Integrate Linnworks data to optimized your inventory with Lokad

Inventory Forecasting for Linnworks


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Lokad can be seen as an add-on for Linnworks. We deliver advance inventory forecasting, commerce analytics and pricing optimization. Lokad is a webapp, like Linnworks, with a monthly subscription. Linnworks-powered merchants typically get started with Lokad to optimize their inventory, that is, increase service levels while reducing inventory levels in the same time. Don't hesitate to request a free demo; while we strive to make Lokad as simple as possible, optimizing inventory tends to be inherently complex.

The data from Linnworks can be imported in just a few clicks into Lokad thanks to a native integration that leverages the Linnworks API. In this page, we details how to make the most of this native Linnworks integration.


Linnworks credentials

In order to import your Linnworks data into Lokad, you need a Lokad account. If it's not already done, you can get one at no cost in 60s. Then, on the Linnworks side, you need to obtain an API Token. Check the Linnworks documentation to see how to retrieve your own token. Then, once you have this token, you need to copy-and-paste this code into your Lokad account.

Linnworks has been around for a while, and some of the older accounts do not benefit from the API access. This limitation can be lifted by contacting directly the Linnworks support staff. The process is very straightforward. Once this is done, you are ready to get started with Lokad.

Linnworks concepts vs Lokad concepts

The usual notion of SKU involves that here are as many SKUs as there are storage locations; i.e. if you have 100 products and 3 locations, you have 300 SKUs. However, from the Linnworks viewpoint, the Linnworks SKU is a concept that does not depend on the location. So, the same SKUs are replicated for all locations. As result, if we want to consider all the possible stock levels, we need to consider all the pairs Location + Sku within Linnworks. Lokad has the concept of inventory items where items can be used to reflect SKUs, barcodes or products depending on the situation. In the case of Linnworks, Lokad performs its analysis for each pair Location + Sku as retrieved from Linnworks.

Data retrieved from Linnworks

Lokad retrieves extensive data from Linnworks which include:
  • All Location + Sku pairs with the stock on hand, the stock on order, the selling price, the purchase price.
  • The sales order history with the location, the quantity, the net amount, the tax amount, the client, the currency.
  • The purchase order history with the location, the quantity, the supplier.
  • The composite item details with the parent stock item and the children stock items.
  • The price lists where each SKU can get a distinct price per source.

Those data are pushed into 4 flat files named Lokad_Items.tsv, Lokad_Orders.tsv, Lokad_PurchaseOrders.tsv, Lokad_Prices.tsv and Lokad_Parts.tsv within your Lokad account.

Lead times and service levels

In order to optimize your inventory, our inventory forecasting engine needs to know both the target service level and the applicable lead time. In order to keep data properly organized, Lokad offers the possibility to enter those data directly from Linnworks, by leveraging its extended properties feature.

Each SKU can be decorated with Extended Properties, which work as custom additional attributes that can be defined on a per-SKU basis. Below, we define the Lead Time and the Service Level as such, independently for each of your SKUs. Extended Properties can be manually added to each SKU from the Linnworks Order Management, or they can also be imported from Excel-generated flat files using the Data Import tool.

Defining the extended properties in Linnworks per SKU

In this section, we illustrate how to create the desired extended properties, one SKU at a time. This helps to gain a better understanding of the process, however, the process is too tedious to be applicable if dozens or more of SKUs need to be adjusted. In the following, we detail a slightly more advance methods that offer the possibility to bulk insert those properties.

Select the SKU, then click the Edit Item button. Image

In the SKU window, click on Extended Properties. Image

Click on the Click here to add a new row. Image

In the Name column, enter ServiceLevel. In the Value column, enter the desired service level as a number between 0 and 1. For example, enter 0.85 for a 85% service level. In the Type column, select Attribute.

Then, add another row to define the lead time. The process is fairly similar. In the Name column, enter LeadTime. In the Value column, enter the desired lead time in days. In the Type column, select Attribute.

Bulk import of the Extended Properties

Linnworks also supports a bulk import of extended properties, which is easier and faster when dealing with a large number of SKUs. This can be achieved in various ways; the procedure described below is similar to the one showed in this tutorial video.

First, we create an Excel file contains the following columns: SKU, LeadTime and ServiceLevel. Image

Then, we save the workbook as a CSV file. Microsoft Excel produces a warning that can be safely ignored. Image

We launch the Linnworks Data Import utility and choose the Product description and attributes. Image

The next window asks to choose a CSV file. We provide the one we've just created using Excel. Image

When clicking the Next button, the Data Import Utility detects the ServiceLevel and the LeadTime columns. In the Type column, we select Attribute for each dropdown. Image

We then get a preview of the data about to be imported. We recognize the two SKU we entered in Excel for which two attributes have been detected. Image

On the next screen, we click the Import button, and get a confirmation that the process completed successfully. Image