How to achieve the perfect balance between inventory and sales

The tension between sales and inventory management is well understood.

If customers can’t get what they want (when they want it), it means missed revenue and less repeat business. But holding too much stock is equally risky. It ties up cash, increases storage and management costs, and if the stock can’t be sold at a profit you lose money.

It’s clear that you need more certainty around supply and demand.

An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution can improve visibility across your entire supply chain, enabling better communication and coordination between your sales and inventory management teams.

Anticipating and influencing customer demand is essential for business success

Consumer demand isn’t stagnant. It varies depending on economic conditions, the time of year, and trends that shape people’s expectations and perceived needs.

When you don’t have a sense of control over the amount of inventory you have on hand, what it’s costing you, and your rate of turnover—it’s easy to get into a stockpiling mindset.  

What happens when trends change or deflation puts a pause on spending? If you haven’t managed stock levels well, the value of your inventory drops and you may be forced to discount heavily to liquidate excess or redundant goods.

That’s why influencing demand is a priority for businesses.

This is where your sales and marketing team step in they research the market, collect and manage customer data, differentiate your brand, develop promotions, nurture relationships, negotiate and close sales, and engage with customers over the long term to build loyalty.  

Keeping your marketing promises, and boosting your team’s confidence to commit to new customers and give them a positive experience, relies on the availability and flow of stock.   

Ideally, your sales and inventory teams should have a symbiotic relationship. That’s not possible if they’re not making decisions based on the same data.

The beauty of SAP Business One is that it’s a comprehensive ERP solution: putting your finance, procurement, production, sales, customer service, and warehouse teams on the same page, with no vital information hidden in separate systems or spreadsheets.

A unified approach allows for closer alignment between sales and stock levels

Working from one clever and centralized system ensures that information from different parts of the business can be combined and analyzed to provide:

  • Real-time data about stock levels, adjusted the moment a sale or stock movement is entered.
  • Accurate recommendations about what and when to restock.

In addition, Material Requirements Planning (MRP) tools in SAP Business One help guide your decision-making for a chosen planning horizon based on parameters including:

Demand already in the system:

  • Sales forecasts
  • Sales orders that haven’t been supplied yet
  • Production orders that will require goods issued to them
  • Stock transfers yet to be dispatched
  • Internal stock requests or customer allocations
  • Quotes in the system (which have and haven’t been accepted)
  • Yet to be drawn-down blanket agreements

Inventory and inbound supply:

  • What you currently have in stock
  • Purchase orders yet to be receipted
  • Production orders yet to be completed
  • Stock transfers yet to be receipted

This functionality makes it simpler to set minimum and maximum stock levels based on genuine insights, rather than best guesses. Importantly, the system doesn’t just look at the number of units but also considers how much warehouse space you have available, and other factors.

Remain highly responsive to current and new customers with SAP Business One

Proactive and predictive inventory management is one aspect of improving the balance between supply and demand. Another is empowering your sales team to meet customer expectations.

Accurate information about products and their availability is crucial. SAP Business One includes several features that make life easier for people managing frontline sales, such as:

  • Available to Promise report: A sales team member can quickly bring up an overview of the status of any item in the system while they’re negotiating with a customer. So they can confidently discuss or answer questions about: how much is available, how much is on order, and when it will be available.
  • Alternative items: It’s easy to create linkages within SAP Business One between different but similar products that you offer. That way, when an SKU is not available immediately, the salesperson can see alternatives that they can recommend at a glance, without having to call the customer back.
  • Last price: Perhaps your business is flexible on final prices depending on volume or loyalty, or encourages competition within your sales team by enabling ad-hoc discounting within certain margins. Within SAP Business One a salesperson can quickly see how much a customer paid for an item previously, so they have a better starting point for negotiating.

What’s more, you can combine the power of SAP Business One with other solutions like SAP Sales Cloud for more nuanced customer relationship management (CRM) and mobile sales support—driven by data in your ERP.

Using SAP Sales Cloud you can give field marketing representatives instant access to information about top purchases for any customer, the ability to discount stock that’s about to expire or become redundant, and tools to negotiate and build quotes on the go.  

The ideal balance between sales and inventory is within reach with SAP Business One

When your business success revolves around both having the right goods to sell and having the information needed to sell them effectively, you need greater continuity between inter-dependent data and workflows. SAP Business One brings everything into alignment to help you balance inventory and sales.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more.
With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements. Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses.

If you would like to know more details about us, please contact with us:

If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

How to Find a Manufacturer or Supplier for Your Product Idea

If you’ve been thinking about starting a business, you may have brainstormed some ideas of your own, like capitalizing on one of the many in-demand products already on the market. 

However, many entrepreneurs find themselves hitting a brick wall when it comes time to actually source products. Whether you plan on manufacturing something of your own or finding suppliers to purchase from wholesale, good products aren’t always easy to find.

In this post, we’ll look at the basics of sourcing a supplier for your next project. We’ll give you ideas for some places to search, and examine how you should approach suppliers and what to ask them when developing a product for your ecommerce business.

Domestic vs. Overseas suppliers

If you plan to manufacture or wholesale, when looking for suppliers you’ll need to decide whether you want to source domestically or from overseas. Overseas can refer to any location abroad. 

