Inventory Counting Wizard

Can anyone explain to me the idea behind the inventory counting wizard?

So when I look into a bin location, I count the amount of product in there, I check the value in the system, build the difference between them by head (or calculator), and the put the quantity to add into the system? I have never seen any warehouse that works like this.

Neither that a default of ‘1 to add’ makes sense (as many logistics companies use Zero counting on bins, Zero as total result makes sense)

No, the user has nothing to compute.

When you add a product for which the measure is a unit, it is highly probable that 1 is the right amount.

See Inventory Counting wizard

Then the field label is wrong: It says ‘Quantity to add’ , not ‘Counting result’

Ever talked to a logistics expert on that? Probably not.
Example: You ship a product to a customer. If you underdeliver 2 pieces, customer complains. If you overdeliver 2 pieces, customer keeps silence (in 99,9% of cases).

Result: You have two pieces less in your stock than in your system. Quantity to add: -2

I could not see anywhere those labels.
I think it will be easier to test the wizard to get an idea of how it works.

The wizard is about inventory not shipment.

I did of course. As a reminder on ‘Added quantity’ (taken from Tryton 5 announcement)::
grafik

I have never said that the wizard is about shipment - so please dont turn the words in my mouth, and read my example carefully.

So it is not “Quantity to add” neither “Counting result”. Please explain why the current label is wrong from your point of view. It is difficult to understand as you are using different labels in your explanation.

So I do not understand what you mean neither why you are using shipments in your example if you are not talking about shipment.

For what I understand, you seem to do assumptions on how this wizard is working. Please test it at least on the demo to see how it works.
The wizard is a tool to help counting. When you count, you only count positive number and often by one when the unit of measure has no decimal. Once the wizard is finished, it will compute the sum and update the inventory according.

‘Quantity to add’ was indeed quoted out of my head, where the current label is ‘Added quantity’. So hope we have clarified this big difference now.

If you say ‘the user has nothing to compute’, he then enters the counting result, correct?

Example:
Stock in system: 5
Physical stock: 3
Assuming he counts right, he has to enter ‘3’ then?

I used this to give you an example on the origin of inventory differences.

Other reasons for inventory differences:

  1. Stock loss due to damage
  2. Stock is in the incorrect location
  3. Human error during stocktake process
  4. Stock loss due to theft
  5. Stock is labelled with incorrect identification
  6. Stock mistaken for similar product
  7. Inbound stock not recorded accurately
  8. Faulty inventory management software or stocktake equipment
  9. Incorrect unit of measurement was counted
    …and more to find.

And following the example, the stock in the system is higher than the physical stock. So there is a negative value to correct this if there is an added quantity

As shown above, negative numbers to add are quite common.

Usually, I count by 1.

Please try the wizard because you make comments on assumptions and not on how the wizard is working.

And the rsulting stock is then what?

Yes…tried this already several times, but no meaningful result could be created up to now. But error messages that dont explain:

I find the message quite explanatory. You have to select an option for “Empty Quantity” field.

There is not material called 3
It is not visible where a selection should be made. And what the options are

As the message says, it is the inventory that has the number “3”, not the material.

so probably the line with the expected quantity “3” then. If I fill a value into the quantity field, the error message does not change. I know that documentation is completely overrated, it would help anyway. Or at least meaningful error messages. And yes, I checked docs.tryton.org

It is the inventory with the number “3”. It is not about any inventory line. So fill the option “Empty Quantity” of the inventory as the error message told you.

Maybe the message should be

An option for the field “Empty Quantity” is missing for inventory “3”

adding “the field” and the quotes might make it clearer.

Maybe @dave or @mannp can help as they’re native English speakers (and if might bother them :stuck_out_tongue:).

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I can try.

Thanks @nicoe, here you go then…

I’ve just been having a look at the inventories and the inventory counting wizard, and I think I can see how it all works (please correct me if I am wrong).

The first part of this post tries to answer @coogor’s question and provide some examples of what I think the idea is behind the inventory counting wizard, and how it fits in with the inventories.

For my thoughts and suggestions (@nicoe and others) just skip to the “TL;DR - Some Notes” below.

Starting the Inventory

Normally you would create a new inventory, and fill in the location that the inventory is for. Next you would then press the “Complete” button to add the lines, and quantities, that the system thinks are currently in stock.

At this point you could just fill in the the quantities that have been counted into the “Quantity” column, this is easy if there are only a few lines.

The stock counting wizard is for the times where there are a lot of lines.

Stock Count Example

Lets say you have gone round the store room (which is a bit of a mess) counting all the items in the order they were stored on the shelves, and the stock count that was written down looked something like this:

Stock Count
-----------
Product 73: 10
Product 21:  5
Product 44:  2
... (many other items)
Product 21:  8
... (some more items)

You could use the stock counting wizard to enter these in. You would start the wizard using the “Count” button, then:

  1. Enter in the product from the stock count (the first one on the stock count would be Product 73) into the “Search” field, and press the “Select” button.
  2. Enter in the quantity that was counted into the “Added Quantity” (for the first item on the count this would be 10).
  • Repeat this process, going down the hand written stock count, for each of the items.

