Once your catalog is set up, you can get an up-to-date count for all of your items across all of your sales channels in one place. Transferring, receiving, and deducting inventory as needed is very straightforward, and can be made even faster with barcode scanning.
The Inventory section is where you can manage your items, kits, warehouses, and the various stock counts throughout. The main tab, Items, is where you can track inventory for each of your catalog products. Additional tabs are available for kits, warehouse locations, and more.
Inventory at a Glance
The Items table will show you, among other information, the total quantity on hand per item, as well as the locations that each item is kept in. You can see the on hand breakdown per location, and make quick changes to those on hand counts, by selecting the Edit button on an item's row.
When orders are imported from your connected sales channels, those orders are going to reserve the quantity of each item that are needed to fulfill them. This Reserved count is deducted from the total On Hand count to give a smaller Free count.
If you choose to enable inventory syncing later on, the Free count is what will be pushed out to an item's connected sales channels by default. This is done to prevent overselling, but inventory sync rules can be modified per store or per listing as needed.
SKULabs uses a multi-location inventory system, where inventory counts are kept separate depending on where items are physically stored. This can apply not just to separate warehouse addresses, but also to smaller picking locations within a single warehouse.
The location system is very flexible and accommodating to how you choose to configure it. Multiple items can be stored in a single location, and a single item can be kept in multiple locations. With this in mind, we strongly recommend setting up warehouse locations and keeping them organized.
Transfer orders allow you to relocate inventory between warehouses and locations in an organized fashion. To move inventory between locations, create a transfer order with the items, their source locations, and their destination locations. You can assign a transfer order to a user, then close the transfer order once the goods have been physically relocated. Closing a transfer order will commit the location changes to inventory.
Tip: If you see that you're regularly rearranging stock a certain way, consider adjusting your allocations so that you reduce the need for frequent transfers in the future.
Receiving and Deducting Stock
The Receive function allows you to scan incoming item barcodes, type or scan a location, and quickly add that item to your inventory. You can use receiving for incoming returns, distributor purchases, and more.
To receive items, you'll need to scan the item barcode first, followed by the location barcode. If either barcode is not available, you can type in the requested information manually. Once you have finished tallying up the items you are receiving, you can save the receipt to add those units to inventory.
The Deduct function works in much the same way, but to remove items from inventory instead. This is handy for quickly removing damaged or expired items, or to temporarily make inventory unavailable for picking and shipping.
SKULabs continuously keeps your inventory up-to-date by deducting inventory as your team ships out orders. However, there are many factors that can affect your inventory counts outside of regular receiving and fulfillment. To account for discrepancies like shrinkage and miscounts, it's recommended that you perform regular inventory counting.
To avoid having to do full inventory counts too often, you can implement cycle counting on a more frequent schedule. Cycle counts are small batches of inventory counting tasks for a single location within a warehouse. Since you'll only need to set aside smaller amounts of time to check each section, you can check your inventory more frequently without interrupting your day-to-day operations.
There are a couple of different ways to organize your cycle counting workflow, depending on your specific needs. You could choose to grow high-volume sellers together and check those more frequently, or you might simply group sections by their physical location in your warehouses. In any case, the key to effective cycle counting is to keep doing it frequently so that your reporting is always as accurate as possible.
Tip: To learn more, check out our blog article on effective cycle counting.
SKULabs offers automatic inventory synchronization to all of your connected sales channels. By acting as the "master of inventory", SKULabs can push the available inventory of an item to all of the listings that the item is linked to.
In order to start syncing inventory, you will need to ensure that a couple of requirements are met:
- Your items need to be added to your SKULabs catalog, and all of the listings you wish to sync inventory with will need to be linked up to their respective items. See our catalog setup guide for more on how to do this.
- In general, your inventory counts in SKULabs should be as accurate as possible before enabling inventory syncing. When quantity counts between SKULabs and a sales channel don't match, SKULabs will always override the channel's count with its own. This can be especially harmful if an item has a free quantity of 0 or less in your SKULabs inventory, as this may cause the item's sales channel listing to be disabled or marked as out of stock.
- If you wish to sync an inventory count other than the free count (the amount on hand that is not reserved for open orders), make sure that you change the sync rules for your stores or listings, depending on how you wish the sync to be modified. Example rules other than
fba(for syncing the amount available in Amazon's fulfillment centers),
10(to permanently set a listing as having 10 in stock), or
skip(if you don't wish to sync this particular listing or channel).
Once inventory syncing has been enabled for your account, SKULabs will push up-to-date quantity counts to all of your connected sales channel listings every 5 minutes in the background. This is done at roughly the same time as any automated order importing that you have enabled, which is helpful since your catalog's Free counts will be updated at the same time.