Is how you handle inventory management for your eCommerce website(s) optimized properly? Do you struggle with B2B buyers wiping out retail inventory, overselling and having to send out “restocking” notices to customers who have already had a hold put on their funding source, or being forced to absorb larger shipping costs when a specific warehouse comes up empty?
Fortunately, your ERP can help you manage inventory for B2B, retail, and hybrid eCommerce and physical operations to save you money and improve customer satisfaction. Here are several ways you can restructure your inventory management processes to avoid inventory issues and provide a better experience for your customers and for yourself as an administrator.
Dedicate Warehouse Stock
Within your ERP, you can create separate warehouse inventories. By designating a specific portion of your inventory for retail, and digitally siloing it from the rest of your product, you can prevent instances when a B2B buyer comes in and orders everything you have in stock. Your retail buyers won’t have to face disappointment due to a wiped-out inventory. You can do this for each warehouse location and designate which subsets of your inventory are available for which customer segment.
Buffer Your Available Inventory
Prevent overselling by buffering your inventory; designate a certain percentage of your total inventory for sale on your website, and only allow that percentage to show as available. Magento/Adobe Commerce has this capability, and you can import live inventory numbers with Sage or NetSuite using a percentage number instead of the real inventory. This will keep a disconnect between different systems from allowing buyers to make a purchase based on a site’s presumed inventory availability, only to be met with a restocking notice later and the frustrations that come with waiting for a card-hold to expire.
Create Warehousing Strategies
If you have invested in creating multiple warehouses across the country to optimize shipments or store cheaply, you can use these locations and your ERP to develop warehousing strategies. Decide if you need a single inventory or multiple inventories based on how your shipping strategy is structured. If you have multiple warehouse inventories in your ERP, you can bring over inventory levels to separate levels within your Adobe Commerce platform and set the business logic to leverage what warehouse inventory is showing based on ship-to location. If you have customers with multiple locations, they can access different inventories by simply changing their ship-to selection to view what’s available in the warehouse designated to serve that region. This allows them to see, access and order more from different inventory warehouses if their first option doesn’t have enough available stock.
Choose Dynamic or Scheduled Sync
When handling inventory ERP processes for a high-volume website with rapid inventory turnover, you can set your site to provide a dynamic inventory. Every time the customer loads a page, it pings for inventory and continuously keeps pinging through checkout. This allows sensitivity to when inventory is running low, so a warning can be shown to the customer. If you rarely run low, stable or dedicated levels let you sync on intervals so the site can perform better. You can choose to sync hourly, daily, twice week, or weekly.
Leverage Business Logic
If you have already consolidated in your ERP, then you can utilize erpCommerce to streamline operations and provide you with more options based on inventory management. For multiple warehouses, most ERPs out-of-the-box will consolidate the entire company-wide inventory into a single level. You can sell against online inventory, and when each order hits the ERP, business logic kicks in to determine which warehouse location should fill the order based on inventory and ship-to location.
How should your business manage inventory? If you have workflows already built out in ERP, you can leverage that. If you’re just starting out, you should create a holistic process. Pixafy can architect an erpCommerce solution that helps deliver maximum ROI. Contact us today for a conversation on how we can help you manage your inventory.