As you might have noticed “Product 21” appears on the stock count twice. The first time it is encountered when 5 is entered in as the “Added Quantity” the “Resulting Quantity” will also show 5. The next time it is encountered, and 8 is entered into the “Added Quantity” the “Resulting Quantity” will show 13. Once the inventory counting wizard has ended, the final inventory line for this product would show a “Quantity” of 13 (the 5 + 8 that were found in the two different places).

Zero Count Example

You are zero counting bins, and have gone and looked in the location that you are doing the inventory for. You have a list that looks like this:

Empty Bins
----------
Product 88
Product 17
Product 11

In this example let’s assume that you have created the inventory for the location and it contains hundreds of lines, so rather than manually searching through the list of lines, you decide to use the inventory counting wizard. So start the wizard and:

  1. Enter in the product from the list (the first one on the stock count would be Product 88) into the “Search” field, and press the “Select” button.
  2. Enter in 0 to the “Added Quantity” field.
  • Repeat this process for each of the items on the list.

Confirming the Inventory

The inventory is confirmed once all the counts that are being done have been filled in.

If there are any Inventory Lines that do not have a quantity filled in then the “Empty Quantity” field must be filled in, this is so the system knows what to do with these lines. In the “Empty Quantity” field select one of:

  • Empty - Meaning: lines with a blank quantity indicate that none of the product was found and so its quantity should therefore be reduced to zero.
  • Keep - Meaning: No change should be made to the stock level of the lines that have a blank quantity (these lines were simply not counted or looked at).

Note: @coogor, this is where you are encountering the An option for empty quantity is missing for inventory "3". error message. It is trying to tell you that for the inventory with 3 in the “Number” field the “Empty Quantity” field needs filling in with one of the two options (“Empty” or “Keep”).

TL;DR - Some Notes

Note: I can provide a patch for the below suggestions if you think that would be easier to see and review them there instead.

I have noticed that often when people are first using Tryton, and are trying to find out how much stock there is, they will commonly look in “Inventories” first. This is because inventory can mean the entire stock of a business, including materials, components, work in progress, and finished product (especially in accounting). Also the name of the “Locations” menu item does not give them any indication that they can find the stock levels by opening it. Renaming “Inventories” to “Stock Counts” may be something to consider, along with renaming the top most “Locations” menu item (although at the moment I’m not sure what you could rename it to).

Based on my understanding (in the examples above) of how the inventories work, there are some field and button names that I find slightly misleading.

  • Inventories:

    • Field “Empty Quantity” -> This sounds a bit like an action, a bit like it might empty the quantity. Perhaps, “Missing Quantities” or “Omitted Quantities” with options of “Reduce Stock to Zero” and “Ignore Lines”, although I am open to suggestions on this one.
    • Button “Complete” -> This suggests that by pressing the button the inventory will then be done, which on first use makes you reluctant to press it. How about “Update Lines”?
    • Button “Count” -> I’m not too sure about this button name either, to me it suggests that it will count something. It might be better as “Enter Counts”?
  • Inventory Lines:

    • Field: “Quantity” -> It seems more natural to call this field “Actual Quantity”, because this is the quantity that is actually there. Commonly, “expected” values will be provided, or plotted on a graph, against “actual” values when showing data.
  • Count Wizard:

    • Field: “Resulting Quantity” -> This shows the sum of the inventory line “Quantity” field and the “Added Quantity” field. If many lines for the same product have been entered, then it is the total from all of them, so I suggest it might be better to be called “Total Quantity”.
    • Field: “Added Quantity” -> I can see how the name of this field has given rise to some misunderstanding, as I don’t think it is immediately clear what this quantity is added to/from. It might be better to just call it “Quantity”.

As far as the error message goes:

I like this suggestion, but maybe it would be better to say “value” instead of “option”? Perhaps:

And, as a final note:

Yes, I think there must also be a gap in my knowledge, as I too fail to understand why 1 is a good default value for this field.

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@dave thanks a lot for your detailed description. Many points confirm my understanding on how inventory counting works, and let me add some comments:

The option what you have multiple times the same material in the same storage location is not a scenario that I had in mind. Here the counting wizard helps fixing ‘the mess’. But I bet this will not be the only problem you have then…

If you are doing Zero counting on an empty bin, it is just the characteristic that there is no material with stock in it. So you could use the ‘Empty quantity’ Option ‘Empty’ instead. Saves you some clicks.

Yes, it basically means the ‘inventory count cycle’ with the number three. Or ‘stock counting document’. I trust you have a better wording.

Thanks for your confirmation.

@coogor thanks for taking the time to read my reply.

Indeed, it’s definitely not the best way of “organizing” a stock room.

Yes, good point, I guess you could create the inventory, manually add just those three lines to it, and put “Empty” into the “Empty Quantity” field, and then confirm it.