Skip to main content
Inventory Planner 101

Getting started with Inventory Planner, and becoming familiar with the basics of forecasting, replenishment, and reporting.

Jasper avatar
Written by Jasper
Updated over a week ago

Table of contents


Logging in to Inventory Planner

To log into Inventory Planner, click “Log in” on the top right-hand side of the home screen:

You’ll be prompted to log in with your Sage account. To learn more about using your Sage ID to access Inventory Planner, click here.

Navigating Inventory Planner

Once you’ve logged in, you’ll be presented with the overview page and a menu on the left-hand side.

Overview

The overview page includes an at-a-glance view of your stock value, a summary of pending purchase orders, items to replenish, variants that are overstocked and best sellers. Further details about all this information can be found within the reports accessed through the menu on the left-hand side.

You can come back to the overview at any time by clicking the home icon on the menu.

Replenishment

The replenishment report shows you which products need to be purchased, and in what quantities. For each product you will also find the estimation of potential lost revenue if you don’t purchase it on time.

Edit Forecast

The forecast shows you your projected sales. You can edit the forecast in three ways:

  • Directly on the Edit Forecast screen, changing either the actual number of units forecast to be sold, or change the forecast by a percentage

  • Using Bulk Actions to increase the forecast by a percentage

  • By importing a forecast override, changing either the actual number of units forecast to be sold, or change the forecast by a percentage

Catalog

The catalog is made up of several subsections.

Stock orders

Inventory Planner allows you to create purchase orders for your suppliers based on replenishment suggestions. If you use an inventory management solution (e.g. Skubana or QuickBooks Commerce), Inventory Planner also synchronizes purchase orders with those platforms. Learn more about stock orders here.

Wholesale orders

If your business is a combination of wholesale and retail, you cannot forecast your sales based on the combined sales history. To ensure greater accuracy, Inventory Planner allows you to plan wholesale orders separately from retail orders.

Note that this section does not appear by default. You can enable it in Account > Settings > Forecast. Learn more about wholesale order planning.

Overstock report

Overstock identifies where your store has more inventory than is needed to meet demand. Excess stock is a factor of the forecast to cover the lead time and days of stock you've set for each variant. Items forecasted to have excess units available after your planning period (the end of the lead time + days of stock) will be identified as overstock, provided that no purchase orders have been received for the item in the past two months.

Open-to-Buy

In all types of businesses, it’s useful to measure performance against a set of predetermined criteria. An open-to-buy plan is an inventory management tool that helps you figure out how much inventory you need to buy on a monthly basis to make your sales projections.

There are also a number of useful reports in the "Reports" menu:

Inventory KPIs report

Inventory Planner’s KPIs report is a very useful tool that gives merchants a tremendous amount of flexibility in assessing their business’s performance from a variety of perspectives, ranging from quite broad to extremely granular.

Aging analysis

The Aging Analysis shows the length of time since inventory has been received on a purchase order in Inventory Planner. The report assumes first in-first out inventory management.

In order to compute the age of a product Inventory Planner walks through the historical stock backwards, subtracting intakes from the current stock until we reach zero. Each intake increases the value of new stock in the corresponding time window.

The aging report is computed based on historical stock and won't populate with information immediately after you connect your store to Inventory Planner.

Compare warehouses report

If you have enabled more than one warehouse, it can be helpful to see stock levels across locations. If you need to transfer stock, balance stock at various locations or compare inventory levels across warehouses, then the Compare Warehouse report can help.

Assortment report

The Assortment report can be used to see sales trends and performance metrics within groupings such as category, vendor, brand, etc.

For example, use the Assortment report to see how one vendor performs across all categories. First choose Categories at the top of the page to see all categories, then click Filter > Vendor > select a vendor’s name and Apply Filter to see results.

Using reports

Details screen

If you hover over the “i” icon in the Details column, you’ll get a quick look at what is happening with the variant. For example, the message may give you a warning at the top saying an item currently is out of stock, or tell you the time before you get an item back in stock.

Clicking on the icon will provide more detailed information.

Replenishment & forecast tab

Forecast details can be seen by clicking the icon, then clicking into the tab.

The widget on the left-hand side displays details about how the forecast is being calculated, by displaying the selected forecast method (customized under the "Forecast Settings" tab), sales period for reference, sales velocity during the period, and forecast sales during the lead time and days of stock periods. Learn more about how Forecasts and Replenishment are calculated.

