Updating Quantities: The Batch Inventory Module
You can get to this part of the system by clicking on the Inventory link in the blue Admin Toolbar and then clicking on the Batch Inventory link on the right. NOTE: If you are not seeing the module, contact your Account Manager or the Support team and we can enable it for you.
Why Should I Use the Batch Inventory Module?
Batch Inventory allows you to do the following things:
- Scan in inventory from sections of your store.
- Add inventory to any open batch: For example, if you have the same item in two parts of your store, you add five items from one area, and three more identical items from another area, as long as they go into the same open batch, the numbers will add to each other. So in this case, you would have a total of eight in the batch for that item.
- Allows you to see items you did not add to the batch from the same department(s) in each batch, which lets you identify sold out items.
How to Run an Inventory Batch
First, go to Inventory > Batch Inventory and click on the New Batch button.
You'll need to Name your batch. Putting in the date and the area of your store you'll be working on, if appropriate, is a good way to title a batch. If you have multiple locations, you'll choose the location you're working in and then click Save. Notes are a good way to keep track of what your goal is with the batch, and if you add to it in the future, how far you've come with the batch.
Adding Products: Uploading and Scanning
Once the Batch is there, you can edit the Name and Notes by clicking on the name. You can also Upload a CSV of your product count with identifier numbers. And you can scan directly into the module by clicking the Scan button. We'll start with the Scanning tool.
The Scan Inventory window allows you to scan in or type in whatever Identifier number you have for a product, set the Quantity, and click Add. Currently, you can scan in either UPC or SKU numbers, but not Manufacturer IDs. You won't see a photo, just the name of each item and the identifier. For reference, you can also see the Name of the batch you're working on, and whatever Notes are there for the batch. Once you're done with your current session of adding inventory, click the Review button to proceed with updating the batch. And don't worry! You can always add more to a batch before it does its final resolution of the update.
Reviewing Your Batch
After you click to Review the batch, you can continue to either Scan in more items or Upload more via spreadsheet (the Upload function has instructions on how to format your spreadsheet).
You also have the option of adding items you did NOT scan to the batch, so you can see items that are misplaced or items that the system thinks have inventory but are actually out of stock. Please note that this function will only display:
- Items that are currently listed in the same Department(s) as items in your batch.
- Items that are currently In Stock in our system (will not display zero-inventory items).
- Items that are not in the list of scanned items that have been added to the batch.
- Items that are not in another open batch.
As you can see in the image below, you have the option of adding items with negative inventory in the system.
Please note that when you add unscanned items, the system gives them a zero count in the Counted column of the line item, regardless of their system inventory (see the image below). TAKE CARE to review each line item added this way to make sure it is something for which you actually have no stock on hand, otherwise when the batch is reconciled, it will be set to zero inventory.
When you are ready to finish out the batch and make your inventory count changes live, click the Reconcile button. You'll be given one more chance to go back and add more, or you can proceed with reconciling the inventory.
IMPORTANT - If you have some of the same items in different parts of your store, for example, if you have a display up front of some calendars, and also have some of the same calendars in your area for books, you will want to make sure to scan all of them into the same batch. If you do a batch just for your Books section, then do a Front section batch as well, those calendars in the second group would be the final count that would be updated for those products, so be sure to consolidate your product scans for items that are in more than one place in the store.
Once you have Reconciled your Inventory Batch, it will be in a Closed state (no further changes can be made to the batch) and you'll see the changes that were made for each line item. You have the ability to Print and/or Export the batch for your reference. You also have the ability in the main Batch module screen to view Closed batches, so you can always refer to them there, if needed.