Have an overview of the stock status of your business partners with INVRPT


In retail, companies have been using EDI messages INVRPT for many years to inform business partners about the status of their stock. However, these messages also have potential in e-commerce. If e-shops have an overview of suppliers' stocks, they can more accurately inform customers about the availability of goods. Read how INVRPT works and what potential it has in e-commerce.

What INVRPT is

INVRPT (inventory report) is a type of EDI message, with which a company informs business partners about the stock of its goods. The message contains information that both parties agree on. It can be data about:

  • stock status,
  • sold and newly received goods,
  • goods on the way,
  • reserved goods,
  • extra required quantity of goods for extraordinary orders,
  • depreciation of goods.

In practice, companies first agree on how often INVRPT messages will be sent. For example:

  • regularly every week or day,
  • when there is a change in stock status
  • or, only at the request of one party.

The message can be modified to include only goods that are relevant to the business partner. Therefore, a company that only buys shoes from a supplier will not receive a list of newly stocked T-shirts along with it.

Technically, the exchange of INVRPT takes place in such a way that the partner's ERP system generates the stock status report and sends it via EDI for inclusion in the counterparty's ERP system.

Advantages of INVRPT and potential in e-commerce

EDI message INVRPT is most often used in two ways:

  • Customer informs supplier about the status of their stocks at stores and central warehouse.
  • Supplier informs customer about the current and future status of the goods that the customer is purchasing.

The first case is common practice in the fast-moving segment. The retail chain sends suppliers an overview of its inventory and sales of purchased goods. Based on this, suppliers can better plan production to meet expected future demand. At the same time, they have detailed reports on the sale of their goods, for example by segment or location.

The second method has great potential in e-commerce for a change. Customers can use INVRPT to find out the stock status of suppliers and thus better inform customers about the availability of products (for example, we have in stock, in stock at the supplier, the supplier does not have) and the delivery date (by tomorrow, within 14 days or perhaps within a month according to the status at the supplier).

This advantage is key for large e-shops that operate marketplaces - that is, they only offer their e-shop as a platform for smaller suppliers who handle logistics themselves. Without the automation of these processes, they would not be able to accurately inform customers on the e-shop about the availability of goods.

Like all EDI communication, INVRPT brings advantages such as fast sharing of information and automation of its processing, which eliminates rewriting, compiling reports or the need for individual interpretation of data. This, too, is key for the e-commerce market, where business continues to accelerate and demands for speed and accuracy of information are growing. For example, according to a survey by the Behavio agency, 37% of customers will change their mind about purchasing from an e-shop if the delivery is not fast enough.

Why is INVRPT not used much in e-commerce yet?

Despite the mentioned advantages, INVRPT is still not widely used in e-commerce, and e-shops prefer other ways to find out about the availability of goods from suppliers.

This repeats the situation from other industries, where growing companies start using EDI communication first for the more widespread messages that bring quick savings and increased efficiency, such as ORDERS (orders), DESADV (delivery notes) or INVOIC (invoices). They introduce other messages only after a while.

In e-commerce, however, the trend of introducing EDI continues despite the slight stagnation of the market this year. That is why it is still a good time for e-shops to introduce other EDI messages, such as INVRPT.

Giants such as Amazon, which not only uses custom-built B2B applications, but also communicates with suppliers using EDI, can also inspire you. If suppliers already use EDI to exchange other messages, sending reports via EDI is easier for them than connecting the information system with another external application.

Do you also want to take advantage of this EDI message? Get in touch and we will discuss the appropriate INVRPT implementation for your needs.

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