To help our customers better manage their inventories, we created Advanced Inventory. This feature allows you to create multiple packages, units, and prices for one set of inventory for one product.
Tracking your inventory is a difficult task. It can be a source of error and frustration in your business. Don’t let it be!
How Advanced Inventory Works
With food, products often are tracked by weight amount instead of as individual units.
For example, if you sell potatoes, you would sell the products as a price per pound, and not as a single potato. This is because food comes in all shapes and sizes. If we sold each potato as it was exactly like the other, you would end up losing a lot of money!
Additionally, these types of products are often sold in different sizes of packaging. For example, potatoes comes in a 5 lb, 7lb, and 10 lb bags.
If you create two or more separate product listings for each bag size, how do you accurately update the inventory?
This is where Advanced Inventory comes in. This feature allows you to pool your inventory but still offer various different package sizes for the same product.
Advanced Inventory in Action:
You currently have 100 lbs of potatoes in your inventory. You want to sell your potatoes in 5 lb and 7 lb bags. Advanced Inventory would allow you to create one product (potatoes) measured in pounds with as many package sizes as you wish. The system will automatically pool the inventory and subtract accordingly as the orders come in.
So, if 3 customers order the 5 lb bag and 10 customers order the 7 lb bag, the inventory would automatically update to a total of 15 lbs.
(3 customers x 5 lbs) + (10 customers x 7 lbs) = 85 lbs potatoes sold
100 lbs total - 85 lbs sold = 15 lbs remaining inventory
Therefore, instead of having to go back and manage each product listing individually and subtracting from the overall inventory manually, the system will do it all for you automatically. Here are some additional features:
Benefits of Advanced Inventory:
As a small business owner, your time is precious. There are many tasks to be done, and nowhere near enough time in a day to complete everything. Advanced Inventory saves you an immense amount of time by tracking your inventory as customers order in real-time. It also pools all inventory into one, so that you can offer different packages to your customers, without the difficult logistics of tracking this.
Significant Inventory Error Reduction
With every manual task, there is a higher chance of errors occurring. The more complicated your packaging and product type, such as selling produce or meat, the harder and harder it becomes to track everything. A system where the inventory is pooled and updates as customers order in real-time, will significantly reduce the chance of missing, lost, or unaccounted inventory.
Additionally, when using an online store without Advanced Inventory, you run the risk of not having enough stock if you are not continuously updating manually.
For example, you create two separate package listings for the same product: one for a 5 lb bag and one for a 7 lb bag, based on the same pooled inventory (100 lb).
After a few weeks, the total inventory of all the potatoes has reduced to 10 lbs, however, was not updated respectively to each product listing. At the exact same time, one order for the 5 lb bag and one for the 7 lb bag is logged. In this situation, one customer will not be able to get their desired product.
Specialized Packages for Customer Type
Another exciting feature of Advanced Inventory is that you can create specific packages for catalogs. If you sell to multiple different sales channels, such as wholesale or household, you may want to offer different package sizing.
For example, for your wholesale customers, you may want to provide larger packaging than you would offer to your household customers. The same inventory would span across all catalogs, so no matter who is ordering your products, the inventory will adjust accordingly.
Spending time tracking pooled inventory can be confusing, time-consuming, and inefficient. With a small business, you do not want to risk producing errors and leaving your customers with insufficient orders. If inventory is getting you down, consider adding Advanced Inventory to your Local Line subscription today!
Nina Galle is Local Line's Content Marketer, creating blog posts, templates, free tools, and other helpful resources for local food suppliers.