eCommerce Inventory Management for Assembled Product Types

Inventory management for manufacturers in the eCommerce environment is uniquely challenging due to the product-type(s) they sell; namely ‘assembled’ products. To maintain flexibility in order fulfillment, a manufacturer will often ‘assemble-to-order’ using the required child components. With demand for related products with common components constantly changing, it becomes near-impossible for the business to indicate how many of each assembled item are actually available for sale.

The CartSpan eCommerce integration for Sage 50, QuickBooks, and FrontAccounting resolves this issue for manufacturers by factoring the first-level child components of assembled items. CartSpan will determine available inventory for each item represented on the first level of the assembly and calculate the maximum quantity of the parent item that can be produced. This availability calculation even includes open orders for after-market purchases of affected child components.



Take the following example of a bicycle manufacturer that may have 40-50 different components with multiple styles available within each component. CartSpan will walk through each of the named components and determine the availability as indicated below:

bicycle components
After assessing the inventory availability of all 1st level child components, it appears that the limiting component is the ‘Carbon Fiber Frame’; thus, only 5 units of this assembled item could be offered in a timely manner to consumers. This same frame may be offered in other bicycle configurations, but depending upon component availability in other configurations, availability will be constrained to not more than 5 units maximum.

With this functionality, manufacturers can confidently offer their products without having to operate under the assumption that everything is available. The hard benefit is not having to spend time issuing credits and reversing GL transactions. The soft benefit is not having to break the news to an irate customer that might be inclined to ‘flame’ your company in an online review.



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