Delivery Slots files usually contain a large number of lines and cannot feasibly be created manually.
A macro-enabled spreadsheet can be used to generate the files instead.
The creation, loading, and maintenance of Delivery Slots files should be the responsibility of the supplier, working alongside respective customers where appropriate.
Please see P2P&I - Creating and Loading Delivery Logic Files for more information on delivery logic.
Creating Delivery Slots files using the Slots File Generator
A copy of the the Delivery Slots File Generator spreadsheet can be found attached to this article - scroll to the bottom.
Please note: The Delivery Slots File Generator will currently only work when using Excel in a 32-bit mode. This can be achieved by running Excel in 'Windows 7' using the 'Program Compatibility Troubleshooter' in Windows 10.
The spreadsheet contains two 'sheets' - Main & Data. See Fig.1 below.
Fig.1 - Main and Data sheets
On the Main sheet, there are some fields that require populating.
Fig.2 - Main sheet configuration options
- Supplier Name – for reference only. Has no bearing on the actual contents of the generated file
- First Date – from when the delivery logic period should start
- Last Date – when the delivery logic period should end
- Cut Off Time (M-F Order Day) – the cut off time for orders placed Mon-Fri
- Cut Off Time (Sat Order Day) – the cut off time for orders placed Sat
- Cut Off Time (Sun Order Day) – the cut off time for orders placed Sun
- Default Slot Start Time – the time of day that the delivery slot begins (is often 00:00:00)
- Default Slot End Time – the time of day that the delivery slot ends (is often 23:59:00)
- First Line number – useful if creating multiple files to join together
The Data sheet is where the core delivery logic data is input.
- Unit Name – for reference only. Has no bearing on the actual contents of the generated file
- Unit Code – this is the ‘Supplier’s Code for Unit’: The unique code that the supplier uses to recognise each individual unit
- Slot Start – if left blank, the setting from the Main sheet takes effect
- Slot End – if left blank, the setting from the Main sheet takes effect
- Cut Off – if left blank, the setting from the Main sheet takes effect
- Order Day – to be populated with full weekday name
- Slot Start (day-specific) – to be populated if default start time to be overwritten
- Slot End (day-specific) – to be populated if default end time to be overwritten
All times must be input in HH:HH or HH:HH:MM format.
All weekdays must be written in full – Monday, not ‘Mon’.
Once all fields are populated as required, the slots file can be generated.
- Go to the Main sheet and select Output File
Fig.4 - The Output File button on the Main sheet
A new window will open.
- Chose a location to save the file, input a file name, and select Open
A message will appear to advise how many rows of data have been created and where it’s been saved.
Fig.5 Notification of successful file creation
Based on the data shown in Fig.2 and Fig.3, the following slots file would be generated.
1,1234,,07/03/2016 00:00,07/03/2016 23:59,04/03/2016 18:00
2,1234,,08/03/2016 00:00,08/03/2016 23:59,07/03/2016 18:00
3,1234,,04/03/2016 00:00,04/03/2016 23:59,02/03/2016 18:00
4,1234,,11/03/2016 00:00,11/03/2016 23:59,09/03/2016 18:00
5,5678,,07/03/2016 11:00,07/03/2016 14:00,03/03/2016 17:00
6,5678,,08/03/2016 08:00,08/03/2016 12:00,04/03/2016 17:00
The unit with code 1234 is able to select delivery on 07/03/2016 (a Monday). The delivery will be made between 00:00 – 23:59. To be able to select this delivery slot, the unit must place their order by 18:00 on 04/03/2016 (a Friday).
The unit with code 5678 is able to select delivery on 07/03/2016 (a Monday). The delivery will be made between 11:00 – 14:00. To be able to select this delivery slot, the unit must place their order by 17:00 on 03/03/2016 (a Thursday).
Each Delivery Slots file upload overwrites the existing data for that supplier. It is advisable to include all customer units & codes at once and generate a single ‘Master’ Delivery Slots File.