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 How Do You Manage Inventory?
Author « Topic »  

DavidX
Ecommerce Template Expert

925 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2023 :  19:32:18  
I'm wondering how some of you manage large inventories? We have 200,000 items (comic books) on our site and only ever list stock as "1" because, after one sells, it may need a price adjustment since it was last put into stock. We currently do NOT have our warehouse inventoried but it is largely in order so we know where stuff is. The problem is that we don't know if we have any given book. Right now, I can generate a list of out-of-stock items and bring it to the warehouse but way too much time is spent looking for items that aren't there. I'd like to take an inventory of the warehouse that could be compared against a list of out-of-stock items and produce an accurate pull list. Does anyone here deal with anything like this? I can think of some semi-clunky ways to do it but I'd like it as automated as possible.

dbdave
ECT Moderator

USA
10210 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2023 :  20:03:23  
Have you considered using the built in stock management?
You would need to go through your warehouse and count all items and load the stock into the cart, but it does handle the counts well.
You also do not have to show stock levels to customers.

It's quite possible to do a mod that would print locations on your pick tickets.
Our warehouse, we set the locations like so.

A-01-B-05
Where the first letter is the aisle, the next (number) is the bay number, next is the shelf, and the last part is the row on that shelf.

Thanks,
David

DavidX
Ecommerce Template Expert

925 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2023 :  11:17:54  
I'm intrigued by this. I was under the impression that, by entering more than "1" into the stock field, people would be able to order more than one item. What am i missing here?

dbdave
ECT Moderator

USA
10210 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2023 :  12:00:01  
Hi David, you are correct. However if you put in your existing inventory, you know what you paid for it. If you receive more inventory, you can adjust your pricing as they are placed into inventory, no?

For us, we have a very elaborate system for displaying orders in the warehouse and we developed our own vendor ordering system and inventory control that works separate from the ect inventory.
However, the cost for all of this custom software is in the neighborhood of $10,000-$15,000

The bottom line is, you have to look at various factors to determine if spending that kind of money is worth it. For us, our company had grown to a point that it was a "no brainer" as things were really out of control with our inventory and vendor ordering that it was a must have.

With 200,000 items, I expect you have a strong business, so it may be a good idea to throw some money at this to solve your problems.

Thanks,
David

pauld
Advanced Member

USA
459 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2023 :  11:04:47  
We've never found any bookkeeping software that does a good job of tracking inventory; QuickBooks is useless for this in my opinion.

Our solution is a big Excel workbook that includes different sheets that take input in the form of received inventory, adjustments (say, for returns), orders downloaded weekly from the cart, and so on.

Other sheets provide reports such as inventory quantities (which presumably you could reconcile monthly with the cart), monthly financial summaries to import into QuickBooks, etc.

If you've got thousands of different inventory items you'll likely need a system to print barcodes, a way to safely affix these to the products (say, using plastic bags), and a scanner.

I once set up a system of similar size for a TV parts reseller using an MS Access database, but wasted a lot of time trying to create user-friendly input forms for the non-technical users.

dbdave
ECT Moderator

USA
10210 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2023 :  11:29:49  
Hi Paul, we developed an in house solution, complete with a vendor ordering tool to keep track of vendor orders.
BTW - We have over 10,000 products.

We developed a tool for printing barcodes. There is free javascript out there to help with generating barcodes.
We assigned locations to all products.

When we process orders, the inventory is removed from this other system that's separate from the ect inventory. When we receive orders from vendors, those products inventory is automatically updated.
The warehouse gets a packing slip that has the locations sorted by isles in the warehouse.
It's an elaborate system and works pretty good.

However, this was a very lengthy process and unless you can built it yourself, it would have likely cost many thousands of dollars.

It may be something I can make available one day, although I am on .asp and there would need to be changes to make if more universal for other users.

I know this does not solve your problems, but it is possible to develop a system that works well with the shopping cart.

I will add that Vince has done some custom work for us, related to this project, so you might reach out to him to see if he is willing to quote it for you.

Thanks,
David

pauld
Advanced Member

USA
459 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2023 :  11:38:17  
I will say that pretty much all of this can be done using Excel formulas, without programming.

There are fonts that will display stock numbers in Excel as printable barcodes, and scanners that input data in your spreadsheet (like a keyboard), one scanned entry per line.

The downside is that unless you're careful to document those spreadsheets, they can be impossible for others to troubleshoot.
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