What are inventory level updates?
For every integration that is actively connected to your Flexport account, Flexport regularly and automatically tells the integration how many of each DSKU (SKU) we have in inventory.
Specifically, this means that we take the available for sale quantity (as visible on the inventory details page for each DSKU) and then send an update for all of the aliases (SKUs, products, or listings on the integration) that belong to this DSKU. Learn more about aliases.
If buffer stock is enabled for an integration, then Flexport reports slightly less than the actual available for sale quantity on this page. Read more at Set a Buffer Stock for Inventory Levels.
Why does Flexport send inventory updates?
Automatic inventory updates are good for you, the merchant, since they keep all of your integrations in sync with the inventory we have in our fulfillment network.
Keeping your inventory levels in sync is most important to prevent stockouts — a situation where a customer places an order but there is no inventory in the warehouse to fulfill the order. If the inventory levels are fully in sync, then stockouts are prevented because the listing will say "out of stock" and not allow the customer to place an order.
Any other functionality in your marketplace, website tool, or listing tool that relies on accurate inventory levels (such as forecasting and prediction) also benefits from inventory updates.
When does Flexport send updates?
During normal operation
Flexport sends updates whenever there is a change in the available-for-sale inventory level of a DSKU. This usually happens when:
- Units are received at a fulfillment center.
- Available quantity is incremented at all active channels.
- A unit is reserved to fulfill a customer's order imported from a connected channel.
- Available quantity is decremented at all active channels except the channel from which the order originated, as the channel independently decrements its own inventory.
- Units are reserved to fulfill a removal order (or manual order) created in your Flexport Portal.
- Available quantity is decremented at all active channels.
- Units are Unavailable while transfered between warehouses (less common)
- Available quantity is decremented at all active channels to reflect the units that are en-route.
- Once the transfer is complete, the same quantity will be incremented at all active channels.
We manually update inventory every 24 hours for all DSKUs that have been recently updated with the absolute values of the inventory levels per the conditions listed above.
When Flexport starts sending updates per SKU
Flexport does not send inventory updates for all of your DSKUs. We only send updates if:
|The DSKU exists in the catalog.|
The DSKU has been inbounded before.
If a DSKU has never been inbounded to Flexport before, then we do not send inventory updates.
|The DSKU's dimensions have been verified.||
Dimensions must be verified by a fulfillment center for us to calculate a fulfillment fee.
At this point we determine that a DSKU is sellable, and therefore we send inventory updates and import orders for this DSKU.
The DSKU has at least one alias to an active integration.
DSKUs that don't have an alias do not have a product, SKU, or listing on the integration's side to point to for Flexport to send inventory updates. Read more about aliases.