- Description of Bundles and Components
- Configure and/or Edit Bundles
- Add or Remove Components from Bundles
- Add a New Variant (IP Variant)
- Produced vs. Non-Produced Bundles
- Understanding Bundle Forecasts & Replenishment
- Create Assembly Orders (for Produced Bundles)
- Importing Bundles and/or IP Variants
Bundles and Components
Forecasting and replenishment is handled differently for items with a Bundle/Component relationship. A Bundle includes one or more Components (Variants) that are either pre-assembled before the sale & fulfillment of an item (produced), or immediately after the sale occurs (non-produced). Configuring bundles properly is key to ensure that enough components are ordered to cover the needs of its individual sales (if applicable) + the sales as part of bundles.
- Bundles are viewed by setting the location dropdown in the top-left to “Bundles”
- Components are viewed using the “Variants” view.
Tip: Adding “Bundle Component = Yes” as a filter narrows the table down to variants that are connected to bundles.
When assembling or manufacturing finished goods, the end product will be a 'bundle' in Inventory Planner. The component parts or raw goods will be viewed as 'variants'. Demand for components and finished products of assemblies, work orders, and BOM (bill of materials) can be managed using Inventory Planner's bundle functionality.
Configure or Edit Bundles
Inventory Planner considers the relationship between bundles & components in order to generate accurate replenishment recommendations. Inventory Planner does not manage the stock of bundles - this should be handled through an inventory management system, or through a 3rd party application for creating bundles and managing bundle stock.
If you use an inventory management system that supports bundles/kitting natively, Inventory Planner automatically detects bundles and associates sales with their respective components/variants. Bundles still need to be classified as Produced or Non-Produced bundles in Inventory Planner (see explanation below).
For Sales Platforms (eg. Shopify, BigCommerce, and others that don't support bundles by default) there are two separate stages:
- Connect an application from your marketplace to create bundles and manage bundle stock.
- Designate bundles and assign components in Inventory Planner using the steps below (or through CSV import using steps at the bottom of this article).
To designate an item as a Bundle - find the item under Replenishment using the ‘Variants’ view, then select Details;
Then select the Bundles tab within Details, and mark the SKU as a “Bundle”.
Note: if you are connected through an inventory management system, you will see the existing bundle/component relationships here.
Add or Remove Components from Bundles
Next, add all components with their corresponding quantities. Components can be removed by clicking the trash can icon on the right of each component quantity.
Add New Variant
If there is a component of your bundle that is not sold individually, you can create an IP Variant by clicking on Add New Variant. An IP Variant only exists in Inventory Planner.
Note: This is not for creating a new product that will be added to your platform to be sold on its own. A new product for sale should be created on your platform then synced to Inventory Planner.
Produced vs. Non-Produced Bundle
A Non-Produced Bundle is assembled immediately after the sale occurs. There is one pile of component inventory in this case, and it can be sold in different ways (eg. individual vs. multi-packs).
Example: The store sells tennis balls to customers in packs of 5, or as individual units. All stock of tennis calls is stored together in their warehouse. Once a pack of 5 is sold, the store fulfills the customer order. This reduces both the bundle stock and component stock.
A Produced Bundle is assembled prior to the sale & fulfillment of an item. Note: All bundles associated with FBA are considered Produced Bundles. Amazon only carries finished goods/produced bundles.
Example: The store sells tennis balls as a pre-assembled 5-pack. Individual tennis balls are tracked and ordered from a supplier, then assembled into 5-packs (at any location) before they can be sold and fulfilled.
A bundle can be marked as a Produced Bundle in Details > Bundles > checking the “Produced Bundles” box.
You can enable Produced Bundles By Default under your Account Settings to apply this setting storewide.
Using bulk actions, you can change bundles from Produced Bundles to Non-Produced Bundles and vice versa. From the Bundle view on the Replenishment page, select bundles using the checkboxes on the left side of the screen. Then select Bulk Actions > Set Produced Bundle.
Then select the correct setting for these bundles and click Apply.
Understanding Bundle Forecasts & Replenishment
Inventory Planner forecasts the needs for Variants (components) differently for Non-Produced Bundles vs. Produced Bundles. By taking 2 separate examples we can break down the replenishment recommendations.
In this example, we sell t-shirts either as individual units (SKU BW345) or as multi-packs of 5 (SKU BW345-X5). All t-shirts come from the same pile of inventory, we just pick and fulfill orders based on the way they are purchased.
- Since we are picking orders from the same pile of inventory, we only need to order components using the Variants view.
- By selecting the Details icon > then the Bundles tab, you can see the Sales Breakdown from bundles vs. variants. The sales are merged together, so that the Forecast and Replenishment recommendations consider the total sales.
- The merged sales in Details > Bundles match with the Past Sales that are used in the Replenishment & Forecast tab.
- Now you can select the Variant and create a Purchase Order (or Transfer Order) for the Replenishment recommendation amount.
In this example, we have a pre-assembled Gift Set (Bundle SKU GB01) that includes 2 components: Variant SKUs FRENCH-CONN (Bag) + LB456234 (Belt).
