To start using Inventory Planner and to get the most out of inventory forecasting, we recommend the following steps:
- Ensure your first sync of data is underway
- Set up vendors (Optional)
- Enter cost prices (Optional)
- Provide additional product information such as seasonality (Optional)
- Set lead times and days of stock (Required - most important step for producing an accurate forecast)
First Sync of Data
Once your sales and product information is connected, the first sync will start.
The first sync can take up to few hours depending on the e-commerce platform. When it happens you pull 2 years of sales history, so that you can start using the system right after it's completed.
You will receive an email once the update process is finished and your data is ready to use.
After the first sync all others updates are incremental (when it's possible) and should be much faster.
Learn how to connect a second store in our Help Center.
Maintaining accurate and up-to-date vendor information for products is important for accurate purchase orders and metrics. Inventory Planner downloads vendor information and variant vendor details when possible (from inventory management system like Tradegecko or Brightpearl). For e-commerce system that does not have cost prices defined, there are several options:
- Upload vendor catalog for single vendor or for multiple vendors
- Create and edit vendors directly in Vendors
- When you create or edit a purchase order, you have an option to update cost price, vendor reference and other vendor data for variants and use it in subsequent purchase orders.
To learn more, read our article about uploading vendor catalogs.
Vendor list shows currently available vendors with some basic information. You can access vendor details by clicking on vendor title. Here you can also create new vendor.
Here you can edit cost prices and other information to be presented in purchase orders.
Here you can add/remove products for the vendor, edit variant information for this vendor: lead time, review period, cost price, vendor reference and more.
Here you can add/remove brands for the vendor. Adding a brand automatically adds current and future products for this brand.
Maintaining accurate cost prices will help you get the most out of Inventory Planner by viewing accurate analytics and easily creating Purchase Orders for your vendors.
Inventory Planner will automatically pull this information from your integration when it is available. Some platforms like Shopify do not have a cost field, so you will need to enter this information into Inventory Planner. You can upload a file with sku and cost prices. This will update cost prices for all vendors and variants.
You can also enter this information manually in the Replenishment report.
Additional product information can help increase the accuracy of the inventory forecast.
To remove discontinued items from your forecast, go to the Replenishment report and select items you wish to remove.
Then 'Set As Non-Replenishable'
The default view of your Replenishment report shows replenishable items. If you wish to view items that are non-replenishable, remove the Replenishable filter.
For products that are seasonal (summer apparel or holiday items), calculating the forecast for these items will be different than products that sell all year long. The forecast will be based on the same months in the prior year rather than the most recent months.
To start, select the items in your Replenishment report. Then 'Enable Seasonality' from the Bulk Actions drop-down menu.
Lead Time and Days of Stock
Before using replenishment recommendations product lead times and days of stock should be configured.
The lead time is the amount of time that elapses between placing a purchase order and receiving products.
Days of stock is a period of time for which you’d like to have enough stock, or, in other words, the stock cover.
For this example Inventory Planner recommends you to purchase 36 units of the Mango dress that will arrive in 14 days if you place your purchase order today and will cover the following 30 days.
The lead time usually depends on suppliers and it's easy to estimate. When in doubt add additional days in the lead time period.
To learn more about how to set your lead time and days of stock, read our full article.