Inventory Allocation is a big part of what we do, and with that in mind, we want to have a deep dive available for those who are curious. If you want just the broad strokes, you can check out this article.
"Inventory Allocation" is the term we use to refer to the Modern Retail Integrator's method of handling inventory that is being sold both online and in your physical location(s). Inventory allocation works by reserving inventory for orders that your POS system isn't aware of yet, so you don't have to worry about overselling.
Allocation works by "reserving" inventory for orders that have been made online, but haven't been sent down to your POS or ERP system yet. Here's roughly how that works:
1. A customer makes an order on your website. For this example, let's say one lamp.
2. The order is received, generally 5-15 minutes after it is made, and that information heads down to the integrator.
At this point, it's important to note that the Integrator sends inventory updates at a pace we control. We recommend hourly updates; that works for most people. However if your business has high volume traffic for your physical locations, we recommend more frequent updates; 4 times an hour, or every 15 minutes, at most.
3.The integrator notes that one lamp has been sold, and one lamp is reserved, or "allocated" from your inventory. So if you had 10 lamps in inventory, now it displays as 9.
4. The order is either cancelled, in which case that inventory is re-added to your stock, or fulfilled, in which case the appropriate amount of inventory is now recorded, and removed from the "allocated" status.
During this process, you can monitor the inventory in allocation and the time/date information is sent to the POS/ERP system from the Modern Retail Admin Panel. We may also record the time & date at which that information is received by your POS/ERP system, however this varies based on which POS/ERP system you use.
Inventory by Location
If you have multiple stores, and are using some form of inventory by location to monitor the inventory of each of your individual locations, it's important to be aware that the "allocation" inventory totals are taken as an aggregate, rather than individual numbers for each location. This means that if your two locations have 35 and 59 items in allocation, the Admin Panel will display 94 items in allocation, total.