Advanced Features on Odoo's Material Requirements Planning Used By High-Volume Retailer
29 June, 2021

Overview

Novobi delivered an inventory management system with multiple advanced features built on Odoo's framework including a custom Smart Inventory system for ArtNaturals, a high-volume retailer in the personal care space.

The Client


Industry:
Personal and Skin Care


Location:
United States

ArtNaturals

ArtNaturals is an eco- and human-conscious beauty brand specializing in hair care, skin care, essential oils, and personal care products. They promote natural beauty products and believe that their products should be as free-spirited as natural beauty!

Their sister company, Day to Day Imports, is the world’s leading manufacturer and distributor of high-quality auto parts and accessories, pet supplies, and home and garden supplies, tools, and products.

Together, these companies see as many as 100k orders per day during peak shopping seasons, with a daily average of 8,000 orders. Not only are they high-volume, but they are also multi-channel retailers with over 30 marketplaces and distributors.


Challenge #1

A more reliable forecasting system is needed to predict demand

Solution

 Build a statistical demand forecasting platform using multi-channel integrations for data sourcing

Challenge #2

 Incomplete reporting limits the ability to monitor stock levels in real time to minimize understock risks

Solution

 Create a comprehensive stock report complete with an out-of-stock countdown

Challenge #3

Manual analysis of stock needs, cost, and lead times makes purchase planning difficult and time-consuming

Solution

 Build a replenishment and purchasing module to assist with purchasing decisions 

"We wanted something that was easy to use. We wanted something that is very robust and has a lot of functionality." 


- Zion Benarroch | VP of Operations, ArtNaturals

ArtNatural's Challenge 

ArtNaturals' rapid growth left the company urgently seeking an inventory system fit for high-volume retailers. The business requires reliable demand forecasting, real-time reporting, and efficient replenishment and purchasing process. ArtNaturals' team identified Odoo as a thought leader in the ERP industry and "how all ERPs will work in the future."

While Odoo offers hundreds of thousands of turnkey software solutions, ArtNaturals still found functionality gaps between apps available in Odoo and the features they needed. Their requirements include advanced features that are key in their further success.

Demand Forecasting

A More Reliable Demand Forecasting System Is Needed

Efficient inventory management is practically impossible without demand forecasting. Reliable demand forecasting lays the foundation for significant decisions to be made regarding inventory. Without quick access to a demand forecast report, ArtNaturals was left with guesswork or time-consuming manual data analysis to help make critical purchasing decisions in short periods of time.

As the company has grown, it has become apparent that having demand forecasting in a dependable inventory system is a top priority for the business. 

Real Time Stock Monitoring

Incomplete Reporting Limits Ability to Monitor Stock Levels and Minimize Understock Risks.

Minimizing understock risk is essential for any retailer, but it is vital for a brand that is starting to grow its market share.  Understock issues can lead to customer dissatisfaction and bad reviews, and possible additional costs for rush deliveries and lost sales. Without easy access to a real-time stock report, ArtNaturals could not properly monitor its inventory to keep optimal stock levels.

Purchase Planning

Manual Analysis of Stock Needs, Cost, and Lead Time Complicates Purchase Planning

ArtNaturals recognized that their manual process for purchase planning was not sustainable as their demand increased.  Gathering data from different sources and using multiple tools to replenish their stock had become complex and time-consuming. 

With their legacy processes, making good purchasing decisions had become challenging. This issue lead ArtNaturals to look for a robust inventory management system with advanced purchase planning features to help make faster decisions to maintain their stock levels.


"What we liked about Odoo was that there's hundreds of thousands apps that you can just plug in and install and start using it right away."

- Zion Benarroch | VP of Operations, ArtNaturals

The Novobi Solution 

The framework for ArtNaturals inventory solution is a combination of Odoo and Novobi's pre-built inventory app, Smart Inventory.  ArtNaturals' workflow required features that are not readily available in either of the systems. Still, the flexibility of Odoo and Smart Inventory allowed Novobi to design a solution that addressed their specific requirements for demand forecasting, inventory reporting, and purchase planning. 

Odoo • Image and Text

Statistical Demand Forecasting Using Multi-Channel Integrations


ArtNaturals opted for Statistical Demand Forecasting. Novobi utilized their pre-built multi-channel connector to gather data from the company's Walmart, Target, and Amazon online stores.

With historical sales data available, Novobi customized a demand forecasting feature that fit with ArtNaturals' inventory methodology.

With Statistical Demand Forecasting, ArtNaturals now has quick access to accurate information needed for reliable analysis for better purchasing decisions. 
Odoo • Text and Image

Comprehensive Stock Report Complete with Out Of Stock Countdown


ArtNaturals found that the standard understock and overstock report available on Odoo still lacked the information needed to monitor their stock levels properly. Novobi customized a stock report that provides additional information including an inventory of finished goods, components items, and raw materials. It also shows the "Max Possibility" report of how many finished goods the company can manufacture based on raw materials available. 

