- The parent folder name is shown.
You can click on "Show..." to display the Need Folder Properties
page for the need's parent folder.
- You can click on "Change folder..." to move the need to a new location
in the need tree by changing
its parent folder. This will display the Need Browser
in its "Get a folder" mode.
- You can view or edit the need's name.
- You can provide a free-text description of the need.
- You can provide free-text notes about the need.
- (Optional) You can specify a location for the need.
- (Optional) You can specify a user of the need.
- (Optional) You can specify a purpose for the need.
- You can specify a Quantity of the need that you want to hold.
This will be one (1) by default.
This only applies for durable and apparel-type needs,
since supplies use
usage rates to determine how much should be held.
- You can specify a priority for the need.
This will be "3-NORMAL" by default.
This will allow you to filter out lower priority needs from your shopping list.
- You can specify the need status.
- (Optional) You can specify start and end dates for the period during which you would like the
need to be active. Leaving either or both empty means that there is no restriction on that end.
This panel displays data about how this need's assets should be managed in inventory.
That is, this need's inventory management data
will be inherited by assets added to cover this need.
See the Inventory Management Data Panel.
The need's inventory management data is not used for aging assets once they're purchased.
Here's how it is used:
- When you add a new asset and assign it to cover a need,
the need's inventory management data is loaded ("inherited")
by default to use for the asset's inventory management data.
You can use it "as is" or change it.
When you save the new asset, it will use its own inventory management data to age itself.
- The need's usage rates units are the basis for the unit prices that are calculated and displayed for the need.
Also, only assets with matching unit types (e.g. count, weight, volume) will be included in
unit price calculations for this need. Others will be ignored.
- Only assets with units that match the need's usage rate units types (e.g. count, weight, volume) will be
included in usage rate analyses such as the one on the Usage Rate Analysis page.
So, in summary, you use the need's inventory management data as a default for new assets,
and to determine how you want unit prices displayed,
and to determine how you want usage rate analyses performed.
This page provides the inventory status of all current assets available to cover this need.
For each row, the information available is identical to that in the Asset Properties Page - Quick Updates Panel.
The Buying Advice section provides summaries of data
about how you've purchased and used products in the past,
presented in an action-oriented format.
You can use this advice to improve your purchasing decisions.
This report shows the average price paid at each merchant from which you've purchased assets to cover this need.
Therefore you can rank merchants by their prices.
You must use this report carefully. For example, it may only be valuable when you've bought
enough products from each merchant to get a valid average price. Even then, the results may not
be statistically significant. But that being said, it's obviously useful when used with judgement
and your other knowledge of how the data was obtained. Also, at minimum it does provide samples,
which can be useful for ranking merchants.
Best and worst buys
This shows the actual best and worst buys you've gotten on assets to cover this need,
along with the merchant, the date, and any notes you recorded for the purchase.
This is one reason why it's good to record notes on an "unusual" purchase,
so that you can see them here to explain why you got an especially good or bad price.
Automatic Buying Advice
This automatic buying advice report begins to become accurate
when you've gathered enough data (roughly 5 assets or more).
It calculates a distribution of prices at which you've purchased the product,
and recommends an amount to buy at each price based on your usage rates and
your shopping schedule for that need's top folder.
It's also used to tie you directly with sellers for automatic buying.
A summary of the underlying data is provided on the left-hand side
to help you judge the accuracy of the recommendations.
In particular, check the sample size ("Number of prices") to assure that it's large enough.
The great, good, average, poor, and awful prices are calculated using
simple equations for a normal distribution of prices.
For those who understand basic statistics, they are calculated as follows:
- Great: The mean minus two standard deviations
- Good: The mean minus one standard deviation
- Average: The mean
- Poor: The mean plus one standard deviation
- Awful: The mean plus two standard deviations
Of course, you must exercise judgment when using this report,
since it assumes that prices follow a normal distribution
and it assumes that past prices are an indicator of future prices.
But, for example, if you know that a price hike or a price cut will
be coming soon for some product, it would make sense to stock up or hold off, respectively.
See How To... Use My Shopping Schedules for
a more advanced use of this report.
Product cost-per-day rankings
This report will be provided in a future release.
- You may have assets that have different standard units than the need they cover.
For example, your asset's units are "oz" but the need's units are "count".
Only assets with matching units will be included in unit price calculations
and the basic automatic buying advice report.
However, all assets will be shown in the "Best and worst buys" and "Seller performance" reports.
This panel just displays the list of individual assets used to cover the need.
These are the assets used to create the Buying Advice provided in the previous panel.
- You can select a date range with which to filter the assets displayed,
then press "Go" to view the results.
- You can click on a hyperlink column heading to sort the list by that field.
- You can click on the asset name to pop up the Asset Properties page.
When you're finished, press "OK: Save" to save the data or
"Cancel" to close the page without saving.
You can also press "Delete" to delete the need and all its assets, past and future, from the database.