It’s a good idea to secure two manufacturers: one domestic and one overseas. Your local manufacturer can be used as a backup. So, if orders from overseas are late or incorrect, you can fall back on your local supplier. They are often more expensive, but it’s better to keep products stocked and customers happy than having them wait for overseas shipments. 

It’s often cheaper to source your products overseas, especially in Asian countries, like China, India, and Taiwan because of lower labor costs. But there’s a lot more to the decision than just the upfront investment and cost per unit.

Both domestic and overseas sourcing have their advantages and disadvantages:

Domestic sourcing


  • Higher manufacturing quality and labor standards
  • Easier communication with no language barrier
  • Marketing appeal of being made in North America
  • Easier to verify reputable manufacturers
  • Faster shipping time
  • High intellectual property right protection
  • Greater payment security and recourse


  • Higher manufacturing costs
  • Less product choice (there are many items that just aren’t made in North America anymore)

Overseas sourcing


  • Lower manufacturing costs
  • High number of manufacturers to choose from
  • One-stop services like Alibaba have made it easy to navigate suppliers


  • Lower perceived quality from customers
  • (Usually) lower manufacturing and labor standards
  • Little intellectual property protection
  • Language, communication, and time-zone barriers can be difficult to navigate
  • Difficult/costly to verify manufacturer and visit on-site
  • Longer shipping time
  • Cultural differences in business practices
  • Product importation and customs clearance
  • Less payment security and recourse

When working with overseas manufacturers and suppliers, it’s a good idea to hire a manufacturing manager. These contractors are locals who live near your manufacturers and handle negotiations, orders, and managing your partners. They can also be the in between for your business and freight companies. Think of them as the central hub for your overseas supply chain. 

If there’s an issue, the manager will work directly with the manufacturer to solve it. Managers also speak the local language, which helps improve communication and make production smooth for your business. 

How to manufacture a product

Finding a manufacturer for your product can be tricky but it’s necessary to bring your products to life. Follow these six steps to find the best manufacturers and suppliers for your business.

  1. Research
  2. Outreach and collect information
  3. Communicate your designs
  4. Order samples
  5. Negotiate
  6. Place your order


Finding the right manufacturer for your product is crucial to your success. Manufacturers control your product’s cost, quality, and packaging and shipping. Here’s how you can find the perfect ones.


Alibaba connects you with manufacturers from China. It’s a common marketplace to find existing products, but you can also use Alibaba to connect with manufacturers to create custom products. Simply search for the products you’re looking for and browse through the various suppliers and manufacturers. 

Looking for manufacturers on Alibaba

It’s easy to safely buy from Alibaba. The marketplace lets you vet manufacturers upfront to get the best products at a fair price. When researching manufacturers on Alibaba, make sure they have the following qualifications:

  • Gold supplier, which means they pay for their Alibaba membership.
  • Verified, which means a third-party company or Alibaba has visited their factory.
  • Trade assurance, a free service that protects your orders from payment to delivery. 

You can continue to search by applying filters. You can sort by certifications (such as SA8000, which ensures humane working conditions) to find a manufacturer that aligns with your business values. 

Another thing to consider when sourcing from Alibaba: make sure your manufacturer is not a trading company. A trading company is a middleman and won’t be able to produce your products. 


Another place to research manufacturers is free online supplier directories. These directories contain profiles for hundreds or thousands of manufacturers, wholesalers, and suppliers. Below, we’ve listed a few of the most popular ones for both domestic and overseas suppliers:

Online domestic directories

  • ThomasNet
  • Maker’s Row
  • MFG
  • Kompass
  • National Association of Manufacturers member list

Online overseas directories

  • Oberlo
  • AliExpress
  • Indiamart
  • Sourcify


In recent years, we’ve become accustomed to being able to easily search Google and find what we’re looking for in the first few search results. However, many suppliers haven’t kept pace with the internet or Google’s algorithm changes. Their websites are usually old, sparse on information, and not search-engine optimized.

So how do you find suppliers on Google? For possibly the first time ever, you’ll need to explore page two of Google search results and beyond. You’ll also want to use a variety of search terms. For example, words like “wholesale,” “wholesaler,” and “distributor” may be used interchangeably, so you should search for all of them. 

It may help to make yourself familiar with Google’s search shortcuts to improve the quality of your searches and, thus, your results.

Find Jade roller on Google


Between the time you get a sample and when you place your order, it’s still possible to negotiate terms such as payment or MOQ. When negotiating, put yourself in the manufacturer’s shoes. The goal isn’t to exploit your manufacturing partner to get the best price. It’s to work together so both parties profit and are happy. It’s the only way to build a long-term, healthy relationship. 

Place your order

Last up, place your order. Do a 100% quality control check first. Check every product they’ve sent you to make sure it meets your standards. And if you’re happy with everything, send your order and get the production process started!

Finding your supply partners

Sourcing suppliers and manufacturers is a unique process but it’s one of the costs of starting a business. Trying to locate suppliers that are a good fit is a critical decision for your new business, and they aren’t always easy to find.

It’s easy to get frustrated when you hit dead ends or brick walls, but in most cases, it just requires a little more patience and perseverance to find the perfect partner for your new venture.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more.
With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements. Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses.

If you would like to know more details about us, please contact with us:

If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: