When promising orders to customers, it can be challenging for retailers to provide customers the accurate inventory picture across all nodes.

The inventory that is used to promise orders to customers might not be available on hand. It can either be in transit or an order might be placed for which the retailers want to use a certain percentage of the future supply to fulfill the demand. Additionally, retailers must be able to know when their inventory levels fall under the specified thresholds so that they can place orders and plan for supply.

Inventory Visibility is a stand-alone cloud service solution that processes inventory supply and demand activity to provide an accurate and real-time global visibility information across various selling channels. Retailers can use this information to optimize their business operations to enhance the customers’ shopping experiences and prevent inventory stockout and overselling.

Inventory Visibility can seamlessly integrate with any existing commerce solution. It is suitable for retailers that need to add inventory insight to their legacy Sterling Order Management System solution and for growing retailers who are not ready for a complete Sterling Order Management System solution.

Inventory Visibility is designed to address these issues. For the success of any commerce solution, real-time inventory visibility is the key. After a sale, if the time taken to update the inventory is high, the chances of overselling or stockout is also high. If the requirement for safety stock is high, the probability of markdowns in the future also increases. For instance, after an item is added to the cart, it might take a few minutes to check out. When checked out, it might take a few minutes before the captured order meets expectations and achieves omnichannel success.

Inventory Visibility updates the inventory picture immediately, and provides accurate and real-time stock levels across all channels. Inventory Visibility also provides the ability to scale horizontally to handle increasing throughput requirements and unexpected spikes in demand.

Inventory Visibility enables retailers to:
  • Reduce carrying costs of safety stock.
  • Reduce out-of-stock, oversell, and markdown.
  • Increase conversion rates.
  • Logically map enterprise inventory supply to demand.

And, provide customers visibility into available products and a framework that they can rely on.

Key benefits

Real-time inventory visibility provides numerous benefits, which include (but are not limited to):
  • A single, centralized, and accurate view of real-time inventory across various selling channels.
  • Reduced latency in inventory updates through soft reservations.
  • Reduced investment in caching solutions for e-commerce.

Inventory Visibility architecture

The following diagram illustrates the Inventory Visibility flow.
Figure 1. Inventory Visibility flow
A diagram showing the flow of Inventory Visibility, from the storage database to read APIs, from write APIs to the storage database and availability engine, and the storage database and availability engine to each other.
By using storage database in transactional data, you can:
  • Scale Inventory Visibility performance and provide real-time, cross-channel inventory visibility.
  • Use a native-cross data center replication so that you can copy the availability information to a data center that is close to the edge server to reduce the latency in inventory lookup.
  • Ensure that all transactions, including inventory updates, provide better latencies and throughput.
You can invoke Inventory Visibility REST APIs to perform the inventory-related tasks, including the following:
  • Fetch precomputed inventory.
  • Perform supply and demand updates.
  • Compute inventory availability.