Siebel Field Service Guide > Service Inventory > Service Inventory Overview >
Inventory locations consolidate and manage all records pertaining to service inventory. For more information, see Inventory Locations View. An inventory location can be a field engineer's trunk, a warehouse, or a portion of a warehouse, such as a shelf or an aisle. An inventory level, which specifies availability and status of an item, may be added to any location in an inventory structure.
NOTE: Inventory levels were called product buckets in previous releases of Siebel Field Service.
Building an inventory requires answers to the following questions:
- Which inventory locations does Service Inventory track, and which are tracked by other means, such as an external back-office inventory system?
- How many hierarchical levels are appropriate for each inventory location?
Different types of inventory locations can be defined. The following locations are basic to Service Inventory:
- Warehouse. Default inventory location where the inventory fulfillment and replenishment relationships are defined. Also, pick tickets are generated at this level. All other inventory locations may be defined as subcategories of the warehouse.
- Trunk. Mobile inventory that is assigned to a field service engineer. Each engineer has one trunk inventory.
- Field Office. May supply several field service engineers. It is intermediate between a warehouse and a trunk inventory.
- Virtual. A logical, rather than a physical, inventory location. One virtual inventory location named External is essential for proper functioning of inventory transactions. The External location is part of the seed data, with the ROW_ID value, VIRTUAL_INVLOC. This location allows an inventory system to receive items from the outside: a virtual inventory location is the source, while the destination is one of the physical inventory locations (for example, a shelf).
Figure 25 shows the sequence of tasks for setting up a service inventory. The steps are as follows:
- Create inventory locations and inventory types.
- Define relationships between inventory locations.
- Define inventory transactions.
- Define inventory levels.
- Configure cycle counting.
Figure 25. Setting Up a Service Inventory
Managing a trunk inventory location requires recording part movements on the field service engineer's laptop computer. Field service engineers periodically connect their laptop computers to a Siebel server and synchronize data.
To maximize performance during synchronization to and from the field service engineer's local database, docking rules control the number and context of the records that are extracted, initialized, and synchronized. Because of these rules, an engineer may not have visibility to asset records required to commit a field part movement involving a serialized product. To solve this problem, the Field Service application allows the engineer to add in asset numbers. After synchronization, an administrator reconciles the add-in asset number with the corresponding database record, and the administrator commits the transaction. After the administrator commits the transaction, the field service engineer must synchronize again to update the local database.
After the field service engineer has synchronized the laptop in the field, an administrator can use the Parts Movement Administration view. For more information about reviewing and committing transactions, see Parts Movement Administration View.