Vendor Managed Inventory overview

  • Updated

Optimizely’s Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) is a digital inventory solution with access via a mobile app and desktop. You can digitally count inventory by scanning product barcodes and submit orders via a mobile app. You can also manage the program via a desktop-enabled website. This helps streamline ordering, maintain accurate inventory rates, and improve customer retention.

Benefits

  • Use the Optimizely mobile app on-site to scan product barcodes to track inventory and submit order replenishment while identifying opportunities to add more products to your VMI program.
  • Set up minimum and maximum inventory rates for each customer and use automatic order suggestions to understand how much product to order to remain at the max.
  • Build relationships with your customers, streamline product reordering, and add more operational value as a vendor to grow your business.

Features and capabilities

  • Mobile replenishment – Access to a mobile app to scan customers’ product barcodes, track inventory, and place replenishment orders directly from the warehouse.
  • Desktop program management – Set up customer locations, track slow or fast-moving inventory, or import inventory and submit VMI orders directly from the site.
  • Customer and employee-compatible – Allow your field sales employees to order for your customers or allow your customers to place orders directly from their warehouse, helping you scale your VMI program.

Example scenario

Enable VMI

To enable VMI for your ecommerce site, you go to the Admin Console > Administration > Settings, search for Enable VMI, and toggle the setting to On. You then set the proper role assignments for VMI permissions, allowing your customers to track inventory and submit orders when necessary. You then work with your partner to add VMI to the Mobile CMS Link List through the Mobile SDK.

Set up Spire CMS

You ask your designated VMI Administrator to add widgets to the VMI-specific pages. Because you are using Spire CMS, your VMI Administrator turns on the Content Editor and selects the website to edit. They then click Sign In to use their VMI credentials to access the VMI-specific pages. They go to My Account in the Page Tree and select each VMI page to add the desired widgets. They click Publish for each page after they have finished adding the widgets.

Add locations and products

Once set up in the backend, your VMI Administrator logs on to the storefront with a VMI-enabled account to import locations and products. They go to Locations and import warehouses via a CSV file with the location address and any other important information to your team, such as expansion plans or the size of the location. They then go to Products and upload a CSV file with product information, including minimum and maximum quantities, current quantities, and more. They can also manually add products by clicking Add a Product and entering the name, bin number, and minimum and maximum quantity. The team can now begin using VMI to track inventory in the warehouse.

Use the mobile app

After the locations are set up with products and tied to users, a team member opens the mobile app and accesses the Vendor Managed Inventory link on their account page. They select the location they are currently checking. They tap Count Inventory, scan a barcode, enter the number of inventory in stock, and tap Update. When they have finished taking stock of the inventory, they tap Checkout. The system compares the quantity in stock to the minimum and maximum quantity. If the number is below the minimum, the system orders the product up to the maximum-desired quantity. The team member taps Submit Order.

Use reporting

While logged in, the VMI Administrator can go to Reports to view which products are Below Minimum for each location. This section also displays the Slow Moving and Fast Moving reports to understand how products are progressing.

View order history

VMI managers can view the current Orders at each location to see what each location has ordered and ensure the team maintains the correct inventory stock. They can reorder products as needed by selecting products from the Products table for a location and clicking Reorder Selected Products or Reorder beside a specific product.