Predictive Purchasing

Predictive purchasing can help you forecast what quantity to order for a predicted amount of future sales. The projection is based on a number of factors, including the number of past sales and the available quantity. The past sales are used to determine a velocity, or the rate of sales per day over a given date range. The velocity is then multiplied to calculate the deficit supply for multiple date ranges. In more complex cases, the days in stock and on order quantities are also factored into the prediction.

See below important client settings related to predictive purchasing.

Key Terms
  • Days OF Order - Days of past sales from which you are basing the prediction. This generates a daily velocity. Please note that days with no stock availability will be skipped in the Days Of Order Count.
  • Velocity - Rate of sales per day when calculated by - Qty Sold in Days of Order divided by Days of Order
  • Deficit Supply - The predicted deficit to your supply for multiple date ranges. This is calculated as follows: (Velocity x Deficit Days) - (Available quantity + On Order) See below.
  • Days TO Order - Days to which you are multiplying the daily velocity to generate an Add to PO Qty. While the deficit supply will be calculated for all dates, this selection enables a quick add to PO. See below.
Days of Order 30/ Days To Order 15

In this example, 108 units sold in the past 30 days (as seen in the Qty Sold field). Because it is based off a 30 period, the per day velocity is 3.6. 
  • Deficit Supply 15 - Multiplying 3.6 by 15 gives you 54. Subtract the available qty of 28. This gives you a Deficit 15 of 26. ((108/30) * 15) - 28 = 26 
  • Deficit Supply 30 - Multiplying 3.6 by 30 gives you 108. Subtract the available qty of 28. This gives you a Deficit 30 of 80 ((108/30) * 30) - 28 = 80 
  • Deficit Supply 45 - Multiplying 3.6 by 45 gives you 162. Subtract the available qty of 28. This gives you a Deficit 45 of 134. ((108/30) * 45) - 28 = 134 
  • Same calc. for 60 and 90. See below for explanation of 11/M. 
Because "Days To Order 15" was selected, the deficit qty of 26 was auto entered into the QTY. field to add to a PO. 

Generate a Purchase Prediction
Purchasing predictions can be generated automatically on schedule. Enable the client setting Calculate Qty Sold in X days for Predicted Purchasing. Additionally, the service ProductInventoryMovementService must be running on the server. The service runs once a day around 2 AM. Then, navigate to Inventory > Predicted Purchasing and begin from step 4 below.

To generate manually for the most current data, follow the steps below:
  1. Navigate Inventory > Predicted Purchasing. 
  2. If the services above have been set, proceed to step 5. If not, or you want to calculate based on even more recent data, open the action menu and select Generate Data for Sold Since Last Year, and GO. This action will calculate data for all products in your catalog. Alternatively, you can select specific items on the grid and select Generate Data for Selected SKUs from the action menu. SKUs will only display in the grid after steps 5 and 6 have been completed.
  3. After the job completes, refresh the page.
  4. Select the Days Of Order/Days To Order from their respective dropdowns.
  5. You can check the Only show rows with quantity to be ordered to only display items with deficit quantities.
  6. See below in "Client Setting" section for explanation of warehouse filters.
  7. Press Search and the grid will populate items with the following columns:
    1. ProductID
    2. ProductName
    3. ASIN
    4. Avail Qty - Quantity in all warehouses. See client setting below Predictive Restocking: Consider FC Transfer and FC  Processing as reserved for managing "Sellable" FBA warehouses that have inventory that is reserved by FBA because of a transfer or processing etc. 
      1. Note: To actually exclude from this column any reserved quantities (these are unavailable), you need to have enabled the client setting Predicted Restocking: Do not include Reserved in FBA Available Qty > Save.
    5. Qty - In this field you can enter the quantity to add to a purchase order. See below.
    6. Velocity - Rate of sales per day when calculated by  - Qty Sold in Days of Order divided by Days of Order
    7. Qty Sold - The quantity sold in the selected "Days of Order". Based on client setting above, it will calculate sales for the days inventory was available. This means that if there were days within the selected "Days of Order" where there was no available inventory, those days will be skipped in the count. 
    8. Deficit Supply - The predicted deficit to your supply. This is calculated as follows: (Velocity x Days To Order) - (Available quantity + On Order)
    9. 11/M - Qty Sold 11 months back in time for a full month period. This can be helpful when trying to determine quantities to order for seasonal periods, which are often different than preceding non-season months. For example, if you are at the beginning of November and want to determine how much to order for the coming seasonal month of December, this column will look back 11 months - to December - and display quantity sold for the month of December. This can be used as an indicator if you need to order more qty than was calculated based on the regular velocity.
    10. On Order - shows how many units are on open Purchase Orders. PO must be set as "Approved" to consider qty "On Order". It is critical for determining if, and how many units, need to be ordered. After determining how many units are needed for the given time period, both the available quantity and on order quantities are factored in to determine how many need to still be ordered. Clicking on the OnOrder Quantity will open the related PO. 
    11. Vendor - The default vendor on the product.
    12. Vendor Price - The price of the default vendor.
    13. Amazon BuyBox Price - The retail price of the BuyBox on Amazon. Many online sellers will use this info to determine if they can be competitive on a given product, or if they should discontinue the product. Read how to get the Amazon BuyBox here.

