To ensure updated availability information of products
After opening Alko Online Shop the updated availability information of the products is in critically important role in building the customer experience.
Because Alko cannot get the information direct from supplier’s warehouse it is important that:
- Limited availability of a sale-to-order selection’s product will be notified in the offer
- “Product not available” information (so-called LOTU information) will be updated to Alko from supplier or delivering warehouse reliably and on-time
- When the product’s life cycle is ending at Alko’s selection Alko should get an estimation of the ending date from supplier’s warehouse on-time.
Products in the sale-to-order selection are easily ordered by customers from the Online Shop in day and night. When supplier’s sale-to-order product has a limited availability or has only one lot to sell this has to be notified already in the offer. Then Alko’s Online and Supply Chain Unit can consider when to order the product to the Online Shop’s warehouse.
We ask suppliers always to ensure the product’s correct availability information. Also supplier should highlight the importance of the matter to supplier’s warehouse department or warehouse partner. When availability information is not correct there is a high risk that customers get false promise of delivery time. This will cause a disappointment to customer. Suppliers maintain the availability information (so-called LOTU information) in Alko’s Extranet. Sale-to-order selection’s direct distributors and transit distributors will send the availability information by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the header “LOTU product number xxxxxx and product name yyyyyy”. Products that are delivered straight to Alko Central warehouse get availability information automatically from the warehouse system.
When the product’s life cycle is ending from Alko’s selection we ask the supplier to inform the estimated stock ending date to Product Manager no later than 1 month before the stock is estimated to be fully depleted. The message should contain also information of the product name, number and the current available stock volume. After the current information Alko’s Online and Supply Chain Unit can contact the supplier and agree the delivery schedule of the final volume to the Online Shop’s warehouse. This is to ensure that customers cannot buy more than is available on the Online Shop’s warehouse and supplier’s warehouse.
Tuomas Kokkonen, Logistics Manager (email@example.com)
Mika Kauppinen, Assortment Manager, Purchasing (firstname.lastname@example.org)