There are four quantity columns available in Stock to increase the clarity of your inventory.
The "Available" column is the quantity of available items. Available items are those that have not been allocated to a project.
The "Allocated" column is the quantity of items that have been allocated to a project. Allocations happen in one of two ways:
Receiving the item on a Purchase Order. This means you added the item to a project in the Builder tab, went to the Purchasing tab of that project, selected the item and generated a Purchase Order by clicking Order Items, then received that Purchase Order in Stock. (This also assigns the item to the project, automatically.)
Using the Pull from Stock button. This means you added the item to a project in the Builder tab, went to the Purchasing tab of that project, selected the item and clicked Pull from Stock to pull from your "Available" quantity in Stock.
The "Assigned" column is the quantity of items that have been assigned to a project. Assignment happens in one of two ways:
Receiving the item on a Purchase Order. This is the same as when an item is allocated (as you just read earlier). By receiving a Purchase Order, the item is actually allocated and assigned to a project.
Manually assigning items to a project. This means, while in Stock, you clicked on an item's serial number (or N/A), selected a project from the Ready To Assign These Items To A Project? dropdown menu, and clicked Submit. (The projects that appear in this dropdown menu are projects that have this particular item allocated to them, either through a Purchase Order or being Pulled from Stock, as outlined in the Allocated section above).
NOTE: Items can be allocated and not assigned, but items cannot be assigned without being allocated first.
The "Total" column is the total quantity of items between what's available and what's been allocated/assigned.
Allocated and Assigned: An Analogy
Allocation and assignment could seem a little confusing at first, but think of it in terms of how a car rental company works--thank you, Seinfeld.
(This isn't a perfect example, or course, but it can help to explain how an item is allocated and then assigned.)
You're going on a trip in a month and you'll need a car. You go to your preferred car rental company's website and select a car make/model to rent. Let's say you select a Toyota Camry. You didn't actually pick a Toyota Camry with a specific license plate or color--just a Toyota Camry in general. So, the car rental company allocates a Toyota Camry to you.
Now, a month goes by and you're on your trip. You land at your destination and proceed to the car rental company to pick up your rental car. At that point (or perhaps a few days beforehand), the rental car company assigns to you a specific Toyota Camry with a certain color and license plate.
Now you are driving a rental car that has been both allocated and assigned to you.
Having both allocation and assignment allows the car rental company to ensure that you will have a car when you arrive, while also not forcing the company to set aside the exact car too far in advance.
This analogy isn't perfect. This analogy really works best for items manually added into Stock, as read about in the first part of this Stock article.
When you receive an item into Stock via a Purchase Order generated in a project, it will automatically allocate then assign the item to that project (as stated previously in this article), so this is more akin to the car rental company setting aside a car for you with a specific license plate and color at the time you booked it online.
We hope this helps! Please reach out to us in support chat if you have any questions 🙂