Definition: Inventory Management is a way of managing your product stock levels across multiple sales channels and physical locations.
Inventory Management is vital to the smooth running of any eCommerce business and to get started you simply need a list of your product SKU's and the quantity of each you have. Inventory Management is a "multi-channel" feature as stock must be managed across multiple routes to market.
As soon as you enable Inventory Management, you will not be able to fully process orders without the available stock to fulfil these. i.e. your stock is never allowed to go below 0 for allocation.
Inventory is managed from a central Inventory Transactions log, which sits outside of your sales channels and holds information about your SKU's and their whereabouts. Regardless of the channel the stock is allocated from, the inventory management log will track this information and ensure all your sales channels are up to date.
iPages allows you to understand different stock levels i.e. what you have at the warehouse vs. what you are able to sell on the website. Stock locations can be separate buildings or warehouses i.e. Garage vs Warehouse or separate sections of your warehouse.
Here are the different stock levels:
- STK: Physically on the shelf in the warehouse
- PRE: Pre-allocated
- ALL: Allocated
- OH: 'On hand' stock level:
- OO: Stock on order with your suppliers
When a customer orders an SKU, the 'STK" level is reduced, and the stock is 'pre-allocated' or ring-fenced for this customer. Stock moves from being pre-allocated to allocated, when a Good's out note is created.
There are a few ways to add inventory:
- Through a Purchase Order of the SKU
- Through a stock take
- Through an Inventory Warehouse Transfer: transferring an SKU from one location to another