Dynamic inventory visibility is a view of stock levels that can change contingent on certain criteria. These criteria can range from geographic boundaries to promotional timings, among others. In the case of geography, users can configure specific regions or groups. Then they can apply specific stock thresholds to those virtual groupings.
Dynamic Inventory Visibility in Action
Let’s take an example of a retailer with a large presence on the west coast. Naturally, they still want to sell in the eastern regions as well. However, this presents challenges around inventory distribution. The obvious advantages of selling outside your home territory is the expansion. It gives you a larger brand presence, and an opportunity for more sales. On the flip side, the retailer would NOT want to sell its low cost, low margin products to customers beyond a certain shipping distance. It should come as no surprise that as the shipping distance grows, the cost to ship orders to customers grows as well.
The solution for this retailer is Inventory Pooling, also known as virtualizing the inventory. When a customer is browsing a merchant site, the geographical location of the incoming IP-address is observed. This is the initial criteria for the virtual inventory to determine which pool should apply. If the shopper is beyond a certain distance or geographic boundary, the potential customer will see only a certain selection of products. Be it higher margin, higher price or lower cost to supply.
This way, when an order is processed with free shipping, there is enough margin in the order to remain a profitable sale. This is just an intelligent way of doing business.
How Else to Use Dynamic Inventory Visibility?
In addition, Dynamic inventory visibility gives retailers flexibility. It can show different product groups to customers in different regions. Also, it is particularly important when selling internationally. International sales may include products that are restricted, difficult to transport, or include expensive tariffs for different countries. Dynamic inventory visibility lets you as a retailer choose to whom, when and how you want to show your merchandise.
While the concept is simple, this very powerful tool can easily ensure your retail business is setup to avoid margin eroding orders. Ask your OMS vendor how to set this up on your system. However if they can’t, maybe it’s time to consider a different OMS vendor!
If you need a consultant to configure your inventory pools, or a coder to add this as a new feature – then you need an OMS that makes it easy. Please give us a call. We will be happy to discuss how effortless it is to set up with a Tecsys OrderDynamics system.
Related: Real Time Inventory Visibility