“Our company is a well-known importer, distributor and wholesaler of foods and beverages. Our products are distributed nationally across the USA and are also exported internationally via multiple sales channels, including face to face, online and customer service. In 2015, we decided to implement SAP Business One with a goal to provide tight financial and strong inventory control. Our current B2B sales platform can’t leverage the full scope of SAP B1’s data structure, can’t keep the inventory levels current and prevents us from operating effectively and productively.”
Sound familiar? Your inventory is continuously moving around the supply chain, whether you sell directly from your online store and fulfill orders yourself, or sell through multiple channels. You invested heavily in an ERP system to automate business processes and provide accurate visibility into Sales, Finance, Purchasing, Inventory and Manufacturing - but after adding digital channels and integrating them with your ERP, you realize the CPG ERP data structure isn’t utilized to its fullest potential and the following questions have been keeping your sales reps and B2B buyers busy:
Where is our inventory? When will it arrive at the warehouse? Which warehouse? Where it is placed and when will it leave? Is it really out-of-stock? When will it be back in stock? The item was in stock when we placed an order, what happened? How do we show our customers real-time inventory stock availability from multiple warehouses, third-party logistics (3PL) warehouse, or another branch?
It works pretty straightforward with SAP Business One ERP. The moment the items are confirmed as available, the quantity is reflected in the inventory, preventing order overlap and guaranteeing that your order and inventory levels are in sync. The next logical step is to dispatch the goods and to remove them from the warehouse. When an order is picked up from the warehouse, it is entered into the system, and the inventory reduction is automatically recorded.
In B2B digital commerce, it’s easier said than done; possible overstocking, shortages and inventory data that does not sync with your sales channels and storage locations - especially if you manage and control stock levels across different warehouse locations - are very common mistakes.
It has become evident that a truly omnichannel B2B sales platform has to be flexible enough to reflect the full scope of any ERP purchasing and inventory data including linking all sales orders directly to real-time inventory data and automatically displaying live inventory levels.
Let’s have a look at the most frequently asked requirements while embracing digital channels and how to address them.
Inventory quantity “refresh” prior to “submit” for sales reps and buyers
It’s critical that manufacturers and wholesale distributors have the most updated quantities if inventory goes down from any other submitted orders since the current order was created.
The solution is ‘Available Quantity’ that is refreshed automatically every 60 seconds and is re-calculated for each line item based on the latest information from the ERP. After a 60 second delay, the ‘submit’ is blocked and the user is prompted to refresh - and both of these validations will be verified when they try to submit again.
On-the-fly stock prioritization
What if you have multiple promotions and the same SKU could exist up to 3 times on the same order, and you want to reduce the quantity available for each of those lines, in the specified order?
For carts with multiple duplicate line items of the same SKU, Pepperi automatically prioritizes the ‘Quantity Available’ field based on pre-defined criteria such as the quantities for that SKU on other line items, whether these additional line items are promotional for free, paid promotions, or normal SKUs.
The purchased item on promotion will take precedence, followed by the free item on promotion, and finally the item ordered outside of any offer. All three of the aforementioned, as well as only (any) two of the three, or only one of the three, might exist. The goal is to calculate new values on this transaction for other validations.
A validation is added on submit, so that if ‘Qty Ordered’ is greater than ‘Qty Available’ for any promotion (blue) line item, the submit button will be unavailable. The user will be required to remove the promotion completely prior to resubmitting.
Order Maximum Limitation
Covid-19 has caused disruptions in many supply chains, resulting in shortages of many products. To prevent a single customer from hoarding all the available quantity for a particularly ‘in-demand’ item with low supply, many B2B wholesalers have been looking for ways to restrict the number of frequently out-of-stock items. The example below shows how by defining, for each warehouse-SKU combination, a maximum quantity can be ordered in a single sales order.
Do you happen to have similar requirements? Do they imply complex business rules and extra logic? Is your B2B sales platform flexible enough to instantly add these functionalities and extensions using a ‘drag and drop’ workflow engine?
Schedule a demo with us and see Pepperi in action!