Inventory sharing

If your inventory is spread over multiple locations (Warehouses, Stores, etc), and you want to make full use of your total inventory, it might be beneficial to share the inventory between your Sales Channels. This ensures that Sales Channels do not run out of stock, while other locations still have plenty of stock left.

How does it work

To get an idea of how inventory sharing works, we would like to lay out a case. Consider the following:

  • A merchant has 5 inventory locations and is selling its products in 5 different Sales Channels.
  • There are 5 inventory locations, 2 in Germany, 1 in France, 1 in the US and a brick-and-mortar store in Berlin.
  • The 5 Sales Channels are: 3 webshops for Germany, France, and the US, 1 Amazon marketplace for Germany and 1 brick-and-mortar store in Berlin.

Assumptions

  • Because of the shipping distance, we want to split inventory for the European and US market. The European warehouses should be used for the European Sales Channels, while the US warehouse should be used to the US webshop.
  • We want the inventory in the brick-and-mortar store to be exclusive for the brick and mortar store itself.
  • The Webshops for Germany and France are set up with a multi-frontend e-commerce application that can only handle 1 inventory level per product (so both webshops will use the same inventory level).

Configuration

  • Make sure that your warehouses are set up as “Global” if you want to share the inventory. Warehouse inventory with a “Fixed” inventory won’t be shared. In our case, all warehouses will have a Global inventory except for the “Warehouse Store Berlin” which has a Fixed inventory.
  • Assign the warehouses to the appropriate warehouse group. The warehouse inventory will only be shared within the assigned Warehouse Group. In our case, we’ll have 3 warehouse groups, the German warehouses 1 and 2, and the France warehouse are grouped in the warehouse group “Europe”. The US Warehouse is grouped in the warehouse group “US” and the Warehouse Store Berlin is grouped in the warehouse group “Warehouse Store Berlin”.
  • Link the warehouse groups to the applicable sales channel groups
Assigning warehouses to warehouse groups

To be able to link warehouses to sales channels they need to be in a warehouse group even when there is only one warehouse in the group.

Shared inventory calculation

Now we have our warehouses en warehouse groups set up, the total available inventory for the sales channel groups can be calculated.

In our case the inventory levels that are available for a specific product are:

  • Warehouse DE 1: 50 items
  • Warehouse DE 2: 30 items
  • Warehouse FR: 100 items
  • Warehouse US: 80 items
  • Warehouse Store Berlin: 12 items

Because the warehouses are combined in warehouse groups this leads to the following total available inventory for the sales channel groups:

  • Europe: 180 items
  • US: 80 items
  • Warehouse Store Berlin: 12 items

In the next step, the Inventory Balancer will divide the total available inventory per warehouse group to the linked sales channel group(s). You can read more about how this works and set this up in Inventory Balancing

The image below gives an overview of how this is all set up, from the header that contains the warehouses to the footer that contains the sales channels.

Warehouses

Warehouse Groups

Warehouse Channel Group Links

Video about working with inventory sharing in multiple warehouses

Updated on April 23, 2020

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