Overview

  • Launching Inventory Planner

  • Configure Connection(s) and Warehouses

  • Forecasting, Replenishment, and Reporting

  • Purchase Orders and Transfer Orders

  • Planning for Bundles and Assemblies (Pre-Kitted Goods) using an Inventory Management System

  • Configuring Assembly Orders with an Inventory Management System

  • Vendors and Vendor Attributes

  • Additional Resources for Inventory Management System Integrations

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 an Inventory Management System. 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 Inventory Management System. If/When you have multiple connections with Inventory Planner beyond an IMS, you can refer to the following specialized guides:

Configure Connection(s) and Warehouses

Connecting an Inventory Management System or (Warehouse Management System) is typically sufficient to sync products, stock, sales, and purchase order information. Connecting stores and/or marketplaces directly is only recommended if it is not possible to connect using an IMS or WMS. You can see a full list of platforms that integrate with Inventory Planner along with the details we pull from each system here: https://www.inventory-planner.com/integrations

Note: you can always import additional sales history directly into Inventory Planner without connecting stores.

When you connect an Inventory Management System with Inventory Planner, the warehouses appear as options you can enable/disable in Account > Settings > Connections & Warehouses. Only enable locations/warehouses that you need to evaluate independently for forecasting and replenishment planning purposes.

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 the "Main Branch" warehouse, along with sales only (ignoring stock) from "Second Warehouse". With this configuration, sales orders are captured in the 'combined warehouse' view for forecasting and replenishment planning purposes, but the stock in "Second Warehouse" is irrelevant in this case since the sales are fulfilled from the "Main Branch" warehouse.

Note: if you have multiple connections and/or duplicative listings of the 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?

Purchase Orders and Transfer Orders

In many cases, Purchase Orders (to Vendors) and Transfer Orders (between Warehouses) can be synced to/from an Inventory Management System using a direct integration. Check the Integrations Page to see if these features are supported for your integration.

When Purchase Orders or Transfers are successfully synced, they will be represented with a green label in the Purchase Orders section. These orders cannot be managed within Inventory Planner, since Inventory Planner does not control the stock. These orders should be managed and received directly in the IMS, and the details will sync back to Inventory Planner automatically. Any changes to the orders should also be made directly in the IMS, any they will be reflected following the next automatic sync (or anytime a manual sync is triggered in the bottom left of the interface).

Purchase Order Integration with Inventory Management Systems

Planning for Bundles and Assemblies (Pre-Kitted Goods) using an Inventory Management System

A Bundle can also be referred to as a kit, a virtual bundle, or a gift set. Bundles are simply different ways of selling the Variants - eg. 10 total shirts = (1) 10PK or (2) 5PK or (10) 1PK. In this case, all of the stock is tied together - and goods are bundled after the sale occurs when the customer order is fulfilled.

Inventory Planner considers the sales from Bundles in directly with the sales of components/variants when producing a forecast and replenishment recommendation at the Variant level.

Bundle/Variant relationships are synced to Inventory Planner automatically when possible. For some integrations, the classification (Bundle or Assembly) can also be synced automatically. For others, the relationships can be synced - but classifications need to be managed directly within Inventory Planner. Check the Integrations Page to see if these features are supported for your integration.

An Assembly must be produced from components (variants) before it can be placed into stock and available for sale. These goods are pre-assembled before the sale and fulfillment of an item.

Assemblies include any produced goods with a bill-of-materials (BOM), and bundles/kits that must be produced before sending to Amazon (or a different fulfillment warehouse).

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 forecasting 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.


The recommended workflow for IMS integrations is to create Assembly Orders (production orders) to build new assemblies from component stock. When the "Assembly Orders (Push)" feature is available for your integration, Assembly Orders can be created in Inventory Planner then saved to the IMS. If the feature is not available for your integration, assembly recommendations can still be Exported from Inventory Planner to inform production plans and stock adjustments in your IMS.

Purchase Orders (POs) are placed to purchase component Variants from your Vendors. If the "Purchase Orders (Push)" feature is available for your integration, Purchase Orders can be created in Inventory Planner then saved to the IMS for managing/receiving there.

Learn more about Bundles and Assemblies


Configuring Assembly Orders with an Inventory Management System

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. Note: Planning for Assemblies should take only place in warehouses where there are forecasted sales to drive recommendations.

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 my fulfillment center + stock and PO information from my main warehouse, then

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

3) Create Assembly Orders with the same source & destination (main warehouse), then

4) Create Transfer Orders to send Assemblies to the final destination (fulfillment center).

Vendors and Vendor Attributes

Vendors and Vendor Attributes (eg. Cost Price, Vendor Reference) are often synced to Inventory Planner automatically from an Inventory Management System. Attributes synced from each system vary, and when they are not synced - they can be inputted (or uploaded directly) into Inventory Planner. Check the Integrations Page to see which features are supported for your integration.

Additional Resources for Inventory Management System Integrations

  • 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?