I am a web developer, not an inventory professional. So I understand databases but stock management is new.
I am setting up ATUM for a client with two web stores in different countries, with a single shared regional inventory spread over two warehouses.
There are products - red widget, blue widget, with a sku
There are items - this specific red widget, with a crate number, if there are 5 red widgets in stock there will be 5 crate numbers.
Each single item is currently tracked by it's warehouse, and crate number. The crate number is unique to that specific item, so if they have 4 of a particular product in stock, there will be 4 separate crate numbers. It's not a sku, because it's unique not to the variation, nor is it a barcoed
Is there any way to track the crate number? Is there a way to track individual items? Where? I think they want to make sure they can reserve a particular crate number for a particular client if need be so they don't oversell.
For example: A medium sized firepit in green, that burns propane, with a specific type of burner will be in a crate 44b in warehouse 1. They have two in stock of this identical variation, but each are in a different crate and may be in a different warehouse. . So their total stock is 2 for that variation, but they are in different places and have different crate numbers. What do I use to track each individual item? or can I? Do I set up a multi-inventory instance for each and every crate? Or is there a simpler way?
A second issue: There are a lot of different variations for each product and many are special order - kept in back order status and then manufactured and shipped once sold. They manufacture everything in house, so there's no external suppliers, but the back ordered items do take longer and have an additional shipping charge.
Is there some sort of primer about how to manage this conceptually? What I imagine is that they get some orders, they put in a PO to themselves to order the stock from their manufacturing centre, then when they receive it they fulfil the orders and whatever is left becomes their new stock status. Do the backorders automatically reduce to zero when the stock increases?