Overview

  • Launching Inventory Planner

  • Configure Amazon Connection(s) and Warehouses

  • Forecasting, Replenishment, and Reporting

  • Amazon FBA Shipments

  • Preparing Assemblies (Pre-Kitted Goods) for Amazon FBA

  • Configuring Assembly Orders at an FBA Prep Warehouse

  • Additional Resources for Amazon Customers

Launching Inventory Planner

The Inventory Planner Launch Guide walks through setting up a new account, account settings, catalog maintenance, forecasting and replenishment, and other key details to help with gaining success with Inventory Planner.

This guide is more specialized, as it explains how Inventory Planner can be configured when connecting directly through Amazon. Both guides will be a useful reference throughout your Inventory Planner experience.

What I have multiple connections?

This guide is focused on configuring Inventory Planner with an Amazon connection. If/When you have multiple connections with Inventory Planner beyond an Amazon connection, you can refer to the following specialized guides:

Configure Amazon Connection(s) and Warehouses

When you connect an Amazon store with Inventory Planner, the FBA warehouses throughout the same region appear as options you can enable/disable in Account > Settings > Connections & Warehouses. FBM (seller-fulfilled Amazon) for the region appears as its own warehouse. Only enable locations/warehouses that you need to evaluate independently for forecasting and replenishment planning purposes.

Note: For specific details on the fields and statuses from Amazon used to provide product information, stock levels, sales orders, and FBA shipment detail; visit the Amazon Integration article.

You can create a Combined Warehouse to aggregate sales (and/or stock) information from multiple warehouses into a single view - to generate forecasted needs and replenishment recommendations based on totaled data.

Note: you do not need to enable individual warehouses if it's sufficient to include them the combined warehouse configuration.

In this example, the stock and sales are combined from all FBA locations in North America, along with stock and sales from our main Shopify warehouse. FBM (Amazon seller fulfilled) sales orders are captured in the 'combined warehouse' view for forecasting and replenishment planning purposes, but the stock in FBM is irrelevant in this case since the FBM sales are fulfilled from our Shopify warehouse.

Note: if you have multiple connections and/or duplicative listings of the exact same Variant/SKU connected to Inventory Planner, it is important to combine Listings first in order to maintain accurate reports using a combined warehouse.


Forecasting, Replenishment, and Reporting

Here are some videos and resources that Amazon users can reference related to forecasting, replenishment, purchase orders, and reports in Inventory Planner.

Replenishment and Edit Forecast are the key areas of Inventory Planner to generate your forecast and replenishment recommendations. Use the Replenishment Report for Variant/SKU level forecasting and replenishment analysis, and to create Purchase Orders using replenishment recommendations. Replenishment is an output of your Forecast Method & Settings, Forecast Edits, and your planning period (lead time + days of stock).

The Edit Forecast section shows a monthly breakdown of forecasted sales. Select the date range in the top right for your Report, then click on Columns (using the gear icon in the top right) and Filters to see the information you need. Metrics are calculated at the Variant (SKU) level. Use the top left dropdown to aggregate reports and/or override forecasts in different dimensions (eg. by category, by vendor, etc).

How is the forecast and replenishment calculated?

Amazon FBA Shipments

New FBA Shipments: When you create a Purchase Order (to Vendor) or a Transfer Order (between warehouses) in Inventory Planner, and you have an FBA location selected as the Destination Warehouse, an option appears after you create then save the order to Amazon. This initiates an FBA shipment in Amazon, which can be managed and completed there. Once Amazon receives the Shipment, the order status and stock levels update automatically in Inventory Planner on a daily basis.

Once the prompt appears to save a Purchase Order (or Transfer Order) to Amazon, specify whether or not shipments should be split based on Amazon's requirements.

Note: selecting "Do not split shipments" will produce an error when attempting to save to Amazon if the inventory placement setting is not enabled in Amazon.

Why is my purchase order split into two shipment plans when syncing with Amazon Seller Central?

Purchase Orders and Transfer Orders that have been successfully synced with Amazon will have a green label associated with them in the Purchase Orders section. These orders are locked for editing, and must be edited directly in Amazon. Any changes in Amazon will sync back to Inventory Planner following the next sync.


