Overview

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

Planning for Assemblies should only take place in warehouses where there are forecasted sales and accurate stock levels. If components are stocked and/or assembled in a different facility from where customer orders are fulfilled, configuring a combined warehouse allows you to aggregate the stock and/or sales information from multiple warehouses into a single warehouse for Assemblies Replenishment planning.

Whether you create a new Purchase Order, Assembly Order, or Transfer Order using recommendations from a combined warehouse or an individual warehouse view, you can select the 'true' Destination Warehouse once the new order is created.

Replenishment for Assemblies

´╗┐Understanding forecasting and How Replenishment is Calculated for any item is key to understanding replenishment recommendations for Assemblies & Variants (components). The Bundle and Assemblies article goes in depth in the "Forecasting & Replenishment for Assemblies" section.

In order to calculate Replenishment for Assemblies and generate a schedule, the planning period and cycle details must be defined:

  • Select "Assemblies" in the top left of Replenishment, then configure your Forecast Method, Forecast Edits (if applicable), Assembly Time, and Assembly Cycle.

  • Select "Variants" in the top left of Replenishment, then configure your Lead Time and Days of Stock for component Variants. Note: if components are sold separately on their own, configure forecast method and/or forecast edits at the Variant level as well.

The recommended workflow for Amazon integrations is to:

  1. Create Assembly Orders (production orders) using Replenishment recommendations in a combined warehouse to create new assemblies from component stock. Select the true Destination Warehouse once the AO is created.

  2. If the assembling facility is an IP Warehouse, receive AOs in Inventory Planner to decrease the stock of components and increase stock of assemblies automatically at the IP Warehouse.

    If the assembling facility is NOT an IP Warehouse, check if the "Assembly Orders (Push)" functionality is supported for the corresponding integration.

    --> If the functionality is available, save the AO to the integrated warehouse and handle receiving/edits there. Your integration will decrease the stock of components and increase stock of assemblies respectively, and the levels in IP will update following the next sync.

    --> If it's not available, receive the AO in Inventory Planner to close the "On Assembly" quantity once stock levels have been adjusted in your integration.

  3. Create Purchase Orders (POs) to purchase component Variants from Vendors.

    If the Destination Warehouse is an IP Warehouse, receive POs in Inventory Planner to increase stock of components automatically at the IP Warehouse.

    If the Destination Warehouse is NOT an IP Warehouse, check if the "Purchase Orders (Push)" functionality is supported for the corresponding integration.

    --> If the functionality is available, save the PO to the integrated warehouse and handle receiving/edits there. Your integration will decrease the stock of components and increase stock of assemblies respectively, and the levels in IP will update following the next sync.

    --> If it's not available, receive the PO in Inventory Planner to close the "On Order" quantity once stock levels have been adjusted in your store. If the "Increase Stock" feature is available for the corresponding warehouse, then the option will appear after saving/closing the PO.

  4. Create Transfer Orders to transfer completed Assemblies from the assembling facility to Amazon FBA. As Transfers are created, they can be saved to Amazon to initiate an FBA inbound shipment process. Manage changes and/or receiving in Amazon, they will increase the stock of assemblies respectively in FBA.

    * Check the section on "Amazon FBA Shipments" in the Configure Inventory Planner with Amazon article for instructions on defining the source detail for Amazon FBA shipments. The process for adjusting source warehouse stock as a result of transfer depends on how the source detail is configured.

Learn more about Bundles and Assemblies

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.

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