Advance purchasing and inventory intelligence - Optimization Software

Advanced purchasing and inventory intelligence












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Lokad offers an inventory forecasting engine that predicts future demand. However, through scripts, Lokad is able to support a much greater range of scenarios. Lokad features a versatile data processing engine tailored for commerce. Advanced reordering strategies can be implemented to accurately match your supply patterns, and inventory patterns can be visualized to help you focus on your “troublemakers”. Lokad’s team is here to help you implement these advanced scenarios.

Advanced purchasing

Leveraging a powerful forecasting engine, Lokad computes reorder points that are optimized to reach the target service level with the minimal amount of inventory. However, the purchasing process can involve many different elements that go beyond the estimation of future demand. For example, some suppliers many offer bulk discounts, giving an incentive to purchase in larger quantities. In order to support such advanced scenarios, Lokad’s functionalities can be extended through scripts.

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Our scripting engine is a flexible data processing tool. Simply put, if you can think of a calculation that could be carried out in Excel, then, most certainly, it can also be done with Lokad. By combining an advance forecasting engine and a versatile data crunching engine, Lokad is able to handle very complex purchasing scenarios.

Here are just a few scenarios that we have observed from our customer base:
  • Taking container shipments into account when generating an order. The lead time needs to be adjusted to take into account the delay until the next container shipment, but at the same time the amount of goods purchased should be adjusted to make the most of the container capacity.
  • Establishing whether products should be stocked or not. Merchants are increasingly relying on drop-shipping; however, for top sellers it is usually more profitable to keep some minimal inventory with a fallback on the dropship when the product is not readily available.
  • Composing multi-product bulk purchase orders to benefit from favorable shipping fees from suppliers. Some suppliers remove the shipping fee when a purchase order reaches a certain threshold. In such a situation, it becomes highly important to properly compose purchase orders for each supplier.

All of the above mentioned scenarios can be implemented with our solution. The complexity of implementation primarily depends on the complexity of the scenario itself. Nevertheless, a few dozen lines of Envision script can already cover fairly advanced scenarios.

Inventory intelligence

In-depth insights relating to inventory movements greatly help to make the right inventory decisions. Yet, most solutions fail to capture the industry-specific criteria which is necessary in order to deliver truly actionable insights. Most software solutions face the following dilemma: either keep it simple with a limited number of views, but then there is no depth; or go deep, and bury the practitioners under a truckload of views, which are often largely irrelevant to the business.

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Our solution offers the unique possibility to build bespoke dashboards where every single number is tailored to fit your business. Get everything your inventory manager needs in a single webpage, and make sure that every single number being displayed is worth the time it takes to read them.

Listing again a few scenarios that we have observed among our customer base:
  • Inventory profitability analysis. The “Return on Inventory” is very important indicator necessary for understanding why inventory is held in the first place. However, when inventory is sold at varying prices (depending on the channels) and purchased at varying prices (depending on the supplier), inventory profitability can become highly complex. Through our solution, one can capture the fine-grained profitability of inventory without relying on the simplistic assumption of having one selling price and one purchase price for every SKU.
  • Dead inventory troublemarker identification. Just because a SKU is sold infrequently, it does not mean that the corresponding inventory is “dead”. Complex rules can be setup to capture the exact list of SKUs that fail to rotate according to a business’s expectations. An accurate prioritization of such troublemakers is very important for practitioners in charge of addressing the problem of dead inventory.
  • Tracking inventory performance over time. Inventory performance is a complex and very industry-specific mix of inventory costs and returns, including stock-out opportunity costs, dead inventory costs and naturally gross margin profitability of all client orders. The exact financial “equation” of a company can be written with our solution to keep track of inventory performance over time.

These scenarios can also be implemented with Lokad. Our solution data visualization capabilities, which include tables, linecharts, barcharts, treemaps and more, let you tailor you dashboards to truly fit your business.

Premier plans from Lokad

Our technology is publicly (and extensively) documented. Our solution's capabilities are implemented through a tiny scripting language named Envision. Unlike generic programming languages, Envision is intended to be accessible to any moderately experienced Excel user.

Source code snippet of the Envision programming language


While we firmly believe our technology to be very accessible, starting from a blank sheet can be a bit of a daunting task. Thus, our Lokad team is here to provide you with up to a full end-to-end service tailored specifically to your company. Learn more about our Premier subscription.