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Inventory Management - White Paper

Inventory Management is a key component for organizations to realize increased value from their procurement operations. While the concept of “Inventory Management” likely varies by organization, the BuyerQuest platform affords the flexibility for an organization to manage their inventory in a way best suited to their needs.

Overview

This paper will describe two such use cases for managing inventory within the BuyerQuest platform: Supplier Stock Availability and Internal Warehousing.

Supplier Stock Availability

With Stock Availability, this concept primarily centers on the ability to manage whether an item is currently available.  Suppliers can maintain visibility of an item that is not currently “in stock”, but that the supplier is still able to offer for purchase in the future, or expects to do so in the future.

Enabling this Feature

In the Admin Control Panel, the setting can be managed for an individual Product by setting the ‘Stock Availability’ attribute (Default = “In Stock”).  If the item is not available for purchase, but a Supplier wants to maintain visibility of that item, an Administrator can set it to “Out of Stock” (see screenshot below).

NOTE: In Fleetwood, we will be extending the Common Fields file to allow Suppliers to manage this directly.

Inventory

Client-Internal Warehouse

With the concept of an “Internal Warehouse”, the focus is to highlight and prioritize Products that an organization already has on hand in their physical warehouse/location.  Clients can also display the available inventory quantity at those warehouses, if desired.

Enabling this Feature

In the Admin Control Panel, create a Supplier for each warehouse/location (“Warehouse 3”) and then create a Product Attribute (“Available Quantity”) to show the available inventory quantity, if desired.

The Product Attribute can be directly displayed in various locations on the front-end, including the Product Listing page, Product Detail page, and Search Results page, alerting users to the most recent quantity available.

Inventory Available Quantity

Additional Configuration Options

There is further functionality within the BuyerQuest platform to help ensure the most optimal products are being surfaced: The Boost and Search Attribute Weighting abilities can complement the approaches described above as additional means to identify inventory on-hand.

Enabling Boost

Boost is a mechanism to increase the visibility of products in search results.  The following link provides further detail how the Boost functionality can be leveraged Search Results Boost Management.

Enabling Search Attribute Weighting

The Search Attribute Weighting functionality can also be used to prioritize the Internal Warehouse products to appear at the top of Search Results. Details on this can be found here: Search Result Management.

To leverage this functionality, a new hidden Product Attribute would be used (“Is_Warehouse”), that would have the value of either ‘Yes’ or NULL.  The attribute value of ‘Yes’ would then be given a higher weighting, which would push these items to the top of a given Search Results. 

Inventory Search Result

Summary

As we have shown above, the BuyerQuest platform offers significant flexibility for both suppliers and procurement departments to manage products in ways best suited to their needs and, in turn, drive increased value for their respective organizations.