The table at the bottom shows the variant’s past sales (last 12 months) and forecasted sales (next 12 months). The data correlates to the forecast sales chart. Overrides to the forecast can be input here either directly in units, or as a percentage change. Learn about editing the forecast here.

The charts on the right-hand side provide information on the variant’s past sales and forecasted sales (last/next 12 months), forecasted stock and lost revenue (due to Stockouts), and purchase order recommendations.

Additional tabs within the Details screen include:

  • On Order: This tab shows current purchase orders containing this item.

  • Wholesale Orders: if enabled, this will show you the details of current wholesale orders. These are customer orders that are handled differently for forecasting purposes. Learn more about Wholesale Planning.

  • Bundles: This tab displays the variant’s relationships with its parent bundles and/or child components. Learn about setting up Bundles and Packs.

  • Merged Variants: This tab displays merged variants and linked variants associated with the item.

    Merging Variants: This function combines the sales and/or stock of separate items. When a product has an updated style or slightly changes sizes, it may be helpful to merge variants so that the new product has the sales history needed to generate a forecast.

    Linking Variants: Variants from different connections (e.g. Shopify, Amazon, etc.) can be linked together to be displayed as one in a combined warehouse using this feature.

  • Stock & Sales History: This tab visualizes information on sales, revenue and profit, stock, and stock cost for the item.

Customizing reports

You will also find drop-downs menus at the top of almost every page.

Locations dropdown

Use this to choose which location you want to view. You can enable individual locations and create combined or virtual warehouses in Account > Settings > Warehouses.

Report view dropdown

Use this to view your product catalog filtered to different levels. Variants will be selected by default. Clicking the dropdown will display additional dimensions:

  • Variants: Displays all your variants, with individual colors, flavors, and sizes.

  • Assemblies: Displays assembled items (products sold once they are assembled from component variants). See article on Bundles and Assemblies for further information.

  • Products: Displays variants grouped by parent product. For example, "Floral Dress" is a product, and the individual sizes “S”, “M”, and “L” are variants.

  • Vendors: Displays your suppliers. Learn about configuring vendors here.

  • Brands: Displays products by the name a product is sold under which is advertised to the customer. For example, Nike or Underarmour are brands.

  • Categories: Displays high-level product types.

  • IP Tags: Displays IP Tags assigned to variants. Learn more about IP Tags here.

  • Total: Displays your totals storewide.

Filters

Use filters to narrow down the information you are viewing. You can save filters and set them as defaults.

Type a keyword or SKU directly into the search bar (to the right of the Filters button) and select ENTER to search. Tip: Search for multiple SKUs at once by typing them in and separating them with a comma!

Edit columns

Click the gear icon on the right-hand side of a report to pick and choose over 125 metrics to show in your report.

Explanation of individual metrics and filters can be found in our Glossary of Terms.

Click on any field to pull it into the report. You can drag and drop the fields to customize the order of columns on the report.

You can save the report by clicking "Save". Once it's saved, you can set it to display by default by hovering over the three dots.

Sales period for forecast

You can set the period Inventory Planner is referencing to generate forecasts based on the recent sales and trends forecast method*. This date range also affects the forecast and replenishment metrics in other tabs (e.g. Reporting, Overstock). The period is set in the top right of the screen.

Note: Seasonal forecast methods refer to the same months in prior years as the sales reference period, which is beneficial for holiday and seasonally driven items. Forecast methods can be set account-wide or customized on a per item basis. Learn more about Forecast Methods here.

Bulk actions, importing and exporting

Bulk actions

On most reports, adjustments can be made in the details view at the item level, or by utilizing Bulk Actions. The option to use bulk actions appears at the bottom of the report once you check the boxes to the left of at least one line item. View further information on adjustments that can be made at the following links:

Importing and exporting

Adjustments can also be made by importing CSV files. This option appears when none of the items are checked in the list:

  • Export: Allows you to export from any page in IP as an Excel document.

  • Import: Create a CSV with the required information in separate columns, including a column title for each. Each column must have a name, otherwise the data in the first row will be ignored. Select your file and attach a spreadsheet.

    Once attached, you will see drop-downs of all the column names in the spreadsheet. Match each field with the columns from your spreadsheet to the field in IP. For example, your Vendor column could be called “Suppliers”.

    Example: Import > Vendors

Getting further help

On the lower right corner of every page, you’ll find the Chat button. Click the button to start a conversation, chat with friendly IP staff, find all metrics, definitions and formulas, as well as the full Help Center.

Did this answer your question?