Start-up Wizards and Demo Data

When the user first logs in to a new instance of OpenBoxes, a wizard will open that provides a walkthrough of some of the basic system setup. This wizard is designed to help new users configure the system - advanced users can skip if if they want to do the configuration themselves.

Loading and Unloading Demo Data

Upon log-in, a screen will open welcoming the user to OpenBoxes, and asking if they want to load demo data. The demo data is a simple package of products, locations, and other data that will allow the user to interact with the system without preparing and loading their own data package. This is great for users who want to learn about OpenBoxes before they start building their own instance. Click “Load Demo Data” to move forward with a demo version of OpenBoxes.

Once the user is done trying out the system, they can delete the demo data and reset the instance. See unloading demo data for more information.

For users that are ready to create their own data, choose “Create a location” to go straight to the location configuration wizard.

Location Configuration Wizard

The location configuration wizard will walk you through the creation of your first location.

If you already have a list of locations, choose “Import Location List” to create multiple locations via an excel import. Otherwise, proceed to the next step to go through the depot creation process.

The first page of the location screen is the details page. On this page, you provide some basic information about your location. Each field has a tooltip describing how to fill in the field. For a field-by-field guide to location creation, see “Creating Locations.”

For your first location, the location type is automatically set to “Depot.” A depot is a location that users can log into to track inventory and send and receive shipments. You can also use this page to create other types of locations, but depots are the most important and most complex locations, so it is good to start by creating a depot.

A note about supported activities: Supported activities are set automatically based on the the location type you choose, but they can also be customized. For depots in particular, here are some customizations you may want to consider:

  • Disable bin tracking: Depots automatically start out with bin tracking functionality. Items are received into a receiving bin and need to be putaway into a regular bin. All shipments out must be picked from specific bins. If you have a very small depot with no labeled bins, you may want to turn this feature off and just track by product. To do this, remove “putaway stock” and “pick stock” from the supported activities.

  • Enable packing screen on outbound shipments: By default, shipments out from depots do not include an option to indicate packing units in the shipment. The packing list simply shows the items and quantities. For depots creating large shipments, it is possible to turn on a packing feature so users can organize an outgoing packing list into pallets and boxes. To turn on the feature, add the “Pack shipment” supported activity.

  • Disable purchase orders: By default, depots are allowed to create purchase orders to vendors. To disable purchase orders for this depot, remove the “place purchase order” supported activity.

  • Require budget coding for POs: For depots using purchase orders, OpenBoxes does not require users to enter GL account codes or budget codes by default. If you want all purchase order lines to have an associated General Ledger account and budget code, add the “Require Accounting” activity code.

Choose next to go to the address page. Here, you can enter an address for your location. This address appears in purchase orders and can be added to custom document templates.

On the next page, you can create zones and bins for your location. This is only available for depots where bin location tracking is enabled (it is enabled by default). Bins represent a physical location where product is stored. Traditionally, they indicate a particular rack or pallet position, but they can be configured however the user needs. Bins can be organized into Zones, which represent a larger area of the warehouse. For example, there might be several bins representing different shelfs in a cold room, with the Zone representing the room itself. Both zones and bins are optional, but if you choose not to use bin tracking at all, the best approach is to turn off the feature in the supported activities (see above).

On the final page, the user can set parameters to be used in forecasting for this location.

Users can set a default lead time for all products to this location in days, which will be used in the forecast report to predict when items will arrive. The default replenishment period represents how often items are reordered in this location; for example a location that sends a request to a central depot once per month would have a replenishment period of 30 days. Finally, the demand period is the number of days of past data considered in calculating average demand. For example, if your demand time period days setting is 180, average demand will be calculated based on transactions and requests within the past 180 days.

All of these settings are defaults for the location across all products. There is also a separate mechanism to set different values for each individual product. When there is not value for the individual product, the location default will be used.

Press next, and you are finished creating your first location! You will see options to create another location or to return to the location list screen. From here, you can also proceed to the wizard for creating products, which is essential before you can import inventory into your new depot.