How to manage your inventory in Rentle
This article collects all the helpful content about managing your inventory in Rentle.
What is inventory
In all simplicity, inventory refers to all the physical assets that a company owns and uses as a trading instrument, for example, by selling or renting them out.
Every item in the warehouse or retail store's backroom is part of the inventory. These items are called articles. All the individual articles are grouped using Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) to simplify the order fulfillment and tracking processes, and SKUs can be tracked individually or in bulk.
What are articles
Articles are the actual physical items you can touch. Each article can have a unique ID or article number, and you can store metadata for each article, such as manufacturer, model, year, etc.
What are Stock Keeping Units
To keep order fulfillment and tracking simpler, merchants need a way to group their inventory articles, and this is when Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) come in.
SKUs are a commonly used categorization method in the field of inventory management that groups similar inventory articles together.
The difference between inventory and product catalog
The articles and Stock Keeping Units represent the physical assets your business has in the inventory, and they are not necessarily the same thing as your product catalog. Your product catalog is the collection of products, services, and combinations you sell to your customers.
For businesses that sell merchandise, the correspondence between the inventory articles, SKUs, and the product catalog is higher because the article in the inventory is very close to the product being sold. A white t-shirt is a white t-shirt both in the inventory and in the product catalog.
A customer can browse a product catalog, for example, through a company's website. There is a related product in the inventory for a product that appears in the online store. When a customer places an order through any sales channel, the inventory management system counts how many SKUs there are in the inventory. After that, the order gets fulfilled, and the inventory is restocked.
However, rental products are different. Instead of selling actual physical products, rental companies sell time from an inventory article's timeline.
Even though the physical items are precisely the same in the inventories of companies that rent and companies that sell products, the relationships between the catalogs and the inventories are significantly different.
For example, a bike rental shop might sell an Around the Lake Package in addition to the regular bike rentals. Even though the Around the Lake Package and the regular bike rentals utilize the same physical assets from the inventory, they are not the same product in the catalog.
Luckily, an inventory management system specified for rentals makes sure there's room for bookings on the articles' timelines and prevents overbooking from happening.