Are you still managing your stock manually? In today’s interconnected world with multiple sales channels, an attempt at manual inventory management can be disastrous. It can result in missed commitments, longer-than-expected lead times, and angry customers. That’s why major eCommerce platforms integrate automated multi-channel inventory management. After all, you’re selling the same stock online – in multiple stores – via Amazon – and you probably offer BOPIS too. That means you need to automatically synchronize inventory across these channels in real-time. After all, you can’t afford to accidentally commit the same product to multiple buyers!
In this blog post, we’re taking a deep dive into Magento’s Inventory and Order Management functionality. It’s also known as Adobe Commerce Inventory Management.
You can check out the previous blog posts in this series, on Adobe Commerce Page Builder and Adobe Commerce Product Recommendation Engine.
How does an automated inventory management system work?
An automated inventory management system provides you with real-time stock availability and visibility. That way, no matter the channel and the customer requirement, you’re prepared!
The right inventory management solution allows your store associates to fulfill orders from devices like computers and tablets, and point-of-sale units. Requests from all these devices come to the same centralized inventory system. Since it integrates with all your stores and all your warehouses, you can rely on the system for reliable inventory data and flexible fulfillment options.
Based on real-time inventory data and high-quality sourcing algorithms, you can expedite fulfillment. You can also offer customers more buying options, including in-store purchase, home delivery, third-party marketplaces, BOPIS (buy online, pickup in store), etc.
Read more about multiple omnichannel fulfillment options like BOPIS, ROPIS and BORIS here.
The system integrates with all your points of sale and stockhouses. As a result, you can get your inventory from the right warehouse to the right store at the right time.
What are the features of Adobe Commerce Inventory Management?
With Adobe Commerce Inventory Management, you can:
- Create unique configurations for merchants based on the number of inventory sources they are using
- Optimize inventory levels
- Track, manage and optimize available aggregated stock levels and quantities, in real-time
- Receive specific low stock notifications
- Synchronize data across channels and protect against concurrent checkouts
- Improve fulfillment times and reduce stockouts
Adobe Commerce Inventory Management also has a range of advanced features, including:
- back order management
- low stock notifications
- inventory forecasting
- multi-warehouse management
- shipment matching algorithms
Integration with other Adobe Commerce tools
A major benefit of using Adobe Commerce Inventory Management is that it can integrate with other Adobe Commerce services for better results. It synchronizes in real-time with Adobe Commerce Order Management. This optimizes fulfillment processes by routing orders to the nearest warehouse with availability. It also integrates with Adobe Analytics to improve insight into your inventory performance and make data-driven decisions.
Which platform has the best inventory management solution?
Every major eCommerce platform incorporates a strong inventory management extension. This could be a third-party or built-in plugin. Each has its own unique features and capabilities.
Here’s a quick snapshot.
Each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses. Choose the right platform and inventory management based on your needs:
- How much inventory do you need to manage?
- What sales channels are you working with?
- Do you need to integrate with any specific tools?
- How strong is your technical team?
- What is your budget?
It’s important to choose the platform that best meets your specific business needs.
Set up and integration
How do you set up Adobe Commerce’s Inventory Management? This out-of-the-box module can be installed through the Quick Start on-premises installation process. You can use composer.json to install Inventory Management, with the following line in the meta package:
During the installation process, all 47 modules of Adobe Commerce Inventory Management are added to the config.php file. However, if you’re upgrading or updating an existing installation (on version 2.1.x, 2.2.x, or 2.3.x), check whether it’s enabled. Inventory Management is disabled by default when upgrading an existing installation to Adobe Commerce or Magento Open Source 2.4.x, in order to prevent backward incompatible upgrades. Having said that, the Manage Stock option is enabled by default when installed, upgraded or updated. This enables inventory tracking and management, but does not affect the status of any module.
You can disable Inventory Management modules to use custom or third-party inventory and order management systems and modules.
Once you’ve upgraded your Inventory Management module, all your products will be added to the Default Stock. The module’s commands also immediately update pending orders, reservations and salable quantities available.
As part of the set up process, you’ll need to configure global settings, such as inventory thresholds, source selection algorithms and backorder configurations. You’ll also have to set up inventory sources, assign products, and manage stock.
Working with Adobe Commerce Inventory Management
This feature-rich solution acts as a single source of truth of stock of all products available across sources and sales channels. Thanks to real-time accuracy and visibility, you speed up sales and fulfillment. The system allows for protection against concurrent checkouts and provides real-time count of saleable stock. Through the bookings tracking method, all bookings are accounted for in the inventory from time of purchase until point of delivery or cancellation.
It works with a customizable source selection algorithm. You can choose whether the algorithm should pick a source by priority or by distance. You can also improve source flexibility by developing new extensions or adding existing extensions based on your requirements.
Adobe Commerce enables you to set up thresholds below which the system sends out-of-stock alerts. This allows you to optimize sales, reduce customer disappointment and even set up offers for items with excess or old stock.
By using Adobe Commerce’s open API, extensions marketplace and vetted third-party solutions, you can customize inventory and order management. You can also manage refunds, process cancellations, place back orders and more.
With Adobe Commerce, you can fulfill customer expectations, whatever they may be. Adobe Commerce inventory and order management software works with all sources and delivery channels. It offers flexible fulfillment options and sourcing algorithms for a seamless cross-channel commerce experience. Adobe Commerce Inventory Management module is a unified platform that lets you manage all your stock, across brands, sources and stores, from a single window.