After you add your merchandise and vendor to NetForum , your next step in the Inventory Workflow is to add the warehouse(s) that will store your product(s). The term 'warehouse' in NetForum is a relative term. If you are a small organization, your warehouse may be the basement or a closet in your building. If you are a large organization, the term warehouse may be used in the traditional sense in that it is a large building with hundreds or thousands of products to be tracked and distributed. Regardless, the Warehouse module in NetForum enables you to designate a physical location where your inventory will reside and be tracked before they are sold.
The five standard Group Item Links (Add, Find, List, Run Query, Query Central), are available in the Warehouse group item.
Adding a Warehouse
A Warehouse is where your organization's merchandise, publications, or subscriptions are stored before they are sold. Because vendors supply your warehouse with the products you sell, each warehouse you add in NetForum should also be associated with a vendor. This means that your vendor and/or organization should be created in NetForum before you add your warehouse so that you can associate your warehouse to your vendor. For more information on adding vendors, see Adding a Vendor.To add a warehouse:
- First, in the CRM module, ensure an organization record for the vendor or organization you plan to use has been added. Note: The organization does not have to have been added as a vendor within NetForum to associate it to a warehouse.
- In the Inventory module, on the Group Item menu, click warehouses.
- In the left navigation panel, click add warehouse. The Add Warehouse page displays.
- Create a descriptive warehouse name for your warehouse.
- In the organization field, click the Look-Up icon to search for the vendor or organization you want to use to stock your warehouse with your product. This should be your vendor. You will notice that once you select your vendor, the address, city, state, and zip fields will fill in automatically for you.
- Click Save.
Finding a Warehouse
Finding a Warehouse that has been entered into the NetForum database is easily accomplished. The Find function is universal throughout NetForum and detailed on the Find topic.
Finding warehouses within the Inventory module follows the same format and function. You may search by warehouse name. If you are unsure of the full warehouse name, you may enter the first few letters of the warehouse name or select the Advanced View checkbox to conduct Boolean searches to broaden and narrow your search as needed.
Managing Warehouse Records
The Warehouse Profile page is displayed once you have entered a new warehouse into the NetForum application. If you want to navigate to and view a specific profile page:
- Click on the Inventory module from the Module Menu drop-down.
- On the Group Item menu, click Warehouses. You can then choose to List Warehouses or Find Warehouse.
- You can also choose to click on the Warehouse icon from the Inventory content group page.
Depending upon which warehouse you choose, its Warehouse Profile page will display.
The Warehouse Profile
The Warehouse Profile shows the warehouse name and mailing address of the warehouse used to store your organization's merchandise, publications, or subscription issues. It has one Info tab that contains a products child form. The products child form allows you to view a list of products stored at the warehouse and related information such as floor location, number in stock, number committed, number available, and number on back order.
Note that in the screenshot above that, so far, the M&R Warehouse #1 is one of the warehouses that the vendor Mugs and Rugs is using to store their 12 oz. Abila Coffee Mug product. However, you'll also note that, so far, there are no mugs on hand, committed, or available in the warehouse. This is because that, so far, no 'product-to-warehouse' purchase order has been created as described in the Inventory Workflow for the vendor to fill this warehouse. Once that step has been completed and your inventory received, you will see those values filled with the variables you specify. If you need more information on this step, view the re-ordering or adding inventory to the warehouse section.
The Info Tab
Products Child Form
Associating a Product with a Warehouse
The Info tab on the Warehouse Profile contains one child form; the products child form.
As outlined in the Inventory Workflow section, once you have entered a product into NetForum inventory and added your vendors, you must then specify where your products are to be stored. That step can be completed when you enter your merchandise by specifying your warehouse at that time (if it has been created through the process described on this page) and through the Inventory and Vendor Child Form(s) on the Merchandise Profile. If you use that method, you will see your product appear under the products child form on the Warehouse Profile.
You can also add which products are to be stored in a specific warehouse from its profile page. You do this by clicking the Add Record button. The Add - Inventory Warehouse window appears.
In the Warehouse Information section, specify what product you want to store in this warehouse in the inventory drop-down. Fill in a specific location if desired. While locations are optional, Fulfillment Reports are made easier if you do so and, in particular, Picking Lists which are used when you are processing your orders. You can also designate if this is to be a primary warehouse.
Finally, select the low inventory notification checkbox if you want to designate at what point you want the warehouse to reorder a product. For example, if you place '100' in the reorder point field, when this product reaches a quantity of 100, an email will be generated that the reorder point has been reached and that it is time to reorder.
Once your product has been added, it will now show up under the products child form for editing if need be. As described above, the Silver Pen added in the example above does not have the On Hand, Committed, Available, or Back Ordered fields available because no purchase order has been created as yet for the vendor to store products in this warehouse. However, a Re-Order point was specified in this example at 100 products. This means that an email will be generated when there are 100 pens remaining in stock to notify the contact that more pens should be ordered for this warehouse.
Once you have created a purchase order for your vendor to supply your warehouse, your Warehouse Profile, products child form will then show the values you specify for each product. This has now been completed using our example above for each of the products assigned to the M&R Warehouse #1. See the Purchase Order page, Receiving Inventory at the Warehouse) section for more information on creating a 'product-to-warehouse' purchase order.
When you sell a product, either through your Website or through Centralized Order Entry, the appropriate Committed amount for each product will also be viewable on the products child form.
NetForum sums the total available for sale across all warehouses for a given product to determine whether to throw an out of stock error.
The specific logic is as follows:
SELECT count(*) AS ivw_count, sum(ivw_qty_available_cp) AS qty_available
WHERE ivw_prd_key = 'zzzzzzzz';
Based on this design, a product sold in iWeb COE is committed for fulfillment instead of throwing an out-of-stock error, if the product includes the following conditions:
- Allow backorder = No
- quantity is available in the primary warehouse
- 1+ quantity is available in a secondary warehouse
NetForum commits the product for fulfillment because it’s found a secondary warehouse with quantity available.
In eWeb, all warehouses must be out of stock before the out-of-stock message appears on eWeb. The primary warehouse is set so that is the warehouse NetForum defaults to on iWeb sales and the only warehouse used for eWeb sales. They are also correct that we are assuming that staff will re-allocate inventory from one warehouse to another. The rationale for this logic is that we don't want to potentially turn away a customer if there is quantity available somewhere in your supply chain, even if the quantity is not available in the primary warehouse.
Be aware that as an extension of this logic, suppose you have "allow back order" set to no for a particular product. If you sell a product from the warehouse that was sold out, NetForum allows you to complete the sale and put the product on back order for that particular warehouse even though a second warehouse was not sold out. The rationale behind this logic is that NetForum applies the backorder to the empty warehouse so that you know which warehouse to move inventory to from other warehouses. If all warehouses (that is, total quantity available across all warehouses) was zero (or less), then no backorder would be allowed in that particular sale.
The general point here is that NetForum is generous in assuming that you can readily move inventory around from warehouses in order to avoid triggering back-order exceptions.