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Gain real-time visibility into inventory replenishment and rebalancing

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Srini Rangaswamy
Principal Platform Solution Engineer, MuleSoft


Getting a single view of inventory is critical to meeting the needs of your customers. Retailers must provide accurate real-time inventory to shoppers and employees to ensure inventory is routed and placed correctly.

In this demo, see how retailers can enable inventory visibility across channels by unlocking data with out-of-the-box connectors from ERP systems such as SAP.

Srini Rangaswamy (00:08):
Hello everyone, my name is Srini Rangaswamy and I'm a solution engineer from MuleSoft. We know that getting a single view of inventory is critical but we also know that it is challenging. Not only do retailers need to provide shoppers with accurate real-time inventory, but also for the back office associates so they can ensure inventory is routed and placed correctly. All of this with a focus around ensuring greater customer satisfaction. Over the next few minutes, I'm going to take you through a demo of how MuleSoft can make it easy to achieve real-time inventory visibility by unlocking data from ERP systems such as SAP.

Srini Rangaswamy (00:45):
Let me start by describing the personas. First, we have John, an avid runner who is looking to buy a new pair of shoes. Second, our inventory manager, Sarah, who is responsible for ensuring warehouse and stores are stocked at the right level. Third, David, our fulfillment manager, who is looking to implement new strategies like Buy Online Pickup in Store, and curbside delivery. We're going to see two Use Cases. First is inventory replenishment and second is rebalancing. In both the cases, we will use SAP as the ERP as it is widely used by retailers. However, you can easily replace SAP, but other applications like Oracle NetSuite, etc., it is because we're going to abstract and wrap the access to the backend using an API and we'll talk more about that in a moment.

Srini Rangaswamy (01:34):
In the first Use Case, the store manager notices he's running low inventory on the hard selling new model, RT 1900. So he informs Sarah, our inventory manager. And now let's see how Sarah can respond.

Srini Rangaswamy (01:47):
Sarah now goes into the inventory 360 dashboard in Tableau and it confirms that the new product RT 1900 is running low in the stores and in the warehouse. She immediately places a purchase order for delivery to the warehouse, which he can then allocate to the stores.

Srini Rangaswamy (02:03):
Now let's go into SAP to receive goods for the purchase order that Sarah has placed. I'm going to log into the SAP GUI, going to receive goods for the purchase order, it's going to be for RT 1900 and the seller has placed an order for 100 units. It's going to go into the warehouse and I'm going to post this transaction.

Srini Rangaswamy (02:39):
Now that SAP has been updated, Sarah should be able to view the latest inventory within the Tableau dashboard. Let's go into the dashboard, currently we have about 10 units for this product within the warehouse. Now, when I refresh this dashboard, it will make a real-time call into SAP to receive the latest. Let's go do that, there we go. Now we have 110 units within the warehouse and now Sarah can take them and then allocate it to the stores appropriately so runners like John can buy them.

Srini Rangaswamy (03:17):
Now, let's look at the second Use Case which is about inventory rebalancing. Here, our fulfillment manager, David, notices the curbside delivery is on the rise and he wants to rebalance inventory across locations like warehouse fulfillment centers and stores. This way he can ensure the stores are sufficiently stocked to maximize customer satisfaction. David is now looking at the inventory 360 dashboard and observed that RT 1400, the seasonal item, is running low. So he's going to make a request to warehouse to ship stock from the warehouse to the stores. Now, let's go to SAP to place the goods issue order. Here's the goods issue order. I'm going to place the order for RT 1400 and from the warehouse, lose the cost, and post the transaction.

Srini Rangaswamy (04:14):
Now, let's go to the dashboard to view the latest inventory levels. When David refreshes this dashboard, a real-time call is made to SAP and the store's API to receive the latest inventory. Let's do that. As you can see, the inventory is rebalanced and David is confident about fulfilling upcoming demand. We are curbside delivery like John's order. Let me now show you how we implemented the inventory 360 within MuleSoft. We built four APIs and one of them has SAP inventory API which uses out of the box SAP connector, this API analogs, SAP product data, so others can easily consume. And developers that want to test this API can go to the API console, and it is the API right here within exchange.

Srini Rangaswamy (05:06):
The other API we built is the inventory 360 API itself. This API consumes the SAP product API and the store's API to provide a 360 view in real-time. Once are the API is in place, you can rewire and reuse for other Use Cases like feeding inventory to an analytics engine.

Srini Rangaswamy (05:26):
You just had a quick glimpse of how MuleSoft's Anypoint Platform can be used with an ERP system. There's a lot more to see but no matter what integration Use Case you have or how complex it is, you can use the platform to accelerate your software development life cycle. I hope you're able to see how easily your business can pivot once you have set the foundation on how quickly you can meet the needs of the shoppers like John.

Srini Rangaswamy (05:49):
That wraps up our demo and I hope you found it useful.

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