Last updated on August 28th, 2023
Written by Himanshi Raj
One of the most essential tasks for any business is inventory management. It can uplift your business or crush it, depending on how well you handle your item stock. In ecommerce, many online sellers must master Amazon inventory management to keep their online store on the right track.
But, it’s not an easy task. Let’s learn why an experienced account manager managing inventory for your Amazon business is the way to go, and discover how they can ensure efficient inventory management.
As your business develops and your target market grows, you must be prepared to meet your customers' ever-growing demands and expectations. That’s where inventory management comes in and saves your company’s day.
Inventory management involves performing various processes and tasks to monitor, organize, and effectively oversee the total number of products sellers have in stock. With efficient inventory control, business owners can effortlessly meet customer demands while ensuring none of their items have spoiled.
Sellers manage inventory to reap several benefits and avoid storage-specific disasters. In particular, regularly performing these tasks can:
The Amazon inventory management system operates on an automatic machine learning-based model, inputting and presenting essential data and metrics like Cost of Goods Sold (CoGS) and shipment tracking time in real-time for sellers.
Interested sellers will have access to such inventory management systems if they choose to sell under the Amazon Fulfillment Network and use one of its fulfillment methods, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). The Amazon Fulfillment Network manages the ecommerce giant’s vast inventory and handles all fulfillment operations.
To delve further into Amazon’s stock management system, let’s discuss the key elements that comprise this sophisticated framework.
Amazon has prepared nearly 200 fulfillment warehouses worldwide (110 in the United States alone) to accommodate the millions of FBA sellers on the platform. Each fulfillment center can house millions of products and items daily, with each warehouse’s area approximating 800,000 square feet.
Holding an enormous amount of inventory is challenging, to say the least. Thankfully, Amazon has an organized barcode and labeling system to keep track of each product in their warehouses accurately and precisely. Each item has a unique barcode for efficient tracking and identification throughout the fulfillment process.
Additionally, Amazon uses sophisticated inventory placement algorithms and advanced routing systems to determine the optimal placement of products within these fulfillment centers.
Once an order is placed, these systems automatically identify which FBA warehouse (with the item in stock) is closest to the customer, minimizing delivery time and leading to a more efficient fulfillment process.
Since each item has its specific barcode, sellers can easily track their inventory levels and manage their products’ availability in real-time, enabling them to manage inventory better, avoiding item shortages and unused inventory.
As mentioned, using FBA will give sellers access to Amazon’s sophisticated inventory control system. Amazon business owners will also gain access to various tools on Seller and Vendor Central in an organized dashboard.
These tools will help sellers manage their inventory, set restock alerts, monitor sales performance, and oversee inventory levels effectively. Some of these tools include:
Amazon also offers multi-channel inventory management tools and integrations to enable sellers to manage inventory across multiple sales channels, including other Amazon-owned ecommerce platforms.
Besides the Seller and Vendor Central tools mentioned above, Amazon also has a metric to help with stock management through the Inventory Performance Index or IPI score.
The IPI score tells sellers how well they manage their inventory, giving them a score between 0 and 1000. The metric is calculated based on how well they handle three key item inventories: excess inventory, in-stock inventory, and stranded inventory or items with no active product listings.
To encourage business owners, Amazon incentivizes brands with ideal and high IPI scores (from 500 to 800) by lowering FBA inventory fees and increasing the storage capacity for such sellers.
Of course, where there are incentives, there are punishments. Scores lower than 400 may actually limit a seller’s storage in FBA warehouses, so it’s best to always keep a close eye on your IPI score.
Source: Photo by Tiger Lily from Pexels.com
With how tedious and challenging inventory management can be, you’ll need all the help you can get—that comes in the form of an account manager.
Indicative in the name, an Amazon account manager will handle all tasks and processes associated with using an Amazon seller account, such as account setup, brand registration, product launches, and listing optimization, to name a few.
For instance, Seller Interactive’s full account management services cover all the aforementioned processes, plus inventory management. Experts accomplish the following tasks to ensure optimal inventory management.
Account managers can analyze sales data, seasonal patterns, and market trends to set the optimal restocking thresholds, ensuring replenishment orders are triggered at the right time while preventing issues like stock outs or excess inventory.
Moreover, an account manager assesses Amazon's storage fees, fulfillment options, and storage limits to devise the most cost-effective strategies that align with the seller's budget and growth objectives.
An account manager can help clients address common FBA storage issues such as lost goods, labeling errors, and storage limits. Account managers regularly audit inventory to identify and fix discrepancies, ensuring that products are accounted for within Amazon's system.
Proper labeling of products can minimize fulfillment delays while complying with Amazon's requirements. Meanwhile, by monitoring storage limits and distributing inventory across FBA centers, account managers prevent additional storage fees and optimize product availability.
Some product categories on Amazon are subject to restrictions that limit sellers' access. Sellers can navigate the intricacies of Amazon's product category approval process with the help of an account manager.
Account managers gather necessary documentation, create compelling product listings, and appeal any rejections to unlock these restrictions, allowing clients to expand their product portfolio and boost their potential on the platform.
Unmanaged product listings can lead to issues like delisting and stranded inventory, resulting in the loss of sales. However, with an account manager who regularly monitors your listings, you can ensure your product listings are well-optimized and get the search visibility they deserve.
Account managers identify the root cause of delisted products and take the necessary actions to correct them, such as updating images, revising descriptions, or addressing customer concerns.
Finally, an account manager actively engages with Amazon's Seller Support to address issues, resolve disputes, and seek guidance on more complex matters. The account manager gains insights into platform updates, policy changes, and best practices, ensuring smoother inventory operations.
Here are some other suggestions to avoid poor inventory management and to guarantee your Amazon inventory is well-kept and well-managed.
Maintain a good relationship with your product suppliers and be in constant contact with them. Staying in touch with your suppliers enables you to inform them about your inventory needs and market demands. Communicating with your supplier ensures they can adjust their production and delivery schedules accordingly.
Constantly monitoring this metric will help you easily identify the issues in your stock management. Upon checking your IPI score, the rest of the essential inventory management tasks will follow, such as restocking items promptly, reducing excess products, and fixing broken product listings.
Using Amazon inventory management software can further streamline and optimize your inventory management processes.
A centralized inventory management system can ensure accurate storage levels and give real-time data on stocks and trends. It’s best to also use systems that automate inventory management aspects to speed up your inventory processes.
Choose and use the right inventory management system with these other features:
Efficient inventory management is behind every successful business and any flourishing company. With the help of Amazon inventory management tools and the right support, you can manage your product storage in a breeze.
Consider working with Seller Interactive’s Amazon experts to ensure efficient inventory management!
Book a call today so our professionals can help you and your Amazon business flourish.
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