Existing FBA Shipments: By default all existing FBA shipments are pulled into Inventory Planner as Purchase Orders by default, with an unknown source - since Amazon doesn't provide this information.

You can filter and select orders anytime in the main Purchase Orders screen on the left hand navigation bar, then use Bulk Actions at the bottom to 'Set Source' for these orders.

You can also configure the default method for classifying future orders we pick up from Amazon in Account > Settings > Connections & Warehouse > then select 'Connection Settings' to the right of the Amazon warehouse.

Learn more: Purchase Orders / Transfer Orders

Preparing Assemblies (Pre-Kitted Goods) for Amazon FBA

For Assemblies, users should adjust the Forecast Method & Settings, Assembly Time, and Days of Stock at the Assemblies (finished goods) level in order to drive replenishment recommendations for your components/variants (materials).

Understanding Forecast Method & Settings and How Replenishment is Calculated for any item is key to understanding replenishment recommendations for Assemblies & Variants (components). Review the section 'Forecasting and Replenishment for Assemblies' in the Bundles and Assemblies article to see how forecasting and replenishment works in the context of Assemblies.


Assemblies cannot be produced within an Amazon FBA warehouse, by requirement. Anything sent to FBA must be assembled ahead of time in another location. Amazon FBA should be combined with another warehouse (from another integration, or an IP warehouse to track stock manually) into a Combined Warehouse for the production of Assemblies. This can be considered an "FBA Prep" location.

The recommended workflow for Amazon users is to create Assembly Orders (production orders) to create new assemblies from component stock in an FBA Prep location, then Transfer Orders (to move stock between locations) to move completed Assemblies from the FBA Prep warehouse to the FBA Warehouse.

Purchase Orders (POs) are placed to purchase component Variants from your Vendors. These are received at the FBA Prep warehouse then used for Assemblies.


Configuring Assembly Orders at an FBA Prep Warehouse

Assemblies only need an "Assembly Time" configured. Lead Time is only configured for component Variants, and is automatically considered as part of the replenishment analysis. Inventory Planner first uses any existing component stock (if applicable) to build new assemblies, then recommends new component stock above and beyond that amount for future assemblies; with their lead times in mind.

The Replenishment requirements for Assemblies drive the stock utilization and replenishment requirements for components. Anytime you create a new stock order in Inventory Planner (Purchase Orders for component Variants, Assembly Orders to produce new Assemblies, Transfer Orders to move stock between locations), you can select any Destination Warehouse.

One workflow example is to -

1) Configure a combined warehouse using sales and stock from Amazon FBA US + stock and PO information from my FBA Prep Warehouse into "COMBINED ALL", then

2) Generate Purchase Orders from the combined warehouse to Vendors to be received at the destination (FBA Prep Warehouse), then

3) Create Assembly Orders with the same source & destination (FBA Prep Warehouse), then

4) Create Transfer Orders to send Assemblies to Amazon FBA.

Additional Resources for Amazon Customers

  • Vendors / Set Variants with Vendors: configure Vendors, and associate Variants with Vendors in order to populate information on Purchase Orders automatically as they are created.

  • IP Warehouse: to track extra stock manually. IP Warehouses can be added with FBA (and/or other) warehouses as part of a combined warehouse configuration.

  • Combined Warehouse: to aggregate sales (and/or stock) information from multiple warehouses into a single view - to generate forecasted needs and replenishment recommendations based on totaled data.

  • Listings: connect multiple listings of the same exact Variant/SKU (if you have multiple connections, or duplicative listings within a single connection).

  • Compare Warehouse Report: compare metrics across multiple warehouses, and optionally generate warehouse transfer recommendations.

Explanations of metrics, columns/filters, or other features:

Visit the Integrations Page for a full list of details Inventory Planner syncs from every integration, or experiment with features anytime in the Inventory Planner Demo Store.

Feel free to contact Inventory Planner directly at contact@inventory-planner.intercom-mail.com or to schedule a call to review any other questions.

Did this answer your question?