And it's packed with a large number of new functionalities!
In the list below you'll notice important extra functionalities as we have put a large focus into the user-friendliness of the application.
Manage inventory policies with rules
As the number of item x locations grows in a supply chain, managing inventory planning parameters at item-location level quickly becomes labor-intensive, ineffective and error-prone.
The frePPLe 4.1 release introduces the concept of segments. A segment is a collection of item x location combinations defined by item and location attributes: eg. "fast movers in warehouse").
You can attach business rules to these segments: eg "minimum service level is 98% for fast movers in warehouse".
Segments can also be used for filtering purpose in the Inventory Planning screen.
Demand outlier handling
Exceptional demand spikes can significantly skew the forecast calculations. FrePPLe already recognized and filtered such exceptional demands in previous releases.
In frePPLe 4.1, a new problem type is created and the outliers can easily be spotted and reviewed by the planner.
Intuitive color-coding for prioritization
Even in small models the number of purchase orders, manufacturing orders, and distribution orders can already be significant.
We are introducing an intuitive color-coding scheme to make it easier for the planner to identify where his/her attention is required: which open purchase orders should I expedite? which new manufacturing orders should be launched soon?
This feature is currently in first version only: we will refine the concepts and workflows in the next development cycles.
Inventory rebalancing proposals
FrePPLe can now propose to return excess inventory from child locations back to the source warehouse. Once it arrives in the source warehouse, the inventory can be redistributed to other locations where the material is better utilized.
User interface enhancements
Richer operation plan reports
The "purchase order", "distribution order", "manufacturing order", "resource detail" and "inventory detail" screens now have a new section at the bottom.
It displays full details on the one or more lines the user has selected in the top list.
Improved constraints in the inventory planning
So far you had to choose whether inventory planning parameters were based on 1) a calculated proposal, 2) a quantity OR 3) a period of cover.
Now you can combine constraints of these 3 types, eg. "safety stock should provide a minimum service level of 95%, but not exceed 100 units and should cover at least 1 week of demand".
Screens can now also be personalized in the community edition
In earlier releases, only the enterprise & cloud editions had this capability.
Many reports now have a whole series of extra fields
The extra fields are initially hidden and can be added to the report when appropriate.
The distribution menu is removed
The three items that composed the distribution menu (Distribution Orders, Item Distributions, and Distribution Planning) were moved into the Inventory menu.
The Distribution Planning screen is renamed to Inventory Planning screen.
Added Russian translations
Leading and trailing space are now trimmed when uploading Excel files
In 99% of situations, they lead to difficult to diagnose errors, while they are intentional in only 1% of the cases.
Data model changes
Renamed the field item.price to item.cost
FrePPLe is now consistently only using cost information across the application.
Removed foreign keys constraint to the buffer table
A number of internal tables had a foreign key to the buffer table. They now have 2 other fields: a foreign key to the item table, and a foreign key to the location table.
This makes modeling easier as one is no longer obliged to populate all item + locations combinations in the buffer table.
Auto-population of the forecast table
The forecast table can be populated automatically with the item + location + customer combinations that are found in the demand history.
The data loading wizard had this capability for a while already, but we found that many planners want to automate this logic in their planning script.
Updated week definition
In earlier releases, there were weeks with fewer days at each year change. This creates an incorrect forecast when using weekly buckets. All weeks now take exactly 7 days.
Performance improvements in forecasting, data export and data import
Improved capabilities to upload CSV flat files from a data folder, optionally in gzipped format.
REST API updates
The REST API web service has a new method to export the demand plan detail results. This is useful for external systems interested in this information.
Third party component updates
Django is upgraded to 1.8.18, which is a security update. All other third-party components remain at the same level as our previous release.
Bye bye Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer doesn’t perform very well with the modern HTML5 web technologies used in frePPLe. And Microsoft is no longer keeping this browser up to standards.
Microsoft users can use the Edge browser, in which Microsoft is continuing development and support for modern HTML5 web technologies.