accounted for when suggesting new order quantities for each of your components. In the settings, change the ‘Include finished food stock level in components stock level’ accordingly. 

How can I exclude obsolete or discontinued products from the analysis?

On the ‘Order plan’ screen, edit the item, then go to Options -> Set as Discontinued. This will then not be included in the analysis or shown by default. To reactivate the product, select either ‘All’ or ‘Discontinued’ as the current status, then update the item.

What if I have a new product with no sales – how do I forecast that?

Do you expect this to sell at a similar rate to an existing item in your inventory? If so, you can correlate the demand model. On the order plan screen edit the new item, and select options -> link demand, then select the existing item. This will assume the new item will sell at a similar rate and set the suggested order quantity for you. 

Do new items need to have any sales history before they appear in StockTrim
If the SKU exists as active in StockTrim or your inventory management system then it should show in StockTrim even if there are no orders for it. You can then go to options -> link demand to link the demand to a similar selling item and use that history to base the forecasts from.
StockTrim is telling me I have excess stock of an item with little to none on hand. Why is that?

In terms of order planning, StockTrim also includes the on-order quantity. To plan future orders, it makes sense for current on-order items to be taken into account if they’re already on their way, so if they will cover the demand you don’t need to order more.

Does StrockTrim know when we ran out of stock in a given period, and therefore considers that in the forecasting?
Yes, stock-outs are taken into account in the sales history. So if you were out of stock then it will assume a regular demand for that time period, as long as there is enough data for regular demand to be calculated.
How do I set the Minimum Order Quantity?

The minimum order quantity is automatically assumed as the lowest value in your purchase order history for each item. If this is not indicative of your actual MOQ then change the setting ‘Set minimum order quantity from purchase order history’ accordingly.

You can also manually set the MOQ on each item on the ‘Order plan’ screen.

What is buffer stock?

Also called ‘safety stock’, it’s an extra amount of inventory that you should keep on hand, above the forecasted value, to cover any extra demand. This is tied in with the ‘Service level’ setting, and depends on how variable or predictable your sales are for each item.

The more variable your sales history, the higher the buffer stock will be. For example, if the service level is 0.95, the buffer stock will be the amount of extra stock you’ll need so that you have a 95% chance of not going out of stock.

It may be more efficient to lower the service level for items that your customers are happy to wait for (eg: rare or custom items). On the other hand, you can increase this level if it’s important to be able to serve your customers immediately, and it’s worthwhile to bear the cost of keeping more items on hand to cover this.

Often we have to order from our suppliers with MOQ of 1000 with pre-scheduled drop qty and dates, can I put this information in StockTrim?

Yes, you can.  Each item has a ‘Minimum Order Quantity’ field that you can set. You can also set the minimum order quantity to be automatically set from your purchase order history so you don’t need to go through each one manually. There is a setting, in the top RH corner of the order plan screen, called ‘Set minimum order quantity from PO history’.

StockTrim is showing data load errors. What is causing it?

This could be a number of reasons, but the most common is that the headers and format in the upload form are not correct. Please check these first, if you are still having problems please contact us

Process of adding future ad-hoc order in to scenario plan potential order andother impacts on stock availability in that region. If there are shipping delays or stock constraints, how can these be accounted for in the forecast
In StockTrim you can manually add future demand quantities to deal with upcoming ad hoc orders. This can also be used to account for shipping delays or stock constraints
How does StockTrim forecast growth in retail orders and wholesale orders separately?

If you set up retail and wholesale as different locations in your Inventory Management System then these will come through to StockTrim so you can forecast them separately (set the wholesale orders based on your warehouse, and the retail orders based on your store location). You can also combine these to get a total view of how much product to order from your suppliers.

Does StockTrim consider out of stock days historically?

Yes, if you were out of stock, StockTrim can ignore this from your historical demand that the forecasts are based on (it will base them on the historical sales trend).

Do You have any other questions?

Contact Us