Predictive Purchasing

Updated 3 months ago

Predictive purchasing helps you forecast the quantity to order for a predicted amount of future sales. Projection is based on a number of factors, including the number of past sales and the available quantity. Past sales are used to determine a velocity, or the rate of sales per day over a given date range. Velocity is then multiplied to calculate the deficit supply for multiple date ranges. 

In more complex cases, days in stock and on-order quantities are also factored into the prediction. See the predictive purchasing-related Client Settings in this topic.

You can create a scheduled task that automatically exports a predictive purchasing Excel file.

Key terms

  • Days OF Order - Days of past sales from which you are basing the prediction. This generates a daily velocity. Days with no stock availability are 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 - Predicted deficit to your supply for multiple date ranges calculated as: (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.

Example: Days OF Order 30/ Days TO Order 15

In this example, 108 units sold in the past 30 days (Qty Sold column). Since it is based on a 30-day period, per day velocity is 3.6. 

  • Deficit Supply 15 - Multiplying 3.6 by 15 = 54. Subtract available qty of 28 to get a Deficit 15 of 26. ((108/30) * 15) - 28 = 26 
  • Deficit Supply 30 - Multiplying 3.6 by 30 = 108. Subtract available qty of 28 to get a Deficit 30 of 80 ((108/30) * 30) - 28 = 80 
  • Deficit Supply 45 - Multiplying 3.6 by 45 = 162. Subtract available qty of 28 to get a Deficit 45 of 134. ((108/30) * 45) - 28 = 134 
  • Same calculation for 60 and 90; see below for explanation of 11/M. 

Since 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 a schedule; enable the Client Setting Calculate Qty Sold in X days for Predicted Purchasing

Additionally, the service Product Inventory Movement Service must be running on the server. This service runs once daily around 2 AM. Go to Inventory > Predicted Purchasing and start from Step #4, below.

To manually generate for the most current data:

  1. Go to Inventory > Predicted Purchasing
  2. If the services above have been set, go to Step #5.
    If not, or if you want to calculate based on even more recent data, open the Action Menu and choose Generate Data for Sold Since Last Year > Go. This will calculate data for all products in your catalog. Alternatively, you can select specific items on the grid and choose Generate Data for Selected SKUs from the Action menu. SKUs will only appear 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. Check Only show rows with quantity to be ordered to see items with deficit quantities only.
  6. See an explanation of warehouse filters in the Client Settings section in this topic.
  7. Click Search to populate the grid with items with the following columns:
    1. ProductID
    2. ProductName
    3. ASIN
    4. Avail Qty - Quantity in all warehouses. See the 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, processing, etc. 
      1. Note: To exclude from this column any reserved quantities (these are unavailable), you must have enabled the Client Setting Predicted Restocking: Do not include Reserved in FBA Available Qty.
    5. Qty - 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 - Quantity sold in the selected "Days of Order." Based on the 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" when 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 quantity "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 the OnOrder Quantity will open the related PO. 
    11. Vendor - Default vendor on the product.
    12. Vendor Price - Price of the default vendor.
    13. Amazon BuyBox Price - Retail price of Amazon's BuyBox. Many online sellers use this information 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.

Add to PO

  1. Deficit quantity based on the Days To Order selection will auto-populate in the QTY field; edit the field as necessary.
  2. Select the products on the grid.
  3. Open the Action Menu and choose Add to PO > Go. You will be prompted to create a new PO or add to existing.
  4. Choose your option and click Continue.
When a PO is created with default Case Qty enabled, the supplied units will be added as Case Units.

Client settings for predictive purchasing

The Windows service Product Qty Sold Calculate Services MUST be running on the server (service is set to run by default).

SETTING

DESCRIPTION

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

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

Will calculate the prediction automatically. The service runs once every night. You can also calculate manually on the Predictive Purchasing page.

Enable custom sales velocity calculation

Use a custom calculation developed for you by SellerCloud.

Predictive Restocking: enable warehouse filter

For purchasing and FBA Restock.

Enables a filter to see available quantity based on warehouse. 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

The checkbox Reduce OnOrder quantity will display on the Predictive Restock For FBA page. 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 from 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 will include that qty as FBA Reserved Qty, which is subtracted from the calculated qty to restock FBA.

The Client Settings Always Consider FBA Total Supply Quantity, and Download FBA Reserved inventory breakdown must also be enabled for the inventory to be calculated.

Predictive Restocking: Show main component qty

 For dependent kits, a new column will appear 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

Will include sales from shadow parent and all shadow children in the prediction calculation of the purchasing SKU.

Predicted Purchasing use Minimum Order Qty

 

Predicted Purchasing show additional SKUs

A + sign will be added next to ASIN column in Predictive Purchasing. Will show all shadow SKUs with their  ASINs.

Predicted Purchasing allow editing notes

Add a "Notes" column to the 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

Lets you select all products on the grid and Add to PO from the Action menu. Product with 0 Qty will be ignored. If setting is disabled, the system will show an error if 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 the start of the 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 ____

Will skip days when the product was out of stock when calculating Days OF Order.

  • Works with the "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 the 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. Enables a warehouse selection to calculate deficit quantities/sales velocity based on a specific warehouse.


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