Inflight attachment is a feature specific to Dropship, JIT, and 3PL items. There may be times when you need to order extra units of Dropship/JIT/3PL items for storage at your own warehouse. For example, you may have a forthcoming promotion for which you expect high sales volume. You want to order inventory in preparation to minimize the time processing and shipping orders.
However, in the time it takes the vendor to send the inventory to you, customers may place orders for that item. Rather than ordering yet more units to fulfill their orders, you can link the item to your order. As customers place orders on that item, the customers’ orders “attach inflight” to your order so that they are fulfilled by the extra units you ordered. In other words, as customers place their orders, they're essentially reserving units from your order.
For example, say you’re planning a promotion for Dropship Item A so you order 25 units of Item A in preparation. Before the vendor can send you those, customers place orders for 5 units of Item A. Instead of ordering another 5 units on top of the original 25 (a total of 30 units), the customer orders will “attach inflight” to your order. Your order will fulfill those 5 units and leave you with 20 more (a total of 25 units).
When can customer orders attach inflight to the retailer’s PO?
Customer orders can start attaching inflight once the PO’s status has changed to Submitted.
Inflight attachment stops when either one of the following two occurs:
- When the order has exceeded the vendor’s Inflight/Viable (days) setting (read the article, “Set Up Vendors for Dropship or JIT”, for more info). If left blank, this setting will default to 10 days, meaning that customer orders can attach inflight for up to 10 days after the PO’s status changes to Submitted; OR
- When any item has been received against the PO, turning the PO’s status to Receiving.
Why am I getting a system alert saying “PO Detach - PO No Longer Considered Viable”?
POs are considered viable in the period of time when they can accept inflight attachments. However, if that period expires and there are items on the PO that have still not been received against the PO, the customer orders associated with those items will “detach” from the PO, triggering the system alert.
So if the PO hasn’t arrived at all before the end of the Inflight/Viable (days) setting for the vendor, none of the items have been received so the customer orders for those items will detach and trigger a system alert.
Customer orders will also detach if the Post Receipt Viable (days) setting for the vendor has been reached. If left blank, the setting defaults to one (1) day. That means that when an item is first received against a PO, the PO is only viable for 24 hours afterward. All items on the PO must be received in that time frame. If there are any items on the PO that haven’t been received in that time, the customer orders for those items will detach and trigger a system alert.
Once customer orders detach from their original POs, they cycle back seeking other means of fulfillment. RO scans existing POs to try to attach the customer orders elsewhere. If none are found, RO will generate a new PO.