- Inventory Planner starts with creating a replenishment recommendation for the Bundle, taking into consideration its forecasted sales during the planning period.
- The next step is clicking into Details > Bundles to see how the Bundle is defined. In this example, we have one bag and one belt that are part of the Bundle.
- By clicking on the Variant name (French Connection, straw bag), Inventory Planner opens a new tab displaying Replenishment details for the Variant.
Interpreting Metrics for Produced Bundles
- Stock: 705 represents the current available stock.
- "in bundles”: 491 represents additional/separate units that have already been assembled into final goods.
- On Order: Represents the number of components on order from the supplier.
- Stock Allocated For Bundles: 1,072 represents the additional components needed to cover the Replenishment recommendation of bundles.
- Forecast: 1,250 represents the forecasted sales for this Variant on its own. This number does not include any sales from the Bundle.
- Replenishment: 751 combines the Replenishment recommendation for the Variant + the additional units needed (above and beyond what is currently on order) to cover Replenishment recommendations for the Bundle.
- Revenue: Revenue is assigned to components proportionally to the components' retail prices (configured in Details -> Bundles). If components do not have retail prices, then revenue is assigned proportionally to the components quantities in bundle.
- Tip: Lead Times should be configured separately for Bundles vs. Components (Variants). For a Produced Bundle, Lead Time is the total time it takes from creating an order to the completion of an assembly. For the Variant, Lead Time is the time it takes from creating an order to receiving parts at a warehouse.
Now you can select the Variant and create a Purchase Order (or Transfer Order) for the Replenishment recommendation amount.
Once the order is received at your warehouse and Inventory Planner syncs to pull the latest stock information from your connected system, you can Create an Assembly Order from the ‘Bundles’ view in the Replenishment screen. This creates an order to convert components in bundles (final goods).
Assembly Orders (for Produced Bundles)
Not all Inventory Management Systems support the ability to push/pull Assembly Orders between systems. In this case, there are two options:
- Configure the stock assembly directly in your inventory management system. Your IMS will track the stock of components and bundles based on assemblies, then Inventory Planner will sync the new stock levels. Replenishment recommendations will adjust based on the updated stock levels.
- You can build and track components as IP Variants directly in Inventory Planner. This method allows you to manually track the stock of Variants. The stock of an IP Variant will increase when Purchase Orders are received, and will decrease with the creation of Assembly (or Transfer) Orders.
If your Inventory Management System supports the ability to push/pull Assembly Orders between systems, assemblies can be created in Inventory Planner then received/assembled in the IMS.
For Sales Platforms (eg. Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce), Inventory Planner allows you to increase stock in your store after receiving an order. Once an PO is received, an option appears to Increase Stock of the Variant. Once an Assembly order is received (assembled), you have the option to Increase Stock of the Bundle.
IP Variants can also be built and tracked manually for components that are not sold in your store, but are necessary for assembling final/sellable goods.
Creating an Assembly Order
To create an Assembly Order, use the 'Bundles' view in Replenishment.
- Select the Bundle that you'd like to assemble, then click the arrow next to "New PO for Bundles" to see additional options. Select "New Assembly for Bundles";
- The number of units to assemble will correlate with the Replenishment needs for the Bundle (1,072 bundles from the example above).
- Clicking "Fix Insufficient Stock" limits the number of Bundles to assemble based on the available stock of its Variants. This reduces the Qty to order.
- Once an Assembly Order is saved, you will find it in the Purchase Orders tab. Add a Filter for 'Type = Assembly' to see Assembly Orders.
- After receiving/assembling the Assembly Order, there will be an option to Increase Stock of the Bundle in your store.
Create a spreadsheet with the following information in 3-10 total columns and including a column title for each:
- Bundle SKU or other identifier such as Title, ID (used by your sales platform), Inventory Planner ID, Vendor Reference, or Barcode.
- Component/Variant SKU or other identifier such as Title, ID (used by your sales platform), Inventory Planner ID, Vendor Reference, or Barcode.
- The Quantity of Components included in the respective bundle.
- Component Retail Price (Optional)
- Designating a Produced Bundle, enter "1" if so (Optional)
- Manage Components Stock Based On Bundle Sales, enter "1" if so (Optional)
Here is a template you can use for creating this spreadsheet. The import spreadsheet does not need to follow this format (columns may be in any order), though all columns do require a title.
Template for Bundle Import
Additionally you can Create IP Variants via CSV import. By checking the box for "Create IP Variants for non-existing components", additional (optional) fields will appear to add more information on IP Variants including:
- IP Variant Title.
- IP Variant Barcode.
- IP Variant Vendor.
- IP Variant Cost Price.
Go to Replenishment > Import > Bundles.
Click Select File and then select the spreadsheet you've created with bundle data.
In the import dialog, be sure to select the correct identifier. SKU will be the identifier used by default.
Match dropdown fields to the correct column in your imported CSV. When all fields are matched to the corresponding field in Inventory Planner, select Upload.