For a quick snapshot of inventory needs, the report also highlights the number of days until each item is out of stock, the quantity needed, and the ordering status such as "enough", "replenish", and "urgent."

With this robust stock report and the inventory dashboard, ArtNaturals can easily monitor and manage their stock levels and stock health. 

Odoo • Image and Text

Replenishment and Purchasing Tools to Help with Purchasing Decisions


Novobi paired ArtNaturals' inventory reporting with smart tools for faster and easier purchase planning and a complete inventory solution. The system gives product composition recommendations allowing the client to set up multiple sets of BOMs for a finished good. Novobi also added enhancements to Odoo's out-of-the-box reordering rules to match the client's preferences. Along with recommending the quantity needed, ArtNaturals' material planner also receives make v. buy recommendations and cost and lead time analysis for quicker vendor selection. All these features were made available with the addition of Novobi's Smart Inventory on ArtNaturals's existing Odoo system.  

"We started with understock status which flagged the products that needed to be replenished and at what quantity. After the fit-gap analysis, we added a 'Max Possibility' feature to define the max amount of product that can be made from raw materials available. In addition, we also deployed tools to help with replenishment and purchase planning."


- Duy Vu | Business Analyst, Novobi

The Novobi Approach

Novobi follows a strict implementation schedule following CMMI and Scrum frameworks with weekly sprints, ensuring that clients can expect demos and workable solutions weekly or biweekly.  Novobi also follows best practices in configuration and customization to ensure the system functions correctly and protects client's intellectual property. This approach makes it easier and more cost-effective to upgrade in the future.  

Discovery

Planning

Implementation

Launch

Training

Support

Discovery

During discovery, Novobi focused on understanding how ArtNaturals set up their Odoo apps such as inventory, manufacturing, location, and more to assess how Smart Inventory would fit into their current system. 


Novobi also conducted a second discovery to define the change orders necessary to close additional functionality gaps identified after implementing Smart Inventory. 

Planning

Novobi's Business Analyst and Solution Architect worked together with the client to finalize the plan. They presented the detailed scope of work to the client using high-level logic and mock-up designs. They planned the tasks to be completed during each JIRA sprint and organized the resources needed to complete the implementation upon approval.


Implementation

In phase 1, Novobi added Demand Forecast, Understock/Overstock Report, and the Inventory Dashboard on ArtNaturals' existing Odoo setup.


ArtNaturals expressed a need for further improvement to the Understock/Overstock report to monitor and manage their inventory more efficiently. In phase 2, Novobi customized the Stock Report and Replenishment/Purchase Planning Tools to replace the Understock/Overstock reports. The development team set up one-week sprints and met with the client each week to review the sprint progress. 

Launch

The project started in March 2020 and launched in October 2020. There were no issues or downtime during the launch. Novobi had spent thousands of hours developing and testing the Smart Inventory app to minimize -- if not eliminate -- disruption to the business once the app is live.

Training

Novobi worked with Zion Benarroch, ArtNaturals' VP of operations, during training as the product owner, superuser, and key inventory planner for the company. Benarroch utilized Smart Inventory for material planning and generating reports for the management team.

Support

Presently, Novobi only receives ad-hoc support requests such as "how to" assistance and minor bug fixes. However, the development of ArtNaturals' system is continuous as their business continues to scale and expand.


For issues beyond standard troubleshooting, Novobi works with ArtNaturals on identifying the problem or business need. The team discusses a plan and confirms execution with the product owner prior to implementation which encompasses a similar process of engagement as our 6 phases of development.

Novobi's Methodology

& Certifications

Demo Logo
Demo Logo

The Results

Novobi delivered an inventory management system that focuses on robust reporting. ArtNaturals' workflow depends on the accuracy and timeliness of these reports. The enhancements built on Odoo out-of-the-box functionality as well as on Novobi's Smart Inventory app are features that address the business's concerns regarding information accuracy and access. 

With these customizations, ArtNaturals can have confidence that their system will provide them with the correct information when needed.  And with automation, ArtNaturals also eliminates much of the complexity in their workflow and saves time on material planning.  

Increased Confidence

in inventory reports

With an accurate account of their multi-channel sale orders, the business can rest assure that their demand forecasting analysis is reliable. 

Optimal Stock Levels

automatically maintained

Real-time and accurate inventory gives ArtNaturals the insights needed to act accordingly to minimize inventory risks.

Save Time and Effort

in material planning

With Smart recommendations and automated tools, ArtNaturals' material planner can plan with ease and precision. 

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