Add to PO
  1. The Deficit quantity based on the Days To Order selection will auto populate in the QTY field. You can edit the filed as necessary.
  2. Select the products on the grid.
  3. Open action menu and select Add to PO and GO.
  4. You will be prompted to create a new PO or add to existing.
  5. Choose your option and press Continue.
When a PO is created with default Case Qty enabled, the supplied units will be added as Case Units.

Schedule Task For Predictive Purchasing
A scheduled task can be set up to automatically export a predictive purchasing excel file. The report can be exported to email or FTP. By Default a purchase order will be generated by by the task, however, you do have the option to not create a PO.

Explanation of Client Settings related to Predictive Purchasing
Please Note: The windows service - ProductQtySoldCalcuateServices - MUST be running on the server. The service is set to run by default.

Enable per vendor Predictive Purchase settings Calculates velocity based on the "Past" and "Future" fields on the Vendor General page. (Instead of using the standard 90/Past  14/Future).
Enable including ProjectedKitQty & FBAInTransit  numbers  in AvailableQty for Predictive Purchasing When enabled will include data related to FBA including:

  • FBA sales
  • Inventory of the purchasing SKU that has been assembled into Independent kits (typically done only for FBA) as part of the available inventory of the component. Even though  the inventory has been removed from the component and placed on the parent, you may still want to include it because that is the the typical selling format of the component.
  • Inventory of the purchasing SKU that is in-transit to FBA as available inventory (even though In-Transit warehouses are typically not sellable).
Enable including non-sellable FBA qty in Predictive  Purchasing Includes the available qty at FBA Warehouse that has been marked as "Unsellable". Typically, this setting is disabled, because  the FBA Qty is not available for other sales channels. Hence, you would want to order more regardless of what is available at  FBA. This setting should not be enabled if your FBA warehouse is marked as sellable.
Calculate Qty Sold in X days for Predicted Purchasing when enabled, will calculate the prediction automatically. The service runs once every night. You can calculate manually as well  on the Predictive Purchasing page.
Enable custom sales velocity calculation Enable to use a custom calculation (developed for you specifically by SellerCloud).
Predictive Restocking: enable warehouse filter For purchasing and FBA Restock. Enables filter to see available quantity based on warehouse. Please note: this will only  change the details of the Available qty column. The deficit qty and qty to order will still be based on the total available qty  across  all sellable warehouses.
Predictive Restocking: enable for purchasing if enabled, checkbox Reduce OnOrder quantity will display on Predictive Restock For FBA page. With the checkbox enabled  the onOrder qty will be subtracted from the Qty To Order text box. This option is typically used if you want to create a PO off  of this page, and order from a vendor specifically to restock on FBA.
Predictive Restocking: Consider FC Transfer and FC  Processing as reserved For use in predictive purchasing when FBa warehouse is marked "Sellable". For use in Predictive Restock For FBA even when  warehouse is marked as "Unsellable".
 FC transfer or FC processing means that Amazon places a reserve on merchandise already sent for various reasons. Enabling  this client setting will include that qty as FBA Reserved Qty, which is subtracted from the calculated qty to restock FBA.  Client settings Always Consider FBA Total Supply Quantity, and Download FBA Reserved inventory breakdown must  be enabled as well for the inventory to be calculated.
Predictive Restocking: Show main component qty For dependent kits - a new column will display to show main component’s available qty.
Predictive Purchasing: Exclude OnOrder amount for  Vendor Shipments For FBA Restock. Will subtract qty on a PO linked to an FBA Shipment from the "On Order" column. This is because the qty  is  already "In Transit column" on the linked FBA Shipment.
Predicted Purchasing Merge Shadow SKU When enabled will include sales from shadow parent and all shadow children in prediction calculation of the purchasing SKU.
Predicted Purchasing use Minimum Order Qty 
Predicted Purchasing show additional SKUs When enabled,  a + sign will be added next to ASIN column in Predictive Purchasing. Will display all shadow SKUs with their  ASINs.
Predicted Purchasing allow editing notes Add a "Notes" column to Predicted purchasing grid. Saves text to the Master SKU field on the Product Home page.
Predicted Purchasing Ignore zero qty products while  adding to PO Allows to select all products on the grid and Add to PO from action menu. Product with 0 Qty will be ignored. If setting is  disabled, the system will throw an error if some of the selected items have zero qty to order.
Calculate QtySold YTD as Last 365 days Configures the YTD value on the Products purchasing page.  Sets it year-to-date from the past 365 days, not from beginning of  calendar year. (This setting does not affect predictive purchasing.)
Use InStock days in predictive purchasing data

  • Project greater QtySold when InStock days are fewer than days of order interval
  • Minimum sampling of days instock for projected qtySold ____
 When enabled will skip days where the product was out of stock when calculating Days OF Order.

  • Works in concert with "InStock Days" setting. This projects qty for items whose "In stock" days are less than Days of Order. It will project what would have sold had the item been in stock for the entire interval. For example, if days of order are 30 and days in stock are 2 days, and qty sold = 1, the qtySold in 30 days will be calculated as 15. 
  • Limits above setting to be used only when the "In stock" days meet or exceed a minimum set amount of days.
Predictive Restocking: enable based on ship from  warehouse For purchasing and FBA Restock.This setting enables a warehouse selection to calculate deficit quantities/sales velocity based  on a specific warehouse.

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