The aim of this article is to thoroughly explain how Site Flow calculates SLAs (service level agreements) and the Ship by dates, and how you can manage Site Flow settings to fully understand and control your orders and production.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The following terms are critical to understanding the Site Flow order process:
|SLA||Short for "service level agreement"; it is the length of time (in days) that it takes to produce a SKU (stock keeping unit) as agreed upon by the PSP and the brand. The SLA days count begins at 0, so an SLA of three days is counted as 0, 1, 2, 3.|
|Arrival cut off time||The time before which the order must be received in order for the day to be considered the first day of production (day 0).|
|Production cut off hour||The time by which production must finish to make the ship by date.|
|"Ship by" date||The date that the order needs to be shipped from the PSP to the customer.|
|Production start date||The determined start date of a production. Marked by printready status. Begins the releasing of buckets into production.|
|Production start time||If the order arrives in Site Flow before the Arrival Cut Off Time, the Production Start time is the same as the Order create time.|
If the order arrives after the Arrival Cut Off Time, the Production Start time is set to midnight (0:00) the following day.
|Production end date||The date is set to the Ship by date (see above).|
|Production end time||The time determined by the Production Cut Off Hour.|
The following settings have an influence on the SLA and Ship by date calculation.
To view and adjust your Operating Times, navigate to SETUP > COMPANY > Settings > Operations.
To view Carrier pick-up times, navigate to SHIPPING > CONFIGURATION > Shipping Methods and select the desired shipping method from the list. The times are shown on the right side of the Edit Shipping Method menu.
The pick-up time is only used to calculate the Ship by date/time, which is not visible in the UI.
By default, the time is set to 16:00.
The SKU configuration (found in PRODUCTS > PRODUCTS > View SKUs) contains the SLA Min Days, SLA Days (default), Arrival Cut Off Time, and Production Cut Off Hour.
You can set the Arrival Cut Off time to 23:59 if you do not want to restrict the order arrival time. This means that the Production Start time (Day 0) will always be at the time the order is received in Site Flow.
Dates and details
If no custom Ship by date and/or SLA days are provided in the order data, the Ship by date will be calculated based on the default SLA days value, as configured in SKU settings. The Ship by date is calculated once the order gets printready.
When the order is in dataready status, Ship by date is blank and only the SLA (either default SLA Days or as provided in the order data) is shown.
Once the order status changes to printready you can see the calculated Ship by date.
At this point, Site Flow will correct the SLA days or Ship by date, if needed. Any changes to the Ship by date or SLA days are entered in the Order Log.
Production start date is calculated once the order gets to printready status by subtracting the SLA days from the Ship by date.
Consider the following example scenario:
- An order is submitted to Site Flow on September 6th at 9:00.
- All line items in the order have an SLA of three days.
- The Arrival Cut-Off time is 10:00.
- The Production Cut-Off hour is 16:00.
- Carrier pick-up time is every day at 17:00.
In this case. the Production Start Date and time will be equal to the Order created time because the order is received in Site Flow before the Arrival Cut Off time of 10:00. The timetable will look like this:
|SKU||Mon 6 Sept||Tues 7 Sept||Wed 8 sept||Thur 9 Sept|
|Status||Order Received before Arrival Cut Off Time||Ship by date |
|Time||Order created at 10:25 (Production start)||Production end at 16:00|
Carrier pick-up at 17:00
|SLA days||0 ||1 ||2 ||3 |
Let's consider a similar example: a nearly identical order as above arrives after the Arrival Cut Off Time. In this case, the Production start date will be the following day. Given the SLA of three days, the Ship by date will be one day later than the example above.
|SKU||Mon 6 Sept||Tues 7 Sept||Wed 8 sept||Thur 9 Sept||Fri 10 Sept|
|Status||Order Received after Arrival Cut Off Time. Therefore, Production starts at midnight the following day.||Ship by date|
|Time||Order created at 10:25||Production starts at 00:00|
Production end at 16:00
Carrier Pick-up date at 17:00
|SLA days||X ||0 ||1 ||2 ||3 |
Once calculated by Site Flow, the Production start and end dates and times are shown on the Batch Stats page:
The Start time and SLA are visible on the Batch Details page:
Every item in a given order has its own SLA. The following points apply to all orders containing more than one item:
- The longest SLA is used to calculate the Ship by date. This is to ensure that the PSP has sufficient time to produce every item in an order.
- The shortest SLA is used to calculate the Bucket close time.
- It is possible to assign multiple SKUs - and therefore multiple SLAs - to a product.
The Ship by date is either submitted by the brand in the order data, or calculated by Site Flow.
To submit it via the order data: include shipByDate in the shipments section of the order JSON like this:
In addition, it is possible to include the slaDays and the canShipEarly values in the order data.
Orders that can ship early are set to do so by default in Site Flow. You may disable this by setting canShipEarly to False in your order submission. Note that you must include the shipByDate as well in order for canShipEarly to be validated.
Note: The values provided in the order data always take precedence, but they are overruled by the system if the provided values are invalid. Invalid scenarios include:
Let's consider another example. An order with an SLA of three days is submitted on Tuesday, the 23rd of March at 10:37.
Under normal circumstances production would begin immediately. However, Arrival cut off time is set to 10:00 in Site Flow. As a result, production must begin the